The same day the Reds signed first-round pick Devin Mesoraco, they also promoted 2006 first-round pick Jay Bruce and righthander Johnny Cueto, the team’s highest-ranked pitcher in the minors.
The 20-year old Bruce has cruised through A-ball in his first two full professional seasons, finishing 2006 as the low Class A Midwest League’s No. 1 prospect and leading the high Class A Florida State League in doubles (27), extra-base hits (43) and slugging percentage (.586) at the time of his promotion. He departs Sarasota after hitting safely in seven of his past eight games and .325/.379/.586 with 11 home runs and 49 RBIs overall.
Cueto, 21, got off to a slow start this season in Sarasota’”he registered almost as many walks (14) as strikeouts (17) in his first five starts (26 innings). But the team’s fourth-rated prospect, who commands a 92-94 mph fastball to both sides of the plate, settled down over his final four starts’”which included a one-game call-up to Triple-A Louisville. He struck out 29 over 25 innings and walked just three batters. He leaves Sarasota 4-5, 3.15 with 65 strikeouts and 25 walks in 74 innings pitched.