Article on the Reds #1 draft pick from the DDN:

What I found the most interesting was this comparison:

Because he was so young — only 18 — Bruce was sent to the GCL Reds in Sarasota for his first pro experience. He hit .270 in 37 games with five homers and 25 RBIs in only 122 at-bats. He was moved to Billings, another rookie team, in Montana.

Again Bruce showed power with nine homers and 38 RBIs in 70 at-bats over 17 games while hitting .257.

Comparatively, Austin Kearns hit one homer as an 18-year-old at Billings in 1998 and 13 the next season at Rockford before that Class A team moved to Dayton. Adam Dunn, at approximately the same ages, hit four homers at Billings in 1998 and 11 at Rockford the next season.

Kearns at Billings (108AB) put up .433/.426/.859 (OBP/SLG/OPS) and Dunn (125 AB) was .404/.424/.828.

Bruce had 70 AB at Billings (after the 122 at the GCL Reds) and in Billings put up .358/.457/.815. His combined numbers for last year were .341/.484/.825. But remember, Bruce was forced to take the first pitch, which is believed to have lowered his OBP. His power numbers are impressive, more like a corner outfielder than a center fielder, where he’s expected to open the season Thursday night.

When I was spending the afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium last summer taking in a GCL game and talking to the two pitchers for the GCL Reds, when I asked about Bruce both said, “He can HIT”, leaving no room for discussion on the matter. I’m looking forward to seeing him play this season as he hopefully continues his climb towards Cincinnati and being Junior’s eventual replacement in center field.