From the Dayton Dragons:
DAYTON, OHÃ¢â‚¬â€ A trio of players to wear Dayton Dragons uniforms, Jay Bruce (2006), Homer Bailey (2005) and Joey Votto (2003-2004) were named to Baseball AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Minor League All-Star team. The team, chosen by the Baseball America staff, consists of 14 players regardless of classification. With three players named to the first team, the Cincinnati Reds led all major league organizations.
Bruce, selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the first round (12th overall) in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, was also named Ã¢â‚¬Å“Low A All-Star TeamÃ¢â‚¬Â and was named Baseball AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Midwest League Prospect of the Year. Despite missing 23 games during the 2006 season, Bruce hit .291 with 16 home runs and 81 runs batted in. He led the MWL in doubles with 42 and extra base hits with 63. Bruce was named to the MWL Post Season All-Star team and was a starting member for the Eastern Division squad of the midseason all-star team, and brought home the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Star of StarsÃ¢â‚¬Â award as the gameÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s MVP.
Homer Bailey talk became common place in both minor league and major league circles in 2006. The hard throwing right hander who went 8-4 for the Dragons in 2005 with a 4.43 ERA, was lights out with both Ã¢â‚¬Å“High AÃ¢â‚¬Â Sarasota of the Florida State League and AA Chattanooga in the Southern League. Bailey went a combined 10-6 with a 2.47 ERA. In 139 innings of work, Bailey struck out 156, walked only 50 and held the opposition to a .198 batting average against. In addition to being named a Baseball America First Team All-Star, Bailey was also named to the AA All-Star Team and the Ã¢â‚¬Å“High AÃ¢â‚¬Â All-Star Team. The magazine also tabbed Bailey as the top prospect in the Southern League and Florida State League. Homer picked up the win for Team USA at the Major League Baseball Futures Game held on the MLB All-Star weekend at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Cincinnati selected Bailey with the clubs first pick in the 2004 First Year Player Draft (7th overall).
If not for Bailey, Joey Votto probably would have been the best known Chattanooga Lookout in 2006. As it turned out, the Dragons first baseman from 2003 and 2004 didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get the press in Cincinnati that Bailey did but quietly but together the best offensive season of any Reds minor leaguer. Votto led the Southern League with a .319 batting average, a .408 on base percentage, a .467 slugging percentage, 85 runs scored, 162 hits, 46 doubles and 70 extra base hits. He hit 22 home runs and knocked home 77. Votto was also named to the First Team Minor League All-Star Team and was on the Southern League All-Star team as well. Like Bailey, Votto played in the Futures Game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh getting the start for the World Team at first base. Baseball America ranked the former second round draft choice of the Reds as the seventh best prospect in the Southern League in 2006.