2012 Reds / Reds - General

Jay Bruce wins Silver Slugger Award

Jay Bruce has won the NL Silver Slugger award for outfield, joining Andrew McCutchen and Ryan Braun. Begun in 1980, the Silver Slugger Award is given to the best offensive player in each league at their position. The Reds report:

Major League Baseball on Thursday handed out the Silver Slugger Awards to the top offensive players in the American League and National League.

Winners of the award were determined by voting conducted among Major League managers and coaches, who were asked to name the players at each position in each league who put up the best seasons at the plate. Voters were not allowed to pick players from their own clubs.

Bruce is the first Reds’ outfielder to win this award since Eric Davis did in 1989.

Mike Leake was a finalist for the pitcher position, but was beaten out by Stephen Strasburg from the Washington Harpers. Mark Sheldon notes the case for Leake:

The one that actually surprised me a little was Strasburg beating out Reds fifth starter Mike Leake. Leake batted .295/.306/.443 with two homers and three RBIs. Strasburg batted .277/.333/.426 with one homer and seven RBIs.

Barry Larkin won the Silver Slugger Award for shortstops nine times. Brandon Phillips won last season. Dusty Baker won twice.

In other award-related news, Christina Kahrl at ESPN offers solid advanced statistical support for Johnny Cueto’s NL Cy Young candidacy. We know that Cueto won’t be winning the award because he isn’t included as one of the three finalists.

19 thoughts on “Jay Bruce wins Silver Slugger Award

  1. Valdez elected free agency. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Jay Bruce and screw the voters for absolutely robbing Leake.

  2. I’m so sad… my 8yr old nephew is a HUGE Jay Bruce fan..he’s his favorite player.. but I think in order to keep in check his disappointment over the Post Season loss .. he has shut off his excitement for the Reds altogether. When I told him Bruce won the Silver Slugger .. his response was.. “I don’t care”. :/

    • I’d say right now the three best players in the NL are Votto, McCutchen, and Braun. But this year

      Posey deserves to win the NL MVP.

      I’m so sad… my 8yr old nephew is a HUGE Jay Bruce fan..he’s his favorite player.. but I think in order to keep in check his disappointment over the Post Season loss .. he has shut off his excitement for the Reds altogether. When I told him Bruce won the Silver Slugger .. his response was.. “I don’t care”.:/

      I think many here know exactly how he feels. Can’t fault him at all. But like Chad tweeted a few days ago, I’m starting to come out of my post season funk. Kids are resilient.

  3. Valdez and Bray both gone, good riddance. The ironic thing is that the Reds should have traded Bray (not Horst) for Valdez, if a trade for Valdez was going to be made at all. (Not that I called it at the time.)

    And with the departure of Bray, the last remnant of THE TRADE is gone. I like Austin Kearns, but it turns out that the Reds traded away little and got back even less.

    • Valdez and Bray both gone, good riddance…….

      I’ve been looking around for details and not really found them. I take it the Reds outrighted both of them off of the 40 man roster and in turn the players elected to become free agents versus accepting minor league assignment???

  4. Mike Leake hit better than Strasburg, just look at their numbers. As usual, the voters aren’t able to focus on the one thing they’re supposed to be voting on.

  5. Congratulations, Jay ! I haven’t had time to check out yet whether he totally deserved it, but as a big fan of his I’m happy for him in any case. It’s clear that managers like him – in addition to his talent, he plays hard, keeps his mouth shut, etc.

  6. PS Wonder how Marty B. feels about Jay winning the Silver Slugger. In the final game of the regular season, Marty lit into Jay for not reaching 100 RBIs “despite numerous opportunities”.

  7. @Love4Reds: PS When I was 8 years old, Vada Pinson was my favorite player. Jay Bruce will still be your nephew’s favorite player, many years from now, and he’ll cherish that 2012 Silver Slugger award.

    • Thanks — it broke my heart a little to hear him say it. Reds Baseball is what he and I bond over. I hope you’re right!

      I know I was beyond excited about it :)

      @Love4Reds: PS When I was 8 years old, Vada Pinson was my favorite player. Jay Bruce will still be your nephew’s favorite player, many years from now, and he’ll cherish that 2012 Silver Slugger award.

  8. I was just looking at the 40 man roster. As far as position players, after Phillips and Votto, Stubbs and Heisey are the next two oldest. Both will be at 28 by opening day. Frazier and Cozart will both be 27 on opening day 2013.

    By comparison, Phillips will be 31 and Votto 29 on opening day 2013. I dare say they had both done a lot more than any of those next 4 guys by the ages the other four will be on opening day 2013.

    Frazier still has a shot to be an impact player. However, the window is closing on Stubbs and Heisey; and, although it is not real popular to say it, if Cozart doesn’t pick it up offensively in 2013, he may turn out to be no more that a short tern place holder for the likes of Gregorius.

  9. This award is interesting to me. Jay Bruce, for me, has always been hovering around stardom, but is simply to inconsistent to be considered a star. But ESPN treats him as a star, the rest of the league sees him up there, I mean Tony LaRussa chose him to be on the All Star team when he was probably the fourth or fifth player on the Reds list of deserving players. People outside of Cincy recognize him as a star. This award says star. The fact he’s always in gold glove discussion says star. He’s been frequenting in season previews the past couple of seasons as some “expert’s” picks for the MVP award. All this says to me that Jay Bruce is a star.

    Yet I always feel like there’s a void with Jay. He leaves something to be desired, but I’m not sure what it is. He hits 30+ homers a year, his average is creeping up to being around .275 for a season, and yet there’s just…a space. When I look back years later, I will say I under appreciated Jay Bruce. Because I do. I go into the season thinking “he has a real chance to turn into one of the greats this year.” And then find myself disappointed when he’s in the top 10 in homers, has a good .OBP and a decent average. I don’t know what it is about the guy, but I’m just left wanting something else.

    I think this one is on me. My expectations rise because I don’t notice what he is: a left handed thumper that strikes fear into opposing pitchers. Will he ever have the average for an MVP season? Maybe, but probably not. I think we’ll see a 40 homer season or two out of him before it’s all said and done. He may even end up in the hall of fame because of his numbers. It’s time I start recognizing what we have in Mr. Bruce, and stop wanting more when there simply isn’t much else to possibly want.

    I know this seems a little personal and soul searchy, but where else can I vent like this if I can’t on my favorite Reds’ blog? Needless to say, I’m glad Jay Bruce is on our side.

    • @hermanbates: You know, I sort of have that same feeling and also wonder why exactly it’s there.

      The only two reasons I have logically decided on is that 1) He just SEEMS to rarely come through in the clutch, and 2) First impressions are hard to overcome… and in Jay’s case, hard to beat.

      With #1, I know it isn’t really an accurate statement because he has come through with clutch hits/plays many, many times, but the nature of baseball is you fail more than you succeed, and especially during his slumps, he seems to fail badly with strikeouts, popouts, etc. We’ve been spoiled by a guy like Votto who is incredibly clutch, and I think it has clouded my judgement on Bruce.

      With #2, it is just hard to get over Jay’s start to his career. Everything thrown to him was hit hard for a week to 10 day period. I’ve never seen anything like it… until he did it again during one of his hot streaks. Then again, and again. He is SO GOOD during his hot spells that it leaves many of us wanting more, and more often.

      The thing about Jay is he’s still what, 25 years old? He’s just now entering the beginning stages of his prime, and his skills are the type that do not slow down as quickly. He does not rely on speed or guile. He’s built to be a very, very good big league player for a long, long time!

  10. I think there are two things behind it. 1) He hasn’t had a season where he “put it all together.” Of course, very few players have a year where they do that. So, one year he average seems down (2011); one year his power seems down (2010); one year his defense seems off (2012). There is always something to complain about if we want to, in other words. 2) His main weakness as a ball player (really his only weakness) is hitting for average. And even though we know batting average is overrated, it still jumps out as us when we evaluate players.

  11. @hermanbates: The whole “Super Star” moniker with Jay Bruce is a bit confusing. We’ve talked about it here a number of times. I personally would not consider him to be a super star. He is one of the better players on a good team though. Adam Dunn was not a super star and offensively Jay is not an Adam Dunn. But he does have more value as a player because of his defensive skills. As star power goes, I’d put Bruce in the same league as a Pat Burell or Nick Swisher. Both are solid players, but neither are household names despite playing on the east coast. The only three stars the Reds have (had) are Votto, Phillips, and Rolen. Cueto is the best pitcher no one has ever heard of and Hanigan is the best catcher no one has ever of.

  12. Homer Bailey and Jay Bruce both have the same problem – as first round draft picks and the team’s former top prospects many fans have extremely high expectations for both and won’t accept less than super stardom. Jay Bruce, his homerun and RBI totals have gone up every year, but fans don’t give him credit. He was a top candidate for a Gold Glove and won the Silver Slugger, but who cares about the Silver Slugger Award? And being a finalist for the Gold Glove is just a nice way of saying that he didn’t win. He’s very streaky and inconsistent – sometimes he’ll carry the team for a week at a time, every year he’ll go through slumps where fans want him benched or traded – after all, he’s worthless, 0 for whatever, will never hit anything ever again.

    Other guys on the other hand… Brandon Phillips, acquired as a washed up guy from another team. Todd Frazier, where’d he come from, nobody expected anything from him. Joey Votto and Zack Cozart, bums. Hanigan and Cueto, not even drafted, bums. Mike Leake, advertised all along as a bottom of the rotation starter rather than an ace, a bum. Arroyo, not enough velocity to be good, bum.

    I feel bad for guys like Chapman, Latos, Bailey, and Bruce who have really high expectations placed upon them, which in some cases they’re not even realistic goals to reach. If Chapman enters the rotation he’ll finally face the definitive test – either he pitches like an ace and contends for the Cy Young Award or he’ll become a disappointment. No pressure, but Latos better improve upon 2012 or fans will send more hate mail to his wife. Bailey better continue to improve or he’ll start getting booed again. Jay Bruce, he faces criticism no matter what he does because whatever he’s done isn’t ever good enough for anyone.

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