Thanks to Mike Vanderwood of the Dayton Dragons, I was given media credentials for yesterday’s game and had the chance to spend a few minutes talking to the Reds 2005 #1 draft pick, Jay Bruce.
4/8/06 interview with Jay Bruce in the dugout at 5th/3rd Field in Dayton, OH.
Q: What’s been your biggest adjustment to pro ball?
A: I think playing every day. Learning how to take care of your body. Learning your limits. Other than that, just getting up every day and playing hard.
Q: Did you have any problems going from aluminum to wood bats?
A: No, I actually like wood a lot better. I think if you hit it on the sweet spot, it goes just as far or farther. Anytime you center up the ball, no matter what kind of bat, it’ll go.
Q: I know it’s only been a couple of games, but what have you seen as the difference between the Gulf Coast League and the Midwest League?
A: Well, one thing, the fans. It’s a lot better atmosphere.
The pitchers. They have an idea. The GCL, you get a lot of guys that are working on things, need more control, stuff like that. Here, they know what they’re doing. They have an idea of what they’re trying to do in what counts. You just have to be a better hitter all around.
Q: Do you feel any pressure being the #1 draft pick?
A: Not at all. If I was the #1 draft pick or an undrafted free agent I’d go out there and play the same exact way.
Q: Do you have any goals for the year? Would you like to get through Dayton and get to Sarasota?
A: No, Another thing I’ve learned in professional ball is that I can’t wish to be at a higher level. I have to go out and play every single day, I have to get my at-bats and play well, and everything else will take care of itself.
As far as goals, just be consistent. Also, stay healthy. 140 games is a long season.
Q: You had an ankle problem in ST?
A: Yes, I had an ankle problem, it’s fine now. Just rolled it.
Q: Do you see yourself staying in center field through your career?
A: I don’t have a preference. Wherever I can help the team I’m with the most. The way I can get to the major leagues the quickest. It’s all about that, in the big picture. I’d love to stay in CF, but they have different plans for me, they have different plans for me.
Q: Do you have much experience in the corners?
A: I do. I played a lot of RF in Billings. I don’t have much in left; I played 1 or 2 games in high school because they needed somebody in LF. I think with practice I’d be fine at it, just like everything else.
Q: What’s the difference (between center and one of the corners)?
A: Right field, the ball slices a little bit. Comes at you a little different off the bat. But, the same thing with center field and you have a lot more ground to cover. So, there’s good and bad with both. I can definitely improve in both positions also.
Thank you for your time. I really appreciate it.
I’ve been a Reds fan since the late ’60’s, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in ’84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in ’90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.