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FIRELEFT
09-05-2007, 12:19 PM
1. Jay Bruce, Triple-A Louisville (Reds)

Rumor has it Bruce is our 2007 Minor League Player of the Year, but we'll never tell.

Well, at least not until Friday. Bruce started the season in high Class A, spent just two weeks in Double-A and finished it in the International League. Who cares if he wasn't called up? Bruce finished second in the minors to high Class A Lancaster's Zach Daeges in extra-base hits with 80. We should point out that Daeges spent all year in the hitter-friendly California League and is three years older than Bruce . . .

The 20-year-old Bruce finished the year at Louisville despite the Reds originally envisioning his promotion to Triple-A to be brief. Bruce also garners constant comparisons to Larry Walker, which he automatically deflects.

"If you don't pan out to be Larry Walker, then everyone was wrong," Bruce said. "If I'm a totally different player, everyone was wrong. Larry Walker was one of the best players of his time--great player, does it all. There's not too many players out there like that, so just to be mentioned in the same breath, same sentence and to be even closely compared to him at all is an honor.

"But you have to take it for what it's worth and I have to be Jay Bruce. There are definitely things I need to work on if I'm going to be a productive major league player."

One of those things is cutting down the strikeouts. Bruce whiffed 135 times over three levels this season after striking out 106 times in the Midwest League last year.

"That's just not acceptable for me," Bruce said. "I had 106 last year, but that was in a lot more at-bats. But this year had been a little different in regards to moving around so much and having to make adjustments. There's a learning curve, but I don't want to be a guy who strikes out a lot--even if I'm a 'power' guy. As I play more, I think it's going to get better."

In 187 Triple-A at-bats, Bruce batted .305/.358/.567 with 11 homers for the Bats.

I just like this guy.

RedsManRick
09-05-2007, 12:29 PM
I'm still in disbelief -- there's no way we've got a guy this good, this young, with his head on so straight.

dougdirt
09-05-2007, 12:35 PM
Rick, I don't hate to tell you this, but yes, we do have that guy :thumbup:

Benihana
09-05-2007, 12:35 PM
where's Johnny?

New Fever
09-05-2007, 12:35 PM
He was also the 12th pick, that was just a great selection.

dougdirt
09-05-2007, 12:36 PM
where's Johnny?

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeres Johnny!

http://www.medaloffreedom.com/JohnnyCarson.jpg

Wow, sorry, but it was the first thing that popped into my mind.

lollipopcurve
09-05-2007, 05:01 PM
It should be noted that two Red Sox first-rounders -- Craig Hansen and Daniel Bard, both bat-missing college pitchers -- were among those listed as having the worst years. Ditto for ultra-selective "polished" hitter Matt Sulentic, taken last year in the first round by Oakland.

Goes to show you -- no ideology or organization has the baseball draft all figured out.

Aronchis
09-05-2007, 05:09 PM
I don't get the Walker comparisons. Jay is more a free swinger that makes good contact. Walker was a control hitter.

GoReds33
09-05-2007, 05:09 PM
Did any of you guys catch his interview on FSN when he was first drafted? He was a very respectable guy. I like to see that we have young guys that know where they came from. Good luck to this kid.

kcjones
09-05-2007, 05:12 PM
It should be noted that two Red Sox first-rounders -- Craig Hansen and Daniel Bard, both bat-missing college pitchers -- were among those listed as having the worst years. Ditto for ultra-selective "polished" hitter Matt Sulentic, taken last year in the first round by Oakland.

Goes to show you -- no ideology or organization has the baseball draft all figured out.
and where are they now?

dougdirt
09-05-2007, 05:30 PM
I don't get the Walker comparisons. Jay is more a free swinger that makes good contact. Walker was a control hitter.

Walker had under 50 walks and over 95 strikeouts in his first 3 full seasons at the age of 23-25. He was a free swinger the first few years in the majors.... then he turned into what you remember him as.

Eric_Davis
09-05-2007, 08:36 PM
I don't get the comparisons, either. Bruce isn't a high average hitter, which Walker was.

OnBaseMachine
09-05-2007, 08:37 PM
I don't get the comparisons, either. Bruce isn't a high average hitter, which Walker was.

Umm, Jay Bruce hit .320 this season.

Eric_Davis
09-05-2007, 08:38 PM
I hope he'll never be anything like Larry Walker. The guy could rarely play 3/4th's of a season ever.

OnBaseMachine
09-05-2007, 08:40 PM
I hope he'll never be anything like Larry Walker. The guy could rarely play 3/4th's of a season ever.

Larry Walker was a MVP type hitters for many years. Yeah, he got hurt a lot but he was a great player. If Jay Bruce hits anything like Walker he will win some MVP awards for the Reds.

Eric_Davis
09-05-2007, 08:40 PM
Umm, Jay Bruce hit .320 this season.

That's not high enough. Walker would hit .350, .360.

Bruce's minor league average is .299, and he hit .304 at Louisville this year.

OnBaseMachine
09-05-2007, 08:44 PM
That's not high enough. Walker would hit .350, .360.

Bruce's minor league average is .299, and he hit .304 at Louisville this year.

I thought we went over this a few months ago? Remember that post where I showed named many superstars who didn't hit many homers in the minors but then went on to to hit hundreds upon hundreds in the majors? Apparently you forgot. Prospects don't just step in and hit .350 with 50 homers in the minors. Their bodies are still filling out and getting stronger among other things while in the minors.

Eric_Davis
09-05-2007, 08:44 PM
I see him more like Dave Parker, without the cocaine. Parker was a career .290 hitter in the Majors. Bruce could have a couple of peak years like Parker where he hits in the .330's, but overall, not a high average hitter like Walker. I think he'll stay healthy more like Parker than like Walker.

Grande Donkey
09-05-2007, 08:45 PM
That's not high enough. Walker would hit .350, .360.

Have you ever seen Walkers minor league stats? I doubt it. Click action right here
(http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/W/Larry-Walker.shtml)

Grande Donkey
09-05-2007, 08:47 PM
Jay Bruces .299 looks a lot better than Walkers .259 in the Minors.

Eric_Davis
09-05-2007, 08:49 PM
Bruce has about the same speed as Parker. Walker was slow as molasses. He'd hit 3-5 triples in a year where Parker would hit around 10. I see Bruce getting near that 10 Triple Mark even with the small ballparks that he'll play in. He also won't have the inconsistent years that Parker had that cocaine helped to create.

Eric_Davis
09-05-2007, 08:51 PM
Have you ever seen Walkers minor league stats? I doubt it. Click action right here
(http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/W/Larry-Walker.shtml)

Don't just read the numbers. Understand what you're looking at. He had an incredible number of at-bats where he was rehabbing where he'd hit below .100 during the same season where he'd hit .290 in the Majors.

...and OBM is right. Minor League numbers are not a direct reflection of what will happen in the Majors. There's a lot to look at.

Eric_Davis
09-05-2007, 08:56 PM
I like what Bruce said. He's unique and no one including himself knows what he's going to turn out to be like as every month of every year is a constant series of adjustments and maturity. He could go many directions from here. He could become a Homerun hitter, a High-Average hitter, or both. He could become a Gold Glove Center Fielder. He's only 20. What's been great so far is he seems to be able to stay healthy.

dougdirt
09-05-2007, 09:02 PM
Don't just read the numbers. Understand what you're looking at. He had an incredible number of at-bats where he was rehabbing where he'd hit below .100 during the same season where he'd hit .290 in the Majors.

...and OBM is right. Minor League numbers are not a direct reflection of what will happen in the Majors. There's a lot to look at.

Larry Walker hit .223, .289, .283, .287 and .270 from the age of 18 until the age of 22 in the minor leagues. He also didn't reach AAA until the age of 22.

TOBTTReds
09-05-2007, 09:12 PM
Larry Walker hit .223, .289, .283, .287 and .270 from the age of 18 until the age of 22 in the minor leagues. He also didn't reach AAA until the age of 22.

Yeah, but, in the Majors he didn't. And Walker played hurt a lot, and Walker was so important to his team, and Walker had to protect other hitters, and Walker was a great locker room guy, and Walker at the age of 30 was still a star.

Bruce hasn't done any of that yet. I just don't see it.

dougdirt
09-05-2007, 09:31 PM
Yeah, but, in the Majors he didn't. And Walker played hurt a lot, and Walker was so important to his team, and Walker had to protect other hitters, and Walker was a great locker room guy, and Walker at the age of 30 was still a star.

Bruce hasn't done any of that yet. I just don't see it.

Yeah, in his first 5 seasons he spent in the majors he hit .170 (granted it was 20 games), .241, .290, .301 and .265. It wasnt until Walker was 27 until he really broke out and hit .322/.394/.587.

Bruce hasn't done any of that yet either though I guess.....

GoReds33
09-05-2007, 09:33 PM
I hope he'll never be anything like Larry Walker. The guy could rarely play 3/4th's of a season ever.
If the guy turns out to be a Larry Walker player I won't be depressed. I will just be happy he didn't turn out to be a horrible bust. Larry Walker was terrific when healthy.:)

Cyclone792
09-05-2007, 09:48 PM
That's not high enough. Walker would hit .350, .360.

Strictly because of Coors Field.

Walker career in Coors: .381/.462/.710/1.172
Walker career road: .278/.370/.495/.865

In one season, in 1999, Walker hit .461/.531/.879/1.410 in all his 273 plate appearances in Coors Field. Think about that ... have you ever heard of any player hitting .461 over 273 plate appearances? I think Ty Cobb had a stretch like that in 1911, but come on. If not for Coors Field, those high seasonal batting averages Walker posted would have been far more difficult to attain (though to be fair, he did hit .346 on the road in 1997).

Larry Walker was a very good hitter (and player), but Coors Field turned him into the monster he's now known as. That .965 career OPS he put up would probably be around 75 points lower had Walker never played for the Rockies.

TOBTTReds
09-05-2007, 10:17 PM
Yeah, in his first 5 seasons he spent in the majors he hit .170 (granted it was 20 games), .241, .290, .301 and .265. It wasnt until Walker was 27 until he really broke out and hit .322/.394/.587.

Bruce hasn't done any of that yet either though I guess.....

i hope you noted my sarcasm

IslandRed
09-05-2007, 10:20 PM
Strictly because of Coors Field.

I was just about to post that.

Bottom line, Bruce just flat-out rakes. He's only 20, way, way away from being as good as he's going to get. He's a terrific athlete, not a guy with old-player skills who's going to max out quickly.

I know some folks are preconditioned to downplay Reds prospects to forestall disappointment, but frankly, if Jay Bruce doesn't project as a star then I'm hard-pressed to say where stars come from.

dougdirt
09-05-2007, 10:25 PM
i hope you noted my sarcasm

you forgot the [/sarcasm], so I missed it. :bang:

TOBTTReds
09-05-2007, 11:22 PM
you forgot the [/sarcasm], so I missed it. :bang:

Sorry, thought I was being blatently ridiculous....but I guess you can't take anything for granted around here.

dougdirt
09-06-2007, 12:24 AM
Sorry, thought I was being blatently ridiculous....but I guess you can't take anything for granted around here.

With some of the things I have read lately, I guess I just expected someone to be serious with a ridiculous comment....

SteelSD
09-06-2007, 01:09 AM
Larry Walker hit .223, .289, .283, .287 and .270 from the age of 18 until the age of 22 in the minor leagues. He also didn't reach AAA until the age of 22.

Let's be honest- that's because Larry Walker missed his age-21 season in the minors. Dunno what that issue was (I'll assume it was injury), but he didn't possibly have the chance to face AAA pitching at that age.

Last season, you asked me what I thought about Delmon Young after I spoke quite a bit about Isolated Discipline (IsoD). IIRC, I noted that I didn't project Young very well due to his low IsoD, even though he had solid skills. Well, take a look at Young's performance this year.

Larry Walker's IsoD through his formative years was around 100 points. That's something Bruce doesn't have. That doesn't mean that Bruce can't succeed at the MLB level with his skill set. But I'd suggest that it might be tougher than we think for Bruce to hit the MLB ground running regardless of how good he's been at the minor league level at a young age. Even Prince Fielder took two years of practice at the MLB level to turn a high IsoD, high IsoP skill set into demonstrative results at a young age.

I'm not trying throw cold water on the potential exhibited by Jay Bruce. I hope he's a younger Ryan Braun version 2.0, but I'd suggest that kind of expectation might be unreasonable.

dougdirt
09-06-2007, 01:32 AM
Let's be honest- that's because Larry Walker missed his age-21 season in the minors. Dunno what that issue was (I'll assume it was injury), but he didn't possibly have the chance to face AAA pitching at that age.
He still hit .287 in AA at age 20. Not that it is bad to hit that at all, but its not really what the guy was making it out to be 'Walker-like' with the .350-.360 batting average he thinks someone being compared to Larry Walker should have.



Last season, you asked me what I thought about Delmon Young after I spoke quite a bit about Isolated Discipline (IsoD). IIRC, I noted that I didn't project Young very well due to his low IsoD, even though he had solid skills. Well, take a look at Young's performance this year.
Its actually real interesting to look at Delmon Young this season... He has always been a free swinger, becuase he can honestly hit the ball wherever it is if his timing is right. Its a problem that he has right now, but I think its a problem he can get around with time as well. I am much more concerned with his disappearance of power in the second half (.134 first half isoP, .088 second half isoP thanks in part to 9 HR to 1 HR). His bb/k rate has gotten better in the second half though. Lets also not forget that he is just 21 years old.



I'm not trying throw cold water on the potential exhibited by Jay Bruce. I hope he's a younger Ryan Braun version 2.0, but I'd suggest that kind of expectation might be unreasonable.

I really hope people don't expect Jay to go Ryan Braun next season. Do I think he is capable of doing it in his age 23 season? Its more likely, but I wouldn't count on him going nuts like Braun has, although if the Reds were to let Bruce bat in front of Griffey or Dunn it would likely help his chances. Braun gets to bat in front of Prince, and well he is getting pitches to hit becuase of it.

icehole3
09-06-2007, 05:48 PM
any Reds outfield that doesnt have Bruce and Hamilton in it would make me very unhappy.

camisadelgolf
09-07-2007, 04:37 PM
While the Larry Walker comparisons are coming hope, hopefully Jay Bruce isn't accused of taking steroids at any point.

GoReds33
09-07-2007, 04:40 PM
While the Larry Walker comparisons are coming hope, hopefully Jay Bruce isn't accused of taking steroids at any point. Jay Bruce on roids. That would be awesome. He'd hit like .405 with like 55 homers.