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Cyclone792
08-10-2007, 07:19 PM
Let's have some fun with this, shall we?

Select all that apply in the poll that's coming ...

Jay Bruce will undoubtedly make his major league debut at some point in the very near future with the Reds, whether it's this season or next season. Despite him not having appeared in one major league game, there already there seems to be an expectation level for Bruce to help the Reds offensively when he arrives in the big leagues.

Some people seemingly expect Bruce to become a star, and that begs the question ... if Jay Bruce is merely "good" but not a star, will those people be disappointed in him? Will the torches and pitchforks crowd run him out of town when that magical six years of service time creeps up and he suddenly gets expensive? If in 2035 some band isn't recognizing Jay Bruce as being a cultural hero by penning lyrics about him in a popular song (ala Simon and Garfunkel's Mrs. Robinson referencing Joe DiMaggio), will you be disappointed?

Where have you gone, Jay F'n Bruce?
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you (woo woo woo)
What's that you say, Mr. Brennamen?
Cincy's Boss has left and gone away? (hey hey hey - hey hey hey)

Six years ago Adam Dunn made his long anticipated debut with the Reds, and now six years later it almost seems as if there's a large fanbase that's disgruntled, frustrated, and disappointed with what Dunn's accomplished so far in his career, despite him developing already into one of the greatest sluggers this franchise has ever seen. Will that happen to Jay Bruce too?

How high up the pedestal of expectations will you raise Jay Bruce? And if Jay Bruce cannot live up to those possibly lofty expectations, how quickly will you tear him down, boo him off the field, and smash him into pieces?

GAC
08-10-2007, 07:21 PM
I see him as Jr's replacement after next year in RF. He could be a late season callup in '08, just to get a "taste"; but I think they are looking more to '09.

Cyclone792
08-10-2007, 07:24 PM
I see him as Jr's replacement after next year in RF. He could be a late season callup in '08, just to get a "taste"; but I think they are looking more to '09.

Career, GAC, career! Not just next season or in 2009. I'm talkin' about when it's all said and done and Bruce is walkin' away from the game (or leaving the Reds).

jojo
08-10-2007, 07:30 PM
He's Kid Dynamite......

pahster
08-10-2007, 07:36 PM
I'd be dissapointed if he proved to only be an average outfielder. Average has it's uses, but it would be a let down. If he can be above average, I'll be satisfied. Anything else is just gravy.

That said, it certainly appears as if he's capable of playing better than a great many of his peers.

GAC
08-10-2007, 07:39 PM
Career, GAC, career! Not just next season or in 2009. I'm talkin' about when it's all said and done and Bruce is walkin' away from the game (or leaving the Reds).

I'm not into projecting (guess work) what a player, espcially a minor league player, is going to do career-wise once he reaches the majors. ;)

KronoRed
08-10-2007, 09:35 PM
Above average would be find with me, that said I hope he K's a lot to make people angry :evil:

dougdirt
08-10-2007, 09:43 PM
Im not sure what to vote, but my expectations of him are very high.

RedsBaron
08-10-2007, 11:20 PM
I expect him to bat 1.000 in his first season, and then improve.
I expect him to never strike out and to be scrappy.
I expect him to play all nine positions in the field. At the same time.
I expect him to walk on water, leap tall buildings at a single bound, heal the sick, raise the dead, cure cancer, end terrorism, be faster than a speeding locomotive, be bulletproof, have Marty love him, and always sign contracts to play for the Reds at below-market rates.

Chip R
08-10-2007, 11:22 PM
I would be disappointed if he wasn't the new Thug Life.

Superdude
08-11-2007, 01:04 AM
This poll is rigged. How can I hope for an American baseball hero like Jay Bruce to "become" an American baseball hero? :confused:

RedsBaron
08-11-2007, 07:11 AM
Chuck Norris is scared of Jay Bruce.

wheels
08-11-2007, 07:43 AM
Anything short of Bruce becoming the next Jim Coombs would be a major disappointment.

GAC
08-11-2007, 07:47 AM
I just hope we can retain him when he does become the next Jim Edmonds (as I've heard some "experts" make that comparison).

RedsBaron
08-11-2007, 08:29 AM
I just hope we can retain him when he does become the next Jim Edmonds (as I've heard some "experts" make that comparison).

Whoa! I expect Bruce to walk on water and be perfect, but let's not get carried away. "The next Jim Edmonds"? You need to control your expectations. Let's be realistic, shall we?

Highlifeman21
08-11-2007, 08:52 AM
I just hope we can retain him when he does become the next Jim Edmonds (as I've heard some "experts" make that comparison).

George Grande wouldn't know what to do with himself.

He might actually root for the Reds if Jay Bruce becomes the next Jim Edmonds.

KronoRed
08-11-2007, 01:18 PM
Nah, Bruce seems like a level headed kid, he won't milk catches to get on ESPN ;)

mth123
08-11-2007, 01:38 PM
Jim Callis from Baseball America was on XM this morning and was talking about a few prosepcts. Regarding Bruce he said the following:

- With Upton up, Bruce is the best prospect in all of the minor leagues now.

- Even though he is now regarded as the best prospect, Bruce is still way underated in general.

- He probably won't be on the 40 Man until Spring because the Reds don't have to protect him yet for the rule 5 draft (so don't expect a September call-up).

cincrazy
08-12-2007, 12:36 AM
In this ballpark, with that swing, he better be way more than average. I expect him to consistently be one of the top OF's in the NL. However, I'm not going to engage in any Hall of Fame talk about a guy that hasn't played a single inning in the majors yet. But I do expect him to be a multiple All Star.

creek14
08-12-2007, 09:23 PM
There aren't enough choices.

OnBaseMachine
08-12-2007, 09:30 PM
I expect him to put up quite a few .950-1.000+ OPS seasons in the major leagues. The kid is great at everything he does...I honestly expect him to become the first Cincinnati Reds player to win an MVP since Barry Larkin in 1995, that's if Josh Hamilton doesn't do it first. :D

ochre
08-13-2007, 05:49 PM
Jim Callis from Baseball America was on XM this morning and was talking about a few prosepcts. Regarding Bruce he said the following:


- Even though he is now regarded as the best prospect, Bruce is still way underated in general.


better than best? It seems Mr. Callis posts here under the "RedsBaron" moniker...

:)

Highlifeman21
08-13-2007, 09:37 PM
Everytime Jay Bruce comes to the plate, they need to pump "Real American" over the PA.

If you aren't familiar with the song, it was the long-time intro music for Hulk Hogan.

RedsBaron
08-13-2007, 10:16 PM
better than best? It seems Mr. Callis posts here under the "RedsBaron" moniker...

:)

Naw, that's not me. I expect Bruce to be the bestest, even better than just best. ;)
To be serious, I think everyone's rosy expectations for Jay Bruce are similar to the expectations that a lot of people had a half dozen years ago about Dunn and Kearns. I hope Bruce has a terrific career, and I hope he does it in a Reds uniform, but he has yet to take his first swing in a major league game.

Cyclone792
08-14-2007, 12:30 AM
To be serious, I think everyone's rosy expectations for Jay Bruce are similar to the expectations that a lot of people had a half dozen years ago about Dunn and Kearns. I hope Bruce has a terrific career, and I hope he does it in a Reds uniform, but he has yet to take his first swing in a major league game.

Great points, RB, and that's exactly what I was reminded about too. The hoopla surrounding Dunn (and to a lesser extent, Kearns) seemed to be out of hand a half dozen years ago. Griffey was going to be flanked in the corners by Dunn and Kearns for years to come and hope was going to be reborn in 2003 as GABP opened up. Except ... we all know how that's turned out, but nobody can blame Dunn because he's been the one guy who's lived up to his end of the bargain ... well unless we'd ask Marty and his minions.

Perhaps this would be a more interesting poll question, though when (if?) Dunn ever leaves the Reds for good, I'm sure it'll be asked ... "Overall, are you disappointed with Adam Dunn's career as a Cincinnati Red thus far?"

I wonder what that answer would be right now, and I wonder what that answer will look like in a half dozen years when it's asked about Jay Bruce.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/stark_jayson/1358251.html


Dunn's deal: He's the real deal

By Jayson Stark
ESPN.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Predicting the future is a messy line of work, unless you're employed by the National Enquirer. So we'll be the first to say we don't know quite what the world will look like in 10 years, except that it will have even more cable channels.

But we do know this about what we'll find in the year 2012:

If a man named Adam Dunn isn't making more home run trots than any other human on earth, we can't wait to see the guy who out-trots him.

"People just don't hit the ball that hard," says his GM, the Reds' Jim Bowden.

"The one thing I know about Adam Dunn," says Tigers pitcher Steve Sparks, "is, he's got a LOUUUUDDDD bat."

"He might be like Bugs Bunny one day," says teammate Jose Rijo. "He might hit a ball and break it in half."

We could go on like this for about an hour. But you get the picture.

You will run across very few baseball players who have the kind of buzz following them around -- at age 22, after just two months in the big leagues -- that Adam Dunn has.

But then, who's the last 22-year-old coming off a 51-homer season (12 in 39 games in Double-A, 20 in 55 games in Triple-A, 19 in 66 games in the major leagues)?

Well, we'll tell you who. The last known player to hit 50 home runs in any professional season at a younger age than Dunn was the not-so-legendary Calvin Felix -- in 1947. And he did it, according to SABR home run historian Bob McConnell, for the Las Vegas Wranglers, of the late, great Class C Sunset League. Felix was 21 that year, with a birthday four days earlier than Dunn's.

Obviously, Calvin Felix never did turn into Babe Ruth. He never even turned into Junior Felix, for that matter. But Adam Dunn's rampage was slightly more high-profile -- because he divided his home runs among the three highest levels of the game, three levels that separate the real deals from the Calvin Felixes.

In fact, according to McConnell, Dunn last year became the first player ever to hit 10 or more homers at two different minor-league levels and in the big leagues in the same season. So we're hereby acclaiming those 51 home runs to be 100 percent approved as legitimate.

We'll even sanction the two more he hit in the Triple-A All-Star game and one more in the Futures Game. Which makes 54 homers in one year. Phew.

So no wonder there's that buzz every time Dunn heads for the plate, every time his name comes up, every time he even takes BP. Nobody doubts that last year, for this guy, was just the beginning.

"The thing is that, unfortunately, we look at him like he's a 10-year veteran," Bowden says. "We look at him like he's already a great player, and he'll just keep getting better. I remember Dave Parker when he was young in the Pittsburgh organization, where it wasn't a matter of, 'he was young.' It was just a matter of, 'he was going to do it.' That's how we feel about Adam.

"These are guys you don't see very often. They come along once every 25 years. Very few guys come up and you look at them, after one year in the big leagues, and say they're going to hit 40 or 50 or 60 home runs. But you do with Adam."

Reds manager Bob Boone routinely compares Dunn with the great bashers of our era -- with McGwire, with Sosa, with Bonds. And we remind you: He is talking about a man who has played exactly 66 major-league games.

For some 22-year-olds, that size boulder on their shoulder might feel as if it weighs more than Mount Kilimanjaro. But this isn't your average 22-year-old. He may feel the buzz, but he hasn't been swallowed by it.

"I try not to think about it," Dunn says. "It's one of those things you can't really avoid. But there are two ways to look at it. You can look at it as bad, as a negative pressure. Or you can look at it as a positive. And that's how I try to look at it. I try to look at it as positive pressure. It's not a bad thing. It means people expect things out of me. And I like that."

There isn't much Dunn doesn't have going for him. Start with size: at 6-foot-6, 240 pounds, with biceps the size of an SUV, he makes Mark McGwire look like Rafael Furcal. ("He's huge," says Phillies outfielder Doug Glanville. "His arms are so big, I bet a couple of times on his follow-through, he's hit the right fielder in the face.")

Next, let's move along to selectivity. Dunn comes from a high school (New Caney, Texas, HS) where his coach was a Billy Beane-esque take-a-walk fanatic. So two straight seasons now, Dunn has walked 100 times. In his four professional seasons, he has never had an on-base percentage under .400. How many 22-year-olds can say that?

But Adam Dunn has something going for him beyond the basics -- size and strength, discipline and athleticism. And everyone who has ever been around him talks about it.

"He's amazing," says Rijo. "Not for his talent. For his attitude. He's always smiling. He doesn't have a bad day. Every day's the same for him, and that's something you don't see in a young player. Some guys get a big head when they're that good. This guy is real."

"He's so down-to-earth," says Reds closer Danny Graves. "There's not one ounce of prima dona in him."

"He's so refreshing, he reminds you of guys from another era," says Reds coach Ray Knight. "He's just got a special joy about playing."

Maybe that's because Dunn almost didn't play baseball at all. Only four years ago, he had a football scholarship to play quarterback at Texas. So as the baseball draft approached, he let those scouting directors know football was the path he had in mind.

But Reds scout Johnny Almaraz developed enough rapport with Dunn to know that somewhere inside that quarterback's body, there was the heart of a baseball player. So the Reds took a shot and drafted him in the second round.

By the time spring practice rolled around, the Texas coaches were talking about moving Dunn to tight end. Little did they know that was a decision that would produce not the next Kellen Winslow but the next Larry Walker.

Dunn was so upset about that tight-end talk, he asked his agent to contact the Reds. And a baseball star was about to be born.

"I knew eventually I'd have to give up one or the other," Dunn says. "I didn't know at the time which one. Now I'm just glad everything worked out like it did."

One reason it has worked out is that Dunn has attacked baseball with a football player's fury, but also with a baseball player's staying power. The biggest obstacle most football players never get over when they try baseball is adjusting from a one-day-a-week sport to a seven-day-a-week sport. For Dunn, that has never been a problem.

"Deion Sanders -- and I love him -- was a football player playing baseball," Bowden says. "Bo Jackson was a football player playing baseball. Adam Dunn was a baseball player playing football. He has the instincts for the game, and he loves the day-to-day grind. He's a 162-game guy. He's not a once-a-week guy."

"They're two different sports," Dunn says. "They're two different emotions. If you get all jacked up to play baseball, you just end up trying to do too much. Baseball's all about staying on an even keel. It's not about gearing up to play 12 or 14 or 16 games. In baseball, we've got 162 of those babies."

And who knows what we might get to see when Adam Dunn plays 162 of those babies in the big leagues for the first time? It's a scary thought -- for the pitchers.

"When he walks up there, he's got a presence," says Phillies pitcher Brandon Duckworth. "He's not like, 'Ho-hum, I'm in the box.' He's got total focus, like he's ready to take your head off. And it seems like every time got a hit, it went out of the park. I know I jammed him a couple of times, and he still flew out to the warning track. I watched that and went, 'Whoah.' I have nightmares about that guy sometimes."

With reason. Just the two months Dunn spent in the major leagues last year produced a prime-time highlight reel.

Who gets intentionally walked in their first game in the big leagues? Adam Dunn did -- by the Marlins.

Dunn, who bats left-handed, shrugs that off as just a left-left, right-right maneuver. ("It didn't matter who was up," he says.) But Rijo laughs at that modesty.

"Sometimes, minor-league numbers don't count," Rijo says. "His numbers -- they count. They knew."

But there was more. There was the 425-foot home run Dunn hit in his first game ever in Cincinnati. There were the home runs he hit in eight straight series in his first month in the major leagues. There were the 12 home runs he hit in his first full calendar month, August -- most by any NL rookie in any month in the history of the league.

And there was the Oct. 2 space shot Dunn launched off the Cubs' Kyle Farnsworth. It was last seen heading for a rooftop across the street from Wrigley Field.

"I think that one," Graves speculated, "landed on a balcony, in somebody's club sandwich."

And, finally, there was NFL Films' favorite Adam Dunn highlight -- the Jerome Bettis thumping he put on Padres catcher Wiki Gonzalez to win an Aug. 5 collision at the plate.

"You know, he talks a lot in here about his football career," Graves chuckles, "about how awesome he was in high school. We were always giving him crap about it -- until he took out Wiki Gonzalez. After that, we couldn't give him crap about that anymore."

Just about everyone in Cincinnati has an Adam Dunn moment in their memory banks -- everyone, that is, but Dunn. He's too busy looking ahead at all the stuff he wants to do better to start looking back on all the stuff he's already done.

"The way I look at it, I don't have to duplicate last year," Dunn says. "I know that was one of those years that doesn't happen very often. I'm realistic about that. But I'm not going to be satisfied to hit .200, with five homers, either. I know I need to do better than that."

So he's working these days on becoming "the perfect player," Knight says. It isn't his goal to become Babe Ruth. It's his goal, Dunn says, to become Larry Walker -- "because he does it all."

And to become Larry Walker, Dunn figures he needs to get better at just about everything -- defense, baserunning, contact, consistency. "I could sit here all day and tell you everything I need to work on," he says. "And I know it will take time."

The Reds will wait for this guy to tie the whole package together, because there's no package like it anywhere.

"Just because we talk about him hitting 40 or 50 or 60 homers doesn't mean that this year, we wouldn't be shocked if he only hit 20," Bowden says, "and then the next year bounce right back to 40, 50, 60. There are always adjustments for young players, and the league adjusts to them.

"But when we talk about him in the same breath as the Sosas or the Bonds or the Griffeys, I don't think it's a stretch to project that some day, his name will belong with all of them."

If a general manager said that about any other 22-year-old, the most polite word you would think of is "hype." When this general manager says it about this 22-year-old, the word we think of is, "absolutely."

See ya in 10 years.


Young And Powerful
How unprecedented was Adam Dunn's 51-homer season, at age 21? According to SABR's esteemed home run historian, Bob McConnell, it was only the third known 50-homer season by a 21-year-old (or younger) at any professional level. The others:

Tony Lazzeri, 1925 -- 60 HR for the Salt Lake City Bees of the old Pacific Coast League at age 21. But cue the asterisk: That team played 197 games.

Calvin Feliz, 1947 -- 52 HR for the Las Vegas Wranglers of the Class C Sunset League at age 21.

One other Dunn feats last year was unprecedented, according to McConnell:

He was the first player to reach double digits in homers in two different minor leagues and the major leagues in the same year.

And for those looking ahead, here are the most HRs at age 22 in the majors:

1. Joe DiMaggio, 1937, 46
2. Johnny Bench, 1970, 45
3. Juan Gonzlaez, 1992, 43
4. Alex Rodriguez, 1998, 42
5. Eddie Mathews, 1954, 40
6. Boog Powell, 1964, 39
7. Vladimir Guerrero, 1998, 38
8. Jimmie Foxx, 1930, 37
9. Ted Williams, 1941, 37
10. Bob Horner, 1980, 35

Note: Albert Pujols hit 37 HRs last year at age 21.
--Jayson Stark

nate
08-14-2007, 07:06 AM
I think its amazing that Dunn has hit 228 at age 27 and people want to run him out of town. I'm not saying he'll keep up his current HR rate / season but if he did he would end up with over 600 for his career if he plays another 10 years.

That's not good?

bucksfan2
08-14-2007, 08:55 AM
I think its amazing that Dunn has hit 228 at age 27 and people want to run him out of town. I'm not saying he'll keep up his current HR rate / season but if he did he would end up with over 600 for his career if he plays another 10 years.

That's not good?

"But he's not a run producer" Marty Brennamin

nate
08-14-2007, 09:19 AM
"But he's not a run producer" Marty Brennamin

I wonder if Marty will change his tune when Adam hits his next 228...

...against the Reds.

BRM
08-14-2007, 09:19 AM
Above average would be find with me, that said I hope he K's a lot to make people angry :evil:

You just can't wait to hear Marty lambast the kid when he K's with RISP, can you?

Steve4192
08-14-2007, 09:24 AM
My expectation is that Bruce will help lead the Reds to the World Series. I couldn't care less if he ends up as the greatest player to ever don a MLB uniform or as a footnote in baseball history. All I want is another World Series trophy for the Reds.

I'll be perfectly happy if Bruce turns in a Billy Hatcher type of career, as long as he produces Billy Hatcher type results in the World Series.

KronoRed
08-14-2007, 02:16 PM
You just can't wait to hear Marty lambast the kid when he K's with RISP, can you?

Nope, because the hype is already insane, he better win the triple crown or else :cool:

cumberlandreds
08-14-2007, 02:37 PM
I expect Bruce to win Rookie of Year,MVP and Cy Young award in his first year and then get better! ;)

Cyclone792
05-26-2008, 06:57 PM
With Bruce now coming up, what say you, RZ?

reds44
05-26-2008, 07:06 PM
If he could be above average and make a few all-star games I would be more than happy.

Raisor
05-26-2008, 07:09 PM
I voted "American Hero".

I'm hard to please.

Degenerate39
05-26-2008, 07:09 PM
Just needs to do about what he did in Triple A ;)

Spring~Fields
05-26-2008, 07:21 PM
I don't have any expectations, too soon.

I do hope that he provides the fans especially those of us on Redszone with something to appreciate.

membengal
05-26-2008, 07:39 PM
Be better than Corey Patterson. That alone will please me for 2008 in terms of what I expect from him.

Ron Madden
05-26-2008, 07:41 PM
Be better than Corey Patterson. That alone will please me for 2008 in terms of what I expect from him.

If he got HBP once a week he'd be better than Patterson.

;)

membengal
05-26-2008, 07:45 PM
Yup. Happily for the Bruce, at least when it comes to me, the expectations are wonderfully meetable...

flyer85
05-26-2008, 07:55 PM
for the moment I will take an improvement over Corey Patterson. I don't even care if Dusty bats him leadoff.