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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Friday, September 7, 2007

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?):


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)


at 1:19 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Wouldn't all you Reds fans rather watch Dunn and Griffey loaf thru the rest of the season than see if Jay Bruce is ready? The K-man knows what he is doing. Remember, how long it took for him to ruin Homer Bailey?

By keeping Bruce from coming up in September the Reds can save enough money to buy a radar gun for their minor league clubs that actually works and maybe even a scale to weigh Mike Stanton and Adam Dunn on.

at 1:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great news for Jay Bruce and the Reds. Jay seems like a nice guy too...I met him at a Bats game. He took time to meet fans and sign autographs, which was very much appreciated.

Thanks Jay and congratulations.

at 1:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

That scale to weigh Stanton is way more expensive. So does this mean Bruce will only spend one more year in the minor leagues instead of two?

When will they announce jackass of the year? I hear K-man is a finalist!

at 2:16 PM Anonymous Trev said...

Here's hoping Bruce isn't forced to win it again the way Greg Jefferies did in '86 & '87.

at 3:01 PM Anonymous Dogbite said...

Yeah, it looks like it really killed Andruw Jones's career when he won it twice ...

at 3:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

By keeping Bruce from coming up in September the Reds can save enough money to buy a radar gun for their minor league clubs that actually works and maybe even a scale to weigh Mike Stanton and Adam Dunn on.

are you done crying?

at 4:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pardon my ignorance, but what position does he play? I want to put him in the outfield for some reason, so where would he play? I assume they will excercise the Dunn option (they'd be cracy to let him go), which means that he would be a fourth outfielder, and would make Hopper, Hamilton or Griffey expendable. Since Griff is coming up on 600, I assume that would mean that Hopper or Hamilton would be traded. Neither prospect thrills me.

at 4:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Homer Bailey has been ruined? Sorry, I missed that one.

at 5:58 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Yeah, I think it's a bit premature to say Bailey's ruined. He's 21. He threw five quality innings in his last major league start.

at 9:12 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Yeah, he threw five good innings, was sent to the minors and hasn't been heard from since. Sounds like something is wrong that the Reds do not want anyone to know about. This would certainly not be anything new. I hope that I am wrong and he comes back and is a big success next year, but I haven't been wrong since the Griffey trade. I thought he would actually be good for the Reds.

at 11:23 PM Anonymous mikec said...

Yup, Bailey's career is over. He's washed up. His arm is dead. He'll never do anything.

I mean if you hurt your groin at his age!!!! I mean think about this folks, he'll be coming up on 22 next May. He should just retire now.

at 11:25 PM Anonymous mikec said...

And another thing... How exactly did Krivsky ruin Bailey?

You morons were screaming for the Reds to call him up every single day on this blog. And now Krivsky ruined him? By calling him up too soon or leaving him down to long?

You know I love this team, but I'm not sure I want to call myself a Reds fan anymore. You ignorant people and your ridiculous rantings make me sick.

at 10:06 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

LMAO!! mikec, don't you wonder why Bailey was consistently throwing in the high 90s all thru the minors and when they brought him up he was in the low 90s? The thing that made Bailey special was the fact that he had outstanding velocity. Don't you remember, he was on the DL with a groin pull BEFORE the Reds brought him up? Doesn't that make you wonder if he changed his delivery to compensate for something else? Doesn't the fact that he was optioned out after pitching 5 good innings here make you a bit suspicious? The Reds have a history of ruining their top pitching prospects and also a record of lying to the fans (and the media) about the status of ballplayers. Doesn't it make you wonder, that he wound up in "A" ball? Seems like a gigantic step backwards. Get your head out of the sand and don't be so fast about calling others ignorant.

at 12:44 PM Anonymous mikec said...

OK, so how is a groin pull Krivsky's fault?

I'll give you that the Reds have had some bad luck and ruined some top draft picks. But there is absolutely no evidence Bailey is "ruined."

And why send him to A-ball? Easy, that's where the Reds base their minor league operations. Look at what the Mets did with Pedro. He spent his entire rehab in Port St. Lucie. When a player is rehabbing, the level doesn't always matter.

He was originally optioned because he was there fifth starter and they wouldn't need a fifth starter for two weeks. So it makes perfect sense to send him to the minors for a few starts to work on a few things.

Also, I'll give you that his velocity is down a little. But when you say consistently throwing in the high 90s you are being misled. He hit the high 90s. There's a difference between consistenly throwing in the high 90s and hitting the high 90s a few times a game.

And last I checked a groin pull never ruined anyone's career. Has he complained of any other ailments? No.

Are the Reds being overly cautious with him? Yes. But that's so the Reds DON'T ruin him.

at 12:45 PM Anonymous mikec said...

"Wouldn't all you Reds fans rather watch Dunn and Griffey loaf thru the rest of the season than see if Jay Bruce is ready?"

I personally would rather have a GM that does what's best for the team than what the fans want.

at 1:07 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Mikec, you seem to still believe all the lies that come out of Wayne Krivsky's mouth. You probably believed him when he said that the Reds would be contenders this spring and that Jerry Narron was doing a good job and his position was safe. You probably believed that Kirk Saarloos, Victor Santos, Todd Coffey, Mike Stanton, Kyle Lohse and Matt Belisle would make this team a winner. You probably really do believe that Alex Gonzalez is the best SS in baseball and that Krivsky signed him at a reasonable price. You probably think that Jay Bruce should not be up here getting a little experience and showing if he is possibly ready to take over in right field. This is the kind of thinking that has brought 8 straight losing seasons to Cincinnati.


at 2:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Since Griff is coming up on 600, I assume that would mean that Hopper or Hamilton would be traded. Neither prospect thrills me."

Josh Hamilton doesnt thrill you? Wow what does it take to thrill you? Josh Hamilton is the best player (other than maybe philips) the reds have RIGHT NOW and he'll only continue getting better.

at 4:12 PM Anonymous mikec said...


I did believe the Reds could contend this spring if the bullpen pitched like members of it had historically (and of course Bray was healthy).

I did not at any point in time believe Jerry Narron was a good manager. I believed Krivsky when he said Narron's job was safe because I believe Krivsky's one major flaw is that he expected this team to somehow right itself without any changes.

I never thought much of Saarloos or Lohse. But Belisle has great stuff. And if you look at what Coffey and Stanton did last year just about any GM in baseball would have banked on them to have been stalwarts in the bullpen. No one could have predicted how bad they have been. I wish the Reds would DFA Stanton and cut their losses and keep Coffey in Triple A until he finds the magic again.

And Gonzalez has committed a few more errors this year than in years past. He's still one of the top five best defensive shortstops in the game today. He's still leagues ahead of Keppinger in range, arm and hands.

As for Bruce, I could see him up here. But I understand the reasoning behind not bringing him up. He's still 20. He just had a superb minor league season. It's like when you have a young starter and he's gone six strong innings and you pull him before he starts the seventh when he's got to face the big boys for a third time through the lineup. That way he comes away feeling confident without a blemish on him.

I'm not saying I don't think Keppinger should get a chance to play to see how good he can be and where he fits in. I like him. I just don't think the Reds should unload Gonzalez.

Now I've got a questions for you and all the other bandwagon fans riding whoever on the Reds is hot and attacking whoever isn't:

If Keppinger is so great, how can Krivsky be so bad? Krivsky after all is the one who found Keppinger on the Royals scrap heap. Just like he plucked Burton, Hamilton and Phillips from obscurity. That's at least three of the future keys to this team he got for a player to be named later and $50,000. Then throw in Keppinger he got for practically nothing.

at 4:13 PM Anonymous mikec said...

And for the record, I think Krivsky is a decent GM, but I'd still take Jocketty if he wanted to come to Cinci.

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