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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Cincinnati Reds will unveil one of baseball's top hitting prospects later on Tuesday after promoting outfielder Jay Bruce from their Triple-A club for the series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Bruce, taken by the Reds in the first round of the 2005 draft and named by the Baseball America publication as minor league player of the year in 2007, is hitting .364 this season with 10 homers and 37 RBI in 49 games for Louisville.
"He was ready for some time but we wanted to give him more time and give more opportunities to the guys we have here," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told reporters.
"When Jay comes up he will play a lot. We wouldn't bring him up and not play him."
Bruce is expected to take over in center field from the slumping Corey Patterson, who is batting .201 with four homers and 13 RBI.
The 21-year-old Bruce also registered eight stolen bases for Louisville and was on a nine-game hitting streak.
Last week Jocketty went to watch Bruce in action and the left-handed slugger went 2-for-4 with a home run.
"It just confirmed what everyone had been telling me," Jocketty said.
"You like to see guys from the organization that are good kids get an opportunity. He certainly has earned it."
Writing by Larry Fine, Editing by Tony Jimenez