From the DDN:
Jay Bruce had two hits Sunday, and ordinarily that would be a good thing for the Class A Midwest League Dayton Dragons.
The problem is, in June, Bruce hit .389 with 18 RBIs. In the first two days of July, he was 3-of-7 (.429). How long do you think the parent Reds are going to keep their No. 1 position player prospect in “low” Class A when he puts up numbers like those?
Dragons manager Billy Gardner Jr. still thinks he’s going to keep the 19-year-old outfielder for the remainder of the season.
“There’s no reason to rush him,” Gardner said. “Jay’s still only 19. And if we’re in the hunt (for a playoff spot) in the second half, he’ll be in a lot of games that matter. There also comes a point where you have to challenge a player.”
I’ve said it before, I don’t see what more Bruce has to prove at this level. As a partial season ticket holder for the Dragons, I hate saying that, but as a Reds fan, I say, “Get him to Sarasota and see what he can do there.”
In a previous Reds administration, and when the organization was trying to establish a team in Dayton, Austin Kearns stayed with the Dragons all of 2000, hitting .306 with 27 homers and 104 RBIs. That was Kearns’ second straight full season at Class A.
The year before, Kearns hit .258 at Rockford, Ill., (the team that moved to Dayton) with 13 homers and 48 RBIs. Bruce already has 11 homers and 55 RBIs and was hitting .313 entering Monday night’s game at Kane County.
In other words, he’s well ahead of Kearns at the same time in their careers, and now Kearns is the regular right fielder for the Reds.
At age 19, Kearns was at the same level. His numbers (in addition to what’s above) were .258/.340/.458 in 124 games. In 80 games, Bruce has 12 homers and 57 RBIs, while posting .317/.374/.573 numbers.
I don’t feel he has anything left to prove at this level, but Bob Castillini did say he wanted a winner in Dayton and they are competing for a 2nd half playoff spot, so that might be what would keep him in Dayton.
But should it?
I do wonder if the Reds front office is waiting to see if they can have a “name” to replace him with in Dayton before promoting him. Bob Castillini did say that he wanted a winning team at Dayton and as Gardner says, they are in t