Sunday, September 09, 2007

Bruce Named BA Minor League POY

SEPT 9th 2007-Outfielder Jay Bruce, the first-round pick of the Reds in 2005, has been named the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year.

The 20 year old Bruce, who hails from Beaumont, Texas, started 2007 in high Class A (FSL) and had little difficulty with the adjustment, hitting 11 HR, 27 2B and batting .325 in only 67 games. Class AA was no challenge, either, as Bruce hit .333 with 4 more homers. When promoted to Class AAA Louisville, a promotion originally intended to be temporary, the hits just kept on coming. Bruce hit 11 HR in 50 games with the Bats, finishing the year at .319/.375/.587, 46 2B, 26 HR, 89 RBI, tied for 10th in the minors in hits (166), ranked 2nd in extra-base hits (80) and TB (306), and all while making the amazing leap from Single A to the Majors.

"You just can't say enough good things about Jay Bruce," Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky said. "We're thrilled that Baseball America would honor him with such a prestigious award. It's an honor, not only for Jay, but for the entire Reds organization as we move forward."

OUTLOOK: This guy is for real, a big time talent who has nothing to prove. He could certainly benefit from a full season in AAA, and there is no real rush to bring him up for good. When he does make The Show to stay, however, he'll be a key component of the Reds in the decade to come. Along with Joey Votto at first, Jeff Keppinger at short, and Buck Coats and Norris Hopper in the OF, the Queen City has a lot to look forward to, and will need only to shore up their pitching to become a formidable opponent in the NL Central. I project him to be a 20-20 guy, hitting better than .300 and knocking in around 100 runs by 2009.

Clinton Riddle
The Grand Old Game
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