Jay Bruce named Reds' minor league player of the year

Print
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.  Bruce finished the 2007 season ranked as the top prospect in the organization, International League and Florida State League. In Baseball <?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = ST1 />America’s post-season tools survey, he was rated the best hitter for average and best power hitter in the Reds’ minor league system.

            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 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

Tags: