Cincinnati Reds: Jay Bruce is the Real Deal

Ben WeixlmannSenior Writer IJune 1, 2008

It is rare to see a minor league prospect called up and perform right away. There are usually growing pains, figuring out the differences between the minors and bigs, and becoming acclimated. Cincinnati Reds' outfielder Jay Bruce, the top prospect in the MLB, experienced no such sluggish start.

Bruce has played in six games, compiling a .571 batting average and two HRs, including a walk-off Saturday that even overshadowed Ken Griffey Jr.'s 599th career HR. Reds' fans had been awaiting this call-up for quite some time, especially since there was speculation Bruce would make the Opening Day roster.

After fine tuning his hitting in Triple-A, leading the league with a .364 BA, the Reds decided it was time to unveil the phenom at the big league level. They must be ecstatic with their decision so far, as Bruce has done nothing but pound out hits.

There looks to be an immense upside for this kid, as he is only 21-years-old. Drafted out of high school just three years ago, Bruce has developed his game extremely quick to fit the major league style. According to the organization, Bruce can hit for power, as well as hitting to the opposite field for singles.

As demonstrated on ESPN's Baseball Tonight, Bruce has used excellent judgment at the plate, showing the the patience of a veteran. So much so, that Bruce has six BBs to one strikeout. That is very impressive for a young hitter, as most like to go up and swing for the fences.

This may be a perfect time to bring Bruce up, too. Already finding themselves below .500, and eight games out of first place in the NL Central, the Reds needed something to kick start their season. A kid hitting .571 would certainly help any squad.

We'll see how he develops throughout the rest of the season, but if anyone remembers Ryan Braun's start from a couple years ago, Bruce may be even better.