Bruce gets BA's highest honor
I guess this leaked out this weekend, but it was made official Friday (list of previous winners is very impressive. Wonder if any of them got September callups?):
REDS OUTFIELDER JAY BRUCE WINS BASEBALL AMERICA'S
MINOR LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
DURHAM, N.C.—Outfielder Jay Bruce, a 20-year-old who mashed his way to 80 extra-base hits and more than 300 total bases in 2007 on his way from Class A to Triple-A, became the first member of the Reds organization to win Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year award.
Bruce, a first-round pick in 2005 out of a Beaumont, Texas, high school, began his season at Sarasota in the high Class A Florida State League, mashing 11 home runs and 27 doubles in just 67 games while hitting .325. After a .333 showing (with four more homers) at Double-A Chattanooga, he got a promotion to Triple-A Louisville, which was supposed to be temporary. But Bruce never stopped hitting, smacking 11 more home runs in just 50 games in the International League.
Overall for the season, Bruce hit .319/.375/.587 with 46 doubles, eight triples, 26 homers and 89 RBIs. He tied for 10th in the minors in hits (166), tied for seventh in doubles, ranked second in extra-base hits (80) and total bases (306) and seventh in slugging percentage.
He continues a trend of younger phenoms winning BA's Player of the Year award. Eight of the last 11 POYs were drafted out of high school—a list that includes Josh Beckett (2001), Eric Chavez (1998) and Paul Konerko (1997), among others. All of the prep players, other than Konerko, won the award two years after being drafted.
“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.”
Baseball America magazine, based in Durham, N.C., has awarded a Minor League Player of the Year award since the magazine's founding in 1981.
1981--Mike Marshall, 1b, Albuquerque (Dodgers)
1982--Ron Kittle, of, Edmonton (White Sox)
1983--Dwight Gooden, rhp, Lynchburg (Mets)
1984--Mike Bielecki, rhp, Hawaii (Pirates)
1985--Jose Canseco, of, Huntsville/Tacoma (Athletics)
1986--Gregg Jefferies, ss, Columbia/Lynchburg/Jackson (Mets)
1987--Gregg Jefferies, ss, Jackson/Tidewater (Mets)
1988--Tom Gordon, rhp, Appleton/Memphis/Omaha (Royals)
1989--Sandy Alomar, c, Las Vegas (Padres)
1990--Frank Thomas, 1b, Birmingham (White Sox)
1991--Derek Bell, of, Syracuse (Blue Jays)
1992--Tim Salmon, of, Edmonton (Angels)
1993--Manny Ramirez, of, Canton/Charlotte (Indians)
1994--Derek Jeter, ss, Tampa/Albany/Columbus (Yankees)
1995--Andruw Jones, of, Macon (Braves)
1996--Andruw Jones, of, Durham/Greenville/Richmond (Braves)
1997--Paul Konerko, 1b, Albuquerque (Dodgers)
1998--Eric Chavez, 3b, Huntsville/Edmonton (Athletics)
1999--Rick Ankiel, lhp, Arkansas/Memphis (Cardinals)
2000--Jon Rauch, rhp, Winston-Salem/Birmingham (White Sox)
2001--Josh Beckett, rhp, Brevard County/Portland (Marlins)
2002--Rocco Baldelli, of, Bakersfield/Orlando/Durham (Devil Rays)
2003--Joe Mauer, c, Fort Myers/New Britain (Twins)
2004--Jeff Francis, lhp, Tulsa/Colorado Springs (Rockies)
2005--Delmon Young, of, Montgomery/Durham (Devil Rays)
2006--Alex Gordon, 3b, Wichita (Royals)