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Steady Bour Impresses

Westfield graduate Jason Bour making the most of his minor league opportunity within Reds’ organization.

A catcher/utility player, Jason Bour is one of the steadiest, hardest-working players within the Cincinnati Reds’ farm system. The former Westfield standout, who’s currently a member of the Double-A Carolina Mudcats, has impressed his coaches and teammates.

“Jason has worked very hard,” said Terry Reynolds, who serves as Cincinnati’s director of player development. “He’s a steady player and goes about his business in a business-like manner. He’s a great teammate and when he’s had opportunities, he’s played well.”

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Bour, selected as a catcher by the Reds in the 23rd round of the 2007 draft, has seen action this season behind the plate, as well as at first base and as a designated hitter. Through Wednesday morning, the right-handed hitter was batting .256 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 47 games with both the Mudcats and the Single-A Sarasota Reds.

“He’s very consistent and you know what you’re going to get,” said Sarasota manager Joe Ayrault. “He calls a good game, works with the pitching staff well and can throw out runners. He’s good at blocking pitches. At the plate he uses the whole field. He’s a doubles guy who can hit an occasional home run. He’s a great guy in the clubhouse and is a very good leader.”

He’s also tough. During the summer of 2002, Bour was hit by a fastball in the face while playing in an American Legion championship game as a member of Centreville Post 1995.

Bour, upon being hit, dropped to the ground. Time froze as players, coaches and fans took in the scary sight of the youngster sprawled on the ground. Meanwhile, his coach, Chris Kestyn, told him he would be going to the hospital with him. Bour’s response was, “Coach, win this game.”

Bour suffered a fractured bone in the orbital under his left eye as well as two fractured bones in his cheek and a broken nose.

“I remember everything,” recalled Bour, whose black-and-blue eye was swollen shut for days after the beaning. “I never blacked out. After the ball hit me, I saw stars. I saw the pitch come in and luckily I reacted fast enough where the ball skimmed my face and didn’t hit me [straight] on.”

Bour recovered from the beaning and resumed his baseball career at Westfield High School and ultimately at George Mason University, where he earned first team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors in 2007.

Following his selection by the Reds in 2007, Bour was sent to Billings (Rookie-Pioneer League) to begin his pro career. There, in 42 games, he batted .287 with nine doubles and 22 RBIs.

Last year in a full season at Dayton, he hit .231 over 70 games. Over 247 at-bats, he belted 16 doubles, two triples, seven home runs and had 28 RBIs.

Bour’s younger brother, Justin Bour, was selected by the Cubs in the 25th round of this year’s first-year player draft. At George Mason this spring, Justin Bour batted .339 with 17 homers and 66 RBIs.