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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, December 7, 2007

Bruce get another award

From the Reds:

CINCINNATI - OF Jay Bruce has been named winner of the Sheldon “Chief” Bender Award as the Cincinnati Reds’ Minor League Player of the Year for 2007. He will receive his award tonight at 5:15 p.m. at Duke Energy Center downtown during ceremonies on the main stage at Redsfest.

RHP Johnny Cueto was named the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year and IF Adam Rosales the team's Minor League Hitter of the Year.

Bruce, 20, will enter the 2008 season rated by Baseball America as the top prospect in the organization. In 2007 he also was named Minor League Player of the Year by both Baseball America and Sporting News after hitting .319 with 46 doubles, 8 triples, 26hr and 89rbi at Class A Sarasota, Class AA Chattanooga and Class AAA Louisville. He played for the U.S. team in Major League Baseball's prestigious All-Star Futures Game.

Last season the Texas native led all Reds minor leaguers in homers, ranked among the organizational leaders in batting average (2nd) and RBI (3rd) and ranked among all minor league players in extra-base hits (80, 2nd), total bases (306, 2nd), doubles (T7th), hits (166, 10th) and slugging percentage (.587, 14th).

Bruce finished the 2007 season ranked as the top prospect in the organization, International League and Florida State League. In Baseball America’s post-season tools survey, he was rated the best hitter for average and best power hitter in the Reds’ minor league system.

Bruce was selected by the Reds with the 12th overall pick in the first round of the June 2005 first-year player draft. He was scouted and signed by the late Brian Wilson.

Cueto, 21, won the organization's top minor league pitching award for the second straight season. In 28 starts at 3 different levels he combined to go 12-9 with a 3.07 ERA and 170 strikeouts in 161.1 innings. Cueto led all Reds minor leaguers in ERA and strikeouts and ranked third in victories.

Rosales, 24, last season was a Florida State League All-Star after hitting .294 with 5 HR, 48 RBI and 9 steals at Class A Sarasota. He also hit .278 with 13 HR, 31 RBI and 4 stolen bases at Class AA Chattanooga.

The organization’s minor league player of the year award is named after Sheldon “Chief” Bender, who spent 64 years in baseball. He spent his last 39 years in the game with the Reds in their scouting and player development departments.

Sheldon “Chief” Bender Award
Reds’ Minor League Player of the Year
2007...................................... OF Jay Bruce
2006............................ RHP Homer Bailey
2005.............................. OF Chris Denorfia
2004.......................... RHP Richie Gardner
2003................. OF Stephen Smitherman
2002........................... 3B Brandon Larson
2001.................................. OF Adam Dunn
2000............................... OF Austin Kearns
Award named after Chief Bender beginning in 2001


at 3:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not an especially auspicious list there. Of those players, only Dunn has had real success, Kearns has probably been a disappointment, and Bailey is not yet proven. The rest are all out of baseball.

I say if another team wants to trade a good #2 or #3 pitcher for Bruce, the Reds should do it. The odds are probably better that he will end up like Denorfia, Larson, Smitherman, or Gardner rather than like Griffey Jr.

Not that I have anything against Jay Bruce, but it's that whole bird in the hand now vs. a bird in the hand sometime in the future thing.

Plus, where's he going to play? There's no room in the outfield with Dunn, Griffey, Hamilton, Hopper, Freel, etc. Are they going to leave him in Louisville for another year, or let him sit on the bench waiting for someone else to get hurt?

If he's better trade bait than Dunn, Hamilton, Griffey, Freel, or Hopper, then trade him.

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