2011 Reds / How Valuable Is...

How Valuable Is…Jay Bruce?

We’ve discussed Bronson Arroyo and Scott Rolen and Jonny Gomes. Now let’s discuss a player who is on the rise, rather than one in a decline.

Jay Bruce. In 2010, Bruce started out brilliantly, played so poorly for a while that some mouth-breathers suggested he be sent to AAA, then returned from injury to excite everyone with his hitting. Defensively, he was the most deserving Gold Glove winner on the Reds roster, in my opinion. Best defensive right fielder in baseball.

What is the Nation’s collective wisdom regarding Jay? Is he overrated, underrated, or just rated? What is his future with the Reds, and what should his future be?

26 thoughts on “How Valuable Is…Jay Bruce?

  1. Underrated. Hopefully the Reds get a legit long-term deal worked out with him and he’s wearing a Reds uniform for a good long time. He is the face of the franchise and is better with the media than Votto is. He’s on his way to being a leader too.

    • Underrated. Hopefully the Reds get a legit long-term deal worked out with him and he’s wearing a Reds uniform for a good long time. He is the face of the franchise and is better with the media than Votto is. He’s on his way to being a leader too.

      Definitely. I’ve been a big Bruce fan since Sarasota, and it’s great to see him “coming into his own” as a player and a team guy. I think he and Votto have been good for each other on and off the field, with Votto relaxing more in media situations and Bruce taking all aspects of his game seriously.

      I’m looking forward to both of them being superstars. 8) 8)

  2. Considering that there were plenty of people screaming to send him to the minors in the middle of a season in which he was worth 5.3 fWAR, I don’t think I’m going out on a limb at all to say that Bruce is absurdly underrated by Reds fans. Probably even more underrated than Adam Dunn was at this point.

  3. I’m in the just-rated group. Jay seems to fall in love with hitting home runs which leads to long streaks of futility with the strikeouts piling up. Hopefully, as he matures this will level off as he has a tremendous up-side given he is already as good on the defensive side as any right fielder in the NL.

  4. We really won’t know until Jay puts an entire season together but when he does it will be spectacular!!!

    • @Y-City Jim:
      Maybe I’m missing something, but how is a 127 OPS+ over 573 plate appearances not putting an entire season together? At 23 years old no less. With plus defense to boot.

      Because career-wise, his bat takes a vacation in June and July. I don’t expect that to continue but we have seen the complete Jay Bruce yet.

  5. Bruce certainly had a good season, and the best is yet to come. While there is some risk involved, I believe getting him signed long term is just as important, and maybe more so, than Joey Votto. If his skill set ever catches up to his talent, some fans might be saying “Joey who?” And that’s assuming that Votto is still a Red as well.

    • Bruce certainly had a good season, and the best is yet to come. While there is some risk involved, I believe getting him signed long term is just as important, and maybe more so, than Joey Votto. If his skill set ever catches up to his talent, some fans might be saying “Joey who?” And that’s assuming that Votto is still a Red as well.

      I agree. I actually think that getting Bruce locked up is this offseason’s most important thing.

  6. I’d consider Bruce to be underrated. I mean we know he played good defense but when you actually stack up the stats he played the best right field in all of the MLB. Not to go off topic but it’s pretty sad when the best defensive LF, CF and RF don’t even win gold gloves(not that they really matter).

    Bruce had some issues in regards to the wrist injury but it seems like it’s behind him and hopefully he continues to improve offensively while keeping his stellar defense.

    • But will Marty ever quit riding the kid? He can’t hit in the clutch…everyone knows that.

      🙄 probably not. 🙄

  7. @Y-City Jim:

    Yeah – this is an area where that influence from Votto I mentioned should translate into more consistency at the plate, if all goes according to plan.
    Also, didn’t Bruce mention Jim Edmonds having an impact on his hitting, or am I dreaming?

  8. It would have interesting to see if the Reds could have gotten say Dejesus from teh Royals to put along with Stubbs and Bruce how much better that might have made both Bruce and Stubbs, but with the Royals sending him to the A’s for a couple of pitchers we will never know.

    • It would have interesting to see if the Reds could have gotten say Dejesus from teh Royals to put along with Stubbs and Bruce how much better that might have made both Bruce and Stubbs, but with the Royals sending him to the A’s for a couple of pitchers we will never know.

      I agree with you on that one. I thought he was a very good fit in LF, and I think we could have put a better package together than that.

  9. I think Bruce is an up and coming star that has been criticized fairly and praised fairly. He is outstanding defensively without a doubt and has plenty of pop in his bat, but Marty is exactly right. With 2 outs and runners in scoring position he is terrible. He has to learn to hit defensively. You see Votto with strange looking swings everyday just trying to foul off 2 strike pitches, but not Bruce. He has the same approach at the plate on every pitch – long ball or stike out. His average will improve and he can help this team win ballgames offensively as well as defensively. I am a big fan of Bruce and Votto, but we need to make it a priority to resign Votto before any other player period. What if the Reds didn’t trade Hamilton for Volquez and we had a front end of a mature Stubbs, Phillips, Votto, Hamilton, Rolen and Bruce. That would be awesome. Then we would only be an ace away from a ligit late October run.

    Go REDLEGS!!!!!

  10. I’d say he’s vastly underrated. The strides he made at the plate in 2010 were quite impressive.

    As Chad so perfectly described them, the mouth-breathers needed to (and still need to) take a chill-pill with the “SEND HIM TO AAA!” nonsense. It’s no coincidence that he had a power resurgence late in the season; his wrist injury from 2009 clearly sapped some of the strength his swing generates. It does seem that the final two months of last season were proof that he is pretty much completely healed.

    Here’s a great article from Fangraphs describing Jay’s batted ball distance since the injury.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/jay-bruce-and-batted-ball-distance/

  11. There’s always that chance that we can still get Dejesus. Maybe Beane just grabbed him up so he could flip him for some good minor leaguers. There’s always that chance.

  12. At this point fans (not just Reds fans) have high expectations of Jay, and those expectations are realistic, so in that sense he’s neither underrated nor overrated.

    He was wildly underrated in July, when people were calling him “Pose” and questioning his ability to hit ML pitching. Even before the July slump, people were questioning his ability to hit LHed ML pitching, because after all he hadn’t so far.

    In any case it doesn’t matter how people rate him. Either way he’s a very good player who’s evolving into a great one.

    • He was wildly underrated in July, when people were calling him “Pose”

      There was only one guy calling him Pose, and I think just about all of us thought that was ridiculous.

  13. I think Bruce is incredibly valuable to this team. Excellent in the field and he has shown that he will probably develop into an excellent hitter, too.

    pinson343 said it well – “he’s a very good player who’s evolving into a great one”.

  14. @RiverCity Redleg: Some of us thought it was ridiculous, but I don’t think you could say “just about all of us.” I remember feeling that I was in a minority, staying positive about Jay.
    And one person invented Pose, but several were using it, enough for several readers to ask: “Who is Pose ?”

    Either way he was underrated in July, the point is just that “:under ” and “over” rated vary with what a player has done lately.

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