Jay Bruce shows up on Baseball America’s Hot Sheet again. This time, at #4. 

The 20-year-old Bruce is proving with each promotion that there’s little he can’t do. After slumping upon arrival in the International League (for all of about a week), Bruce has proceeded to hit .358/.411/.716 with six home runs and 15 RBIs in the 18 games since July 21. He’s fared very well against lefthanded pitchers thus far, too, hitting .333/.440/.667 in 21 at-bats. And don’t look now, but Bruce is the minor league leader with 68 extra-base hits.

In Baseball America’s Prospect Pulse, they rank the top players at each position and then rank the positions by depth. Votto was rated the top first baseman. Homer Bailey the top right-handed starting pitcher, with Johnny Cueto sixth. Jay Bruce is the top corner outfielder,  It requires a subscription but here are some bits:

Votto is the most polished and big league-ready of any first baseman in the minors.

…Bruce is now regarded as a can’t-miss big league star—scouts compare him with Larry Walker…

Bailey remains the top pitching prospect in the minors until his next shot in Cincinnati…

Last week, Baseball America had minor league managers rank the best tools at each level. The usual Reds prospects showed up. In Triple AAA:

Best batting prospect and best strike-zone judgement: Joey Votto

In Hi-A:

Best batting and best power: Jay Bruce

Best reliever: Josh Roenicke

Best defensive thirdbaseman: Michael Griffin

Over at Baseball Prospectus, Kevin Goldstein looks at the 2007 first round picks and how they’ve performed so far.

The way Mesoraco zoomed up on draft boards in the last weeks leading up to the draft, even an underslot bonus seemed good. Rarely tested against top competition in high school, it’s not a big shock that Mesoraco is struggling early as a pro, batting just .244/.319/.317 in his first 23 Gulf Coast League games, but throwing out nearly 40 percent of opposing basestealers.

It is definitely a bonus to have minor leaguers worth following.