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View Full Version : Jay Bruce, how good will be be?



chettt
12-19-2007, 06:06 PM
Here is a list of past winners of Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year. Just how good is Jay Bruce?

Baseball America
Year Player Position Organization Team(s)
1981 Mike Marshall 1B Los Angeles Dodgers Albuquerque Dukes
1982 Ron Kittle OF Chicago White Sox Edmonton Trappers
1983 Dwight Gooden P New York Mets Lynchburg Mets
1984 Mike Bielecki P Pittsburgh Pirates Hawaii Islanders
1985 Jose Canseco OF Oakland Athletics Huntsville Stars, Tacoma Tigers
1986 Gregg Jefferies SS New York Mets Columbia Mets, Lynchburg Mets, Jackson Mets
1987 Gregg Jefferies SS New York Mets Jackson Mets, Tidewater Tides
1988 Tom Gordon P Kansas City Royals Appleton Foxes, Memphis Chicks, Omaha Royals
1989 Sandy Alomar Jr. C San Diego Padres Las Vegas Stars
1990 Frank Thomas 1B Chicago White Sox Birmingham Barons
1991 Derek Bell OF Toronto Blue Jays Syracuse Chiefs
1992 Tim Salmon OF California Angels Edmonton Trappers
1993 Manny Ramirez OF Cleveland Indians Canton-Akron Indians, Charlotte Knights
1994 Derek Jeter SS New York Yankees Tampa Yankees, Albany-Colonie Yankees, Columbus Clippers
1995 Andruw Jones OF Atlanta Braves Macon Braves
1996 Andruw Jones OF Atlanta Braves Durham Bulls, Greenville Braves, Richmond Braves
1997 Paul Konerko 1B Los Angeles Dodgers Albuquerque Dukes
1998 Eric Chavez 3B Oakland Athletics Huntsville Stars, Edmonton Trappers
1999 Rick Ankiel P St. Louis Cardinals Arkansas Travelers, Memphis Redbirds
2000 Jon Rauch P Chicago White Sox Winston-Salem Warthogs, Birmingham Barons
2001 Josh Beckett P Florida Marlins Brevard County Manatees, Portland Sea Dogs
2002 Rocco Baldelli OF Tampa Bay Devil Rays Orlando Rays, Bakersfield Blaze, Durham Bulls
2003 Joe Mauer C Minnesota Twins Fort Myers Miracle, New Britain Rock Cats
2004 Jeff Francis P Colorado Rockies Tulsa Drillers, Colorado Springs Sky Sox
2005 Delmon Young OF Tampa Bay Devil Rays Montgomery Biscuits, Durham Bulls
2006 Alex Gordon 3B Kansas City Royals Wichita Wranglers
2007 Jay Bruce OF Cincinnati Reds Sarasota Reds, Chattanooga Lookouts, Louisville Bats

Retrieved from "http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Minor_League_Player_of_the_Year"
Categories: Awards | Minors

Cyclone792
12-19-2007, 06:33 PM
In 20 years, people will not be asking if Jay Bruce was as great as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, and Ted Williams. Instead, people will be asking if Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, and Ted Williams were as great as Jay Bruce.

Joe DiMaggio once commented that he wanted to make the world forget about Tris Speaker. Jay Bruce will make the world forget about Joe DiMaggio.

redsfanmia
12-19-2007, 07:53 PM
In 20 years, people will not be asking if Jay Bruce was as great as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, and Ted Williams. Instead, people will be asking if Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, and Ted Williams were as great as Jay Bruce.

Joe DiMaggio once commented that he wanted to make the world forget about Tris Speaker. Jay Bruce will make the world forget about Joe DiMaggio.

I hope so and I hope Krivsky doesnt trade him for anyone.

paulrichjr
12-19-2007, 11:17 PM
In 20 years, people will not be asking if Jay Bruce was as great as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, and Ted Williams. Instead, people will be asking if Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, and Ted Williams were as great as Jay Bruce.

Joe DiMaggio once commented that he wanted to make the world forget about Tris Speaker. Jay Bruce will make the world forget about Joe DiMaggio.

Are you even remotely serious?

dougdirt
12-19-2007, 11:39 PM
Are you even remotely serious?

Doubtful.

Still though, Jay Bruce is going to be really, really good.

*BaseClogger*
12-19-2007, 11:42 PM
Some people wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears Jay Bruce pajamas.
The universe is expanding because it is afraid of Jay Bruce.
Jay Bruce's tears cure cance... too bad he has never cried.

Superdude
12-19-2007, 11:51 PM
Are you even remotely serious?

The fact that you're asking that question shows how awesome Jay Bruce is.

podgejeff_
12-20-2007, 01:16 PM
Every year, to work out his throwing arm from CF, Jay Bruce selects a lucky child to be thrown into the Sun.

Jay Bruce simply forces baseballs away from the plate while hitting with only a sheer force of will. No baseball bat is required.

Although Jay Bruce is not a pitcher, the pitching mound will be named Jay Bruce's Pile O' Dirt in his honor. Because he said so.

Bip Roberts
12-20-2007, 01:41 PM
Better than Chuck Norris

pedro
12-20-2007, 01:53 PM
The universe is expanding because it is afraid of Jay Bruce.


That's funny.

HokieRed
12-20-2007, 02:04 PM
It will be Oriole fans who get to see how good he is. The beginning of the last phase of Wayne's tenure begins when he trades Bruce, as I'm figuring he will do in the next 48 hours.

Danny Serafini
12-20-2007, 03:37 PM
Jay Bruce will make the world forget about Joe DiMaggio.
Joe who?

oneupper
12-20-2007, 04:17 PM
Jim Carrey will star in a movie portraying a mortal on which Jay's powers have been bestowed.

It will be called "Bruce, All-Bruce"

*BaseClogger*
12-20-2007, 04:27 PM
When the Hulk gets angry, it turns into Jay Bruce.
When Jay Bruce was a child he didn't wet his bed, his bed wet itself out of fear.
Jay Bruce is the reason Waldo is hiding.

Stephenk29
12-20-2007, 07:00 PM
Jay Bruce is the reason Waldo is hiding.

now that is a new one.

Red Bull is actually Jay Bruce's blood

Cyclone792
12-20-2007, 07:12 PM
Ahhh ... we've had some fun with this, but chettt was probably looking for a bit of seriousness. ;)

So in trying to switch to serious mode (hey, I was only half-joking) ...

If you were going to develop a blueprint of the perfect young outfielder, Jay Bruce isn't too terribly far away from that blueprint. The guy can just flat out do almost everything exceptionally well, and the main ingredient (hitting) he does do exceptionally well.

One of the things that Barry Larkin was held in high regard for was that he was one of the most complete players in baseball history who happened to play shortstop. Bruce isn't a shortstop like Larkin was, but he is playing a demanding position in his own right in center field. And unlike some scouting reports showing he's an eventual move to right field, I'm not buying it. I really think his actual center field defense right now is undervalued, and I do believe has a great chance to be a major defensive asset in center field.

Now I don't want to go projecting Jay Bruce to be a Hall of Famer, but Bruce at his age is showing similarities of Hall of Fame players. What I mean is, he's headed down the same path. That doesn't mean he'll stay on that path, but so far at his age he's on that path. Hall of Famers are almost always either already impact players at a very young age, or like Bruce, showing serious signs of developing into impact players at a very young age.

The only minor flaw in Bruce's game, in my eyes, is that I wish his walk rate was a tad higher. But I'm not concerned about it right now, because 1) Bruce has said he wants it to be higher (and he's proven that he is a hard worker), and 2) it's high enough that a meaningful improvement isn't unrealistic, especially since every other facet of his hitting game is off-the-charts fantastic.

So how good will Bruce be? Nobody knows, not even Bruce. But his talent mixed with his work ethic mixed with his age mixed with the path he's on now all point to amazing things.

Caveat Emperor
12-20-2007, 10:08 PM
If you look in the American League rules, the technical name for the position is the "Designated Jay Bruce."

Jay Bruce home runs are not measured by tape measures, they are tracked by GPS satellites.

Jay Bruce catches everything in centerfield, included germs and diseases. His body fights those diseases off by smashing them with miniature bats produced by his bone marrow. So far, Jay Bruce has never been sick.

Nobody pencils Jay Bruce in on a lineup card -- they carve his name using the blood of vanquished opponents.

Before Jay Bruce bats, evacuation orders are given for 3 miles behind the outfield walls.

Jay Bruce was not issued a birth certificate in the hospital, instead he was given a Hall of Fame plaque with his Social Security Number pre-engraved. That number? Infinity.

*BaseClogger*
12-20-2007, 10:19 PM
If you look in the American League rules, the technical name for the position is the "Designated Jay Bruce."

Jay Bruce home runs are not measured by tape measures, they are tracked by GPS satellites.

Jay Bruce catches everything in centerfield, included germs and diseases. His body fights those diseases off by smashing them with miniature bats produced by his bone marrow. So far, Jay Bruce has never been sick.

Nobody pencils Jay Bruce in on a lineup card -- they carve his name using the blood of vanquished opponents.

Before Jay Bruce bats, evacuation orders are given for 3 miles behind the outfield walls.

Jay Bruce was not issued a birth certificate in the hospital, instead he was given a Hall of Fame plaque with his Social Security Number pre-engraved. That number? Infinity.

Very creative :D... did you come up with those on your own?

OnBaseMachine
12-20-2007, 10:48 PM
Jay Bruce lost his virginity before his dad.

OnBaseMachine
12-20-2007, 10:53 PM
Jay Bruce's calender goes straight from March 31st to April the 2nd because nobody fools Jay Bruce.

*BaseClogger*
12-20-2007, 10:57 PM
They once made Jay Bruce toilet paper, but it wouldn't take sh** from anybody.
Jay Bruce can beat Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder in a staring contest.
Jay Bruce makes onions cry.

George Anderson
12-20-2007, 11:48 PM
I'm curious as to who votes for the "Baseball America Minor Leaguer of the Year Award"?

I assume it is sports writers?

dougdirt
12-20-2007, 11:50 PM
I'm curious as to who votes for the "Baseball America Minor Leaguer of the Year Award"?

I assume it is sports writers?

The writers at Baseball America.

Caveat Emperor
12-21-2007, 01:11 AM
They once made Jay Bruce toilet paper, but it wouldn't take sh** from anybody.
Jay Bruce can beat Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder in a staring contest.
Jay Bruce makes onions cry.

Jay Bruce was born on February 30th. Of next year.

According to the Federal Rules of Evidence, Jay Bruce is always relevant.

Jay Bruce walks on 4 pitches just like anyone else, but when he does, the balls light up on the scoreboard at 50 times their normal size.

On his taxes, Jay Bruce claims the other 24 members of his team as "dependents."

Jay Bruce's sweat can be injected as a performance-enhancing drug. Users of this substance can be identified when their heads explode spontaneously.

Any item with Jay Bruce's signature immediately becomes legal tender and can be traded for cash at all Federal Reserve banks.

March 19, 2003: Shipment of Jay Bruce bats mistakenly delivered in Baghdad.
March 20, 2003: United States Invades Iraq to find WMDs
Coincidence?

princeton
12-21-2007, 10:00 AM
I'm thinking Darryl Strawberry.

princeton
12-21-2007, 10:02 AM
I really think his actual center field defense right now is undervalued, and I do believe has a great chance to be a major defensive asset in center field.

have you seen him play CF? or is this very wishful thinking?

honestly, I can't remember the last minor leaguer whose defense was undervalued. Usually they show up and you're thinking, "hey, I was told that he was a great defender but he defends like a DH"

podgejeff_
12-21-2007, 10:08 AM
Considering his complete package of skills for a center-fielder, could you draw comparisons between him and a younger Griffey Jr.?

You hear Larry Walker's name all the time with Bruce, but is it possible that his ceiling might be even higher (than Griffey Jr. or Walker)?

princeton
12-21-2007, 10:10 AM
Considering his complete package of skills for a center-fielder, could you draw comparisons between him and a younger Griffey Jr.?

You hear Larry Walker's name all the time with Bruce, but is it possible that his ceiling might be even higher (than Griffey Jr. or Walker)?

if his ceiling were higher than Jr's, he'd be Babe Ruth

HBP
12-21-2007, 10:16 AM
if his ceiling were higher than Jr's, he'd be Babe Ruth

No kidding. There's only been one prospect with a higher ceiling than Jr.'s and he just signed a $275 million contract.

Dan
12-21-2007, 10:39 AM
I'm thinking Darryl Strawberry.

Doesn't his BB/K ratio worry you a bit? It does me. That's the only weakness in his game, but it's a major one for a developing player, IMO.

for reference...
Bruce's ratio is 37BB/100K
Strawberry's was 60BB/100K for his career

The only comparable current MLB player I can find (in a rather limited search) with a ratio like Bruce's is Geoff Jenkins.

princeton
12-21-2007, 10:50 AM
Doesn't his BB/K ratio worry you a bit?.

the K's are the only concern. But he's so young that I expect improvement in that area.

Reggie Jackson is another pretty good comp. Jackson's K problem improved to the point that they weren't too big of a problem.

even if he doesn't improve in that area, he'd probably be a top player.

membengal
12-21-2007, 12:19 PM
CE wrote:


"According to the Federal Rules of Evidence, Jay Bruce is always relevant."

Applause and a tip of the briefcase to you, sir.

Dan
12-21-2007, 12:20 PM
the K's are the only concern. But he's so young that I expect improvement in that area.

Reggie Jackson is another pretty good comp. Jackson's K problem improved to the point that they weren't too big of a problem.

even if he doesn't improve in that area, he'd probably be a top player.

Actually, Ks by themselves don't worry me all that much. Lots of players have high numbers of Ks, but the top players offset them by high numbers of BBs as well. (Dunn, Thome, Howard)

Also note that the players that hit 40+ HRs this year all had decent BB/K ratios:


Player HR BB K
Prince Fielder 50 90 121
Ryan Howard 47 107 199
Adam Dunn 40 101 165
Álex Rodríguez 54 95 120
Carlos Peña 46 103 142

Also Jackson only had < 40% BB/K ratio 3 times in a full season in his career. Bruce is at 37% for his (albeit rather) short career. It's something to watch out for as he progresses.

princeton
12-21-2007, 12:30 PM
Actually, Ks by themselves don't worry me all that much. Lots of players have high numbers of Ks, but the top players offset them by high numbers of BBs as well. (Dunn, Thome, Howard)

Also note that the players that hit 40+ HRs this year all had decent BB/K ratios:


Player HR BB K
Prince Fielder 50 90 121
Ryan Howard 47 107 199
Adam Dunn 40 101 165
Álex Rodríguez 54 95 120
Carlos Peña 46 103 142

Also Jackson only had < 40% BB/K ratio 3 times in a full season in his career. Bruce is at 37% for his (albeit rather) short career. It's something to watch out for as he progresses.

it's all a numbers argument right now. For all we know, he can only hit cripples, and if he doesn't get one then he strikes out. And that's not going to make him Mr. October.

but he clearly walks enough, clearly hits enough HRs-- and HRs REALLY increase with age. So, unless the Reds don't like something about his approach, then he shouldn't be traded.

SteelSD
12-21-2007, 12:43 PM
Doesn't his BB/K ratio worry you a bit? It does me. That's the only weakness in his game, but it's a major one for a developing player, IMO.

for reference...
Bruce's ratio is 37BB/100K
Strawberry's was 60BB/100K for his career

The only comparable current MLB player I can find (in a rather limited search) with a ratio like Bruce's is Geoff Jenkins.

It's the BB rate component that's the concern (I'm with ya' on the K rate), and it's why I've always taken the "Larry Walker" comp with a big grain of salt. Walker's career MiLB IsoD was .097. Bruce, thus far, has produced an IsoD of .063. For reference, the 2007 NL average IsoD was .068. For the AL, it was .067.

For Bruce to hit his ceiling, he has to improve that IsoD. He's young enough to allow him more room for improvement, but it's the single hardest thing for a player to work on. If he can't improve it, then the only way he's going to hit the kind of "ceiling" folks are thinking of is for one of two unlikely things to occur- either Bruce produces a .330 BA every season or he hits so many Home Runs that he benefits from the Juan Gonzalez/Sammy Sosa "pitch-around" effect.

Highlifeman21
12-21-2007, 12:56 PM
Doesn't his BB/K ratio worry you a bit? It does me. That's the only weakness in his game, but it's a major one for a developing player, IMO.

for reference...
Bruce's ratio is 37BB/100K
Strawberry's was 60BB/100K for his career

The only comparable current MLB player I can find (in a rather limited search) with a ratio like Bruce's is Geoff Jenkins.

If that's the case, then Bruce can look forward to signing a 2 year deal to play for the Phillies for $13 Million.

dougdirt
12-21-2007, 01:14 PM
I am not too concerned with his walk rate. I don't see him chasing many bad pitches for starters. He has power, and guys are going to tend to be careful with him at times because of it, he isn't going to chase it. Next thing is, he is quite young for his level, so using comparisons, even for a walk rate is tough to do because the amount of players spending the time he spent in AAA at 20 is quite limited.

So long as he draws a walk about every 11 plate appearances, I am fine with it. Thats about what he is doing right now.

Dan
12-21-2007, 01:24 PM
It's the BB rate component that's the concern (I'm with ya' on the K rate), and it's why I've always taken the "Larry Walker" comp with a big grain of salt. Walker's career MiLB IsoD was .097. Bruce, thus far, has produced an IsoD of .063. For reference, the 2007 NL average IsoD was .068. For the AL, it was .067.

But isn't it true that a player can't subsist on walks alone? There has to be a point where walking but not hitting for average becomes a detriment to the team, right?

Let me put it another way. There are 3 types of strikes: swing and miss a ball in the strike zone, swing and miss a ball outside the strike zone, and don't swing at a ball in the strike zone. Of these, only the first kind are "good" strikes, in that the player is being aggressive in the right circumstance.

It's my guess that these players with high BB/K ratios are ones who make the majority of their strikes the swing and miss at a ball in the strike zone variety. This leads to a higher SLG if not necessarily a higher BA.


For Bruce to hit his ceiling, he has to improve that IsoD. He's young enough to allow him more room for improvement, but it's the single hardest thing for a player to work on. If he can't improve it, then the only way he's going to hit the kind of "ceiling" folks are thinking of is for one of two unlikely things to occur- either Bruce produces a .330 BA every season or he hits so many Home Runs that he benefits from the Juan Gonzalez/Sammy Sosa "pitch-around" effect.

Given your caveats, my guess is he will pan out to be like Geoff Jenkins. Solid, but never quite hitting his potential ceiling because his selective aggressiveness isn't there.

Dan
12-21-2007, 01:28 PM
I am not too concerned with his walk rate. I don't see him chasing many bad pitches for starters.

...

So long as he draws a walk about every 11 plate appearances, I am fine with it. Thats about what he is doing right now.

If that's the case, not chasing many bad pitches, then his walk rate should improve significantly this year. It's the thing I'm watching. And yes I realize his age is a factor in all this as well.

RedsManRick
12-21-2007, 02:17 PM
But isn't it true that a player can't subsist on walks alone? There has to be a point where walking but not hitting for average becomes a detriment to the team, right?

Let me put it another way. There are 3 types of strikes: swing and miss a ball in the strike zone, swing and miss a ball outside the strike zone, and don't swing at a ball in the strike zone. Of these, only the first kind are "good" strikes, in that the player is being aggressive in the right circumstance.

It's my guess that these players with high BB/K ratios are ones who make the majority of their strikes the swing and miss at a ball in the strike zone variety. This leads to a higher SLG if not necessarily a higher BA.

Given your caveats, my guess is he will pan out to be like Geoff Jenkins. Solid, but never quite hitting his potential ceiling because his selective aggressiveness isn't there.

The Sammy Sosa & Juan Gone logic could apply to Bruce. They ended up walking because while they never were great contact hitters, they stopped chasing so much. As their power grew, pitchers starting throwing out of the zone more. They were willing to watch those pitches and thus walks went up. However, they continued to swing and miss at pitches in the zone, so they kept striking out too.

They ended up hitting for average because of their power. The more balls you put over the fence, the higher your batting average is because those balls in play aren't subject to the chance of becoming an out. Particularly if you start converting FB to HR. That's the difference between Sheffield and Sean Casey, from a power perspective. Both guys can hit balls out of the yard when they really hit it square (line drives). But when Sheff gets some loft on the ball, he's got enough bat speed to still drive it out of the yard with regularity. When Casey gets under it, it more frequently becomes an in play fly ball, which turn in to outs more than any other ball in play.

Sheffield has a career HR/FB of 16.5%. For his career, his average has tracked closely with his power. When his flyballs turn in to homers, his average goes up - his 2003 with the Braves being a perfect example (21.0% HR/FB, .330 BA). Casey has a career HR/FB of 7.8%. In 2004, when Casey got his his HR/FB up to 13.2%, he hit .324. Obviously it's not a perfect cause/effect, but it's a pretty strong relationship.

Dan
12-21-2007, 02:35 PM
The Sammy Sosa & Juan Gone logic could apply to Bruce. They ended up walking because while they never were great contact hitters, they stopped chasing so much. As their power grew, pitchers starting throwing out of the zone more. They were willing to watch those pitches and thus walks went up. However, they continued to swing and miss at pitches in the zone, so they kept striking out too.

They ended up hitting for average because of their power. The more balls you put over the fence, the higher your batting average is because those balls in play aren't subject to the chance of becoming an out. Particularly if you start converting FB to HR. That's the difference between Sheffield and Sean Casey, from a power perspective. Both guys can hit balls out of the yard when they really hit it square (line drives). But when Sheff gets some loft on the ball, he's got enough bat speed to still drive it out of the yard with regularity. When Casey gets under it, it more frequently becomes an in play fly ball, which turn in to outs more than any other ball in play.

Sheffield has a career HR/FB of 16.5%. For his career, his average has tracked closely with his power. When his flyballs turn in to homers, his average goes up - his 2003 with the Braves being a perfect example (21.0% HR/FB, .330 BA). Casey has a career HR/FB of 7.8%. In 2004, when Casey got his his HR/FB up to 13.2%, he hit .324. Obviously it's not a perfect cause/effect, but it's a pretty strong relationship.

OK, I can see that, definitely. Actually wouldn't casey be one of those low IsoD guys? Also, how do you explain a guy like Dunn, or Rob Deer, or Dave Kingman who have low BA with high HRs?

Highlifeman21
12-21-2007, 03:11 PM
OK, I can see that, definitely. Actually wouldn't casey be one of those low IsoD guys? Also, how do you explain a guy like Dunn, or Rob Deer, or Dave Kingman who have low BA with high HRs?

I think I just threw up in my mouth a lil bit.

You just compared Dunn to Rob Deer and Dave Kingman. In the same sentence, no less.

OnBaseMachine
12-21-2007, 03:36 PM
If the few times that I have seen Bruce hit, he looked very patient at the plate to me, i.e. didn't chase any bad pitches or anything. I'm not sure why his walk rate is lower than we'd like it to be, but I'm sure over time it will improve because like I mentioned earlier, he seems patient at the plate. IIRC Baseball America rated him as having the second best plate discipline of all HS hitters in the 2005 draft.

Cyclone792
12-21-2007, 04:14 PM
have you seen him play CF? or is this very wishful thinking?

honestly, I can't remember the last minor leaguer whose defense was undervalued. Usually they show up and you're thinking, "hey, I was told that he was a great defender but he defends like a DH"

I saw him in Dayton, and I was very impressed. He was a very polished fielder, good jumps, good reads, good routes.

RedsManRick
12-21-2007, 04:53 PM
OK, I can see that, definitely. Actually wouldn't casey be one of those low IsoD guys? Also, how do you explain a guy like Dunn, or Rob Deer, or Dave Kingman who have low BA with high HRs?

Well, Deer and Kingman had problem chasing balls out of the zone as well. But they had really bad contact rates when they swung at good pitches. During his best years, Sosa got his contact rate up as well as increasing his discipline.

With Dunn, there's a few things going on. Certainly his contact rate when he chooses to swing isn't superb. However, the bigger problem is that Dunn is among the worst in baseball at taking strikes. You could say he's too selective for his own good. It's not that he's losing hits by watching the ball on the corner. It's that he's getting himself in to two strikes counts so often that his poor contact rate gets translated in to strikeouts. It hurts a lot more to whiff on a 2-2 pitch than on a 1-1 pitch.

I would argue that this is why Dunn's batting average is so low as well. If you could put the ball in play in every at bat and get a standard distribution of batted ball types, you'd hit roughly .300 every year, depending on your luck with fielders. But if when you swing, you have a tendency to miss instead of put the ball in play, the BABCM (Batting average on Balls in the Catcher's Mitt) is .000, thus dropping your average. And if you tend to wait until you have two strikes to swing, you're not going to get as many swings as other guys.

Now, because Dunn is so utterly productive when he manages to get the ball play, and because he's often walking when he doesn't put the ball in play, he's still very valuable. But his low average is directly attributed to his perhaps too disciplined approach and his poor contact rate when he does swing.

Consider that when Sammy hit .300, either his power was off the charts or his strikeout rate was a good deal lower than we see with Dunn. However, we can look at Dunn's monthly splits to get a good glimpse of this.



BA K/PA ISO
Apr .261 .314 .250
May .252 .339 .321
June .287 .238 .330
July .239 .257 .216
Aug .276 .200 .345
Sept .274 .200 .258

K/PA has a somewhat strong negative correlation with BA (r = -.56). That is, within this tiny data set, as Dunn struck out more, he hit for a lower average.

ISO has a somewhat strong positive correlation with BA (r = .63). That is, within this tiny data set, as Dunn hit for more power, he also hit for more average.

His worst BA month, July, was one in which he hit for little power and had a medium K/rate (for Dunn). For fun, I created a single variable by taking each of the average K/PA minus the observed (so that positive values are good) and the observed ISO minus the average. This gets you a single number combing the two. If you regress that against batting average, you find that those two things combined have an r-squared of .6229 (r = .79). I did the same thing simply ranking the months on each variable and taking the average rank versus the batting average rank and you get basically the same thing.

So simply put, most of the month to month (or year to year) variation in batting average can be attributed to strikeout rate and power fluctuations when you do make contact. This is why Albert Pujols hits .330 regularly and Bonds hit .340 plus during his roided phase.

SteelSD
12-22-2007, 03:28 AM
Given your caveats, my guess is he will pan out to be like Geoff Jenkins. Solid, but never quite hitting his potential ceiling because his selective aggressiveness isn't there.

I wouldn't go as far as a Jenkins comp for Bruce considering Bruce's minor league IsoP advantage. But it's interesting that Jenkins MiLB BB rate was actually higher than Bruce's has been. Some of that might be attributed to advancing at a younger age for Bruce, but we can't simply discount Bruce's below-average IsoD as being a non-issue at this point. Very few MLB hitters are able to produce consistent seasons of the kind of "ceiling" performance that some are expecting for Bruce with that kind of IsoD.

Aramis Ramirez is possibly the best example of someone who produces consistent low-.900 OPS numbers while also producing a lower-than-average IsoD. Now, K rates don't matter when it comes to overall performance, but as it relates soley to Batting Average, there is some effect. Therefore we should note that Aramis Ramirez is currently producing much lower K rates than we can reasonably expect from Jay Bruce. That may suppress the possibility that we'll see multiple .300 BA/.360 OBP/.560 SLG type seasons. And I'd suggest that's not even close to what some are expecting of Bruce. In fact, if Jay Bruce is producing those numbers while striking out 150 times a year, I have a feeling that a lot of folks will be very disappointed. Of course, expecting ridiculous ceilings often results in disappointment.

To come close to meeting "ceiling" expectations, Bruce is likely going to have to be hitting 45-50 Home Runs on a regular basis in order to enhance his Batting Average should he not be able to significantly enhance his BB rate on his own. Is that power output possible? Yeah, but I don't like the odds. If it did happen, we would then see pitchers "helping" Bruce with his BB rates; resulting in a higher IsoD regardless of further work in that area by Bruce himself.

Geoff Jenkins? Nah. Aramis Ramirez? Maybe. Ken Griffey Jr.? Ehhh....

princeton
12-22-2007, 09:16 AM
I saw him in Dayton, and I was very impressed. He was a very polished fielder, good jumps, good reads, good routes.


Maybe he's rangy enough to play CF in some OFs. But frankly, unless he's Cesar Geronimo and Eric Davis and Mike Cameron -- and Jr, many years ago-- then he won't have the range to make a Dunn/Jr (many years later) OF work.

Pitchers will need to strike everyone out. Everyone.

dougdirt
12-22-2007, 12:54 PM
I never understood the thinking that a Centerfielder can make up for bad corner outfielders. Even the best centerfielders aren't going to make the plays that are 5 feet out of the reach of bad corner outfielders. Even the worst corner outfielders, like Adam Dunn, are about 1 or 2 plays worse than the best corner outfielders per week. The next time I see a center fielder make a catch on a hard hit ball into left field or right field, will be the first time.

Mario-Rijo
12-22-2007, 01:56 PM
Well, Deer and Kingman had problem chasing balls out of the zone as well. But they had really bad contact rates when they swung at good pitches. During his best years, Sosa got his contact rate up as well as increasing his discipline.

With Dunn, there's a few things going on. Certainly his contact rate when he chooses to swing isn't superb. However, the bigger problem is that Dunn is among the worst in baseball at taking strikes. You could say he's too selective for his own good. It's not that he's losing hits by watching the ball on the corner. It's that he's getting himself in to two strikes counts so often that his poor contact rate gets translated in to strikeouts. It hurts a lot more to whiff on a 2-2 pitch than on a 1-1 pitch.

I would argue that this is why Dunn's batting average is so low as well. If you could put the ball in play in every at bat and get a standard distribution of batted ball types, you'd hit roughly .300 every year, depending on your luck with fielders. But if when you swing, you have a tendency to miss instead of put the ball in play, the BABCM (Batting average on Balls in the Catcher's Mitt) is .000, thus dropping your average. And if you tend to wait until you have two strikes to swing, you're not going to get as many swings as other guys.

Now, because Dunn is so utterly productive when he manages to get the ball play, and because he's often walking when he doesn't put the ball in play, he's still very valuable. But his low average is directly attributed to his perhaps too disciplined approach and his poor contact rate when he does swing.

Consider that when Sammy hit .300, either his power was off the charts or his strikeout rate was a good deal lower than we see with Dunn. However, we can look at Dunn's monthly splits to get a good glimpse of this.



BA K/PA ISO
Apr .261 .314 .250
May .252 .339 .321
June .287 .238 .330
July .239 .257 .216
Aug .276 .200 .345
Sept .274 .200 .258

K/PA has a somewhat strong negative correlation with BA (r = -.56). That is, within this tiny data set, as Dunn struck out more, he hit for a lower average.

ISO has a somewhat strong positive correlation with BA (r = .63). That is, within this tiny data set, as Dunn hit for more power, he also hit for more average.

His worst BA month, July, was one in which he hit for little power and had a medium K/rate (for Dunn). For fun, I created a single variable by taking each of the average K/PA minus the observed (so that positive values are good) and the observed ISO minus the average. This gets you a single number combing the two. If you regress that against batting average, you find that those two things combined have an r-squared of .6229 (r = .79). I did the same thing simply ranking the months on each variable and taking the average rank versus the batting average rank and you get basically the same thing.

So simply put, most of the month to month (or year to year) variation in batting average can be attributed to strikeout rate and power fluctuations when you do make contact. This is why Albert Pujols hits .330 regularly and Bonds hit .340 plus during his roided phase.

Well put, even though that 2nd to last paragraph left me scratching my head. This is exactly the point I have been trying to make with Dunn over the last 2 years (although admittedly he done better last year) albeit not as elequently. He doesn't have a very good contact rate which is due IMO to poor bat control, which I also wonder if Stubbs doesn't suffer from the very same thing.

Stubbs showed much better contact rates once he choked up on the bat and thus produced much better #'s accross the board including a much decreased K rate. Dunn's #'s also improved after shortening his swing a tad (getting his hands further down away from behind his ear) which would lend itself to better contact by simply being quicker to the ball. I still feel Dunn could do better but I'm sure he is satisfied with his own #'s and won't feel like he needs to improve anything else.

princeton
12-22-2007, 04:31 PM
I never understood the thinking that a Centerfielder can make up for bad corner outfielders.


it's pretty simple: a lot of runs score against teams that are willing to surrender 28 or 29 outs a game. So if you've got players that concede outs, you're well-served to balance them with players that take outs away: strikeout pitchers, rangy defenders

dougdirt
12-22-2007, 05:10 PM
it's pretty simple: a lot of runs score against teams that are willing to surrender 28 or 29 outs a game. So if you've got players that concede outs, you're well-served to balance them with players that take outs away: strikeout pitchers, rangy defenders

I think you missed my point. No matter how good a defender is, he isn't going to make Griffey or Dunn any better. He may be better in CF than your previous guy, but he isn't going to somehow make either of those guys better. You put Willie Mays out there at age 27 and he still isn't going to make Griffey or Dunn better at their position. They are still going to suck defensively.

Redsland
12-23-2007, 11:07 AM
You put Willie Mays out there at age 27 and he still isn't going to make Griffey or Dunn better at their position. They are still going to suck defensively.
But your team's outfield defense overall would improve.

It's not about making Dunn better. It's about helping your team reduce the other teams' base runners.

camisadelgolf
12-23-2007, 11:55 AM
Not to sound like Dusty Baker, but in my opinion, going one-for-two with a double is more valuable than going zero-for-zero with two walks. I think Jay Bruce has some improvements to make, but he'll be fine.

Redsland
12-23-2007, 12:02 PM
If everyone on your team goes zero-for-zero with two walks, then you score infinity runs, whereas if everyone goes one-for-two with a double, you only score half that.

Or something. ;)

camisadelgolf
12-23-2007, 12:39 PM
If everyone on your team goes zero-for-zero with two walks, then you score infinity runs, whereas if everyone goes one-for-two with a double, you only score half that.

Or something. ;)

That's a good point, but if that were to happen, the games would never end, and you would never have any wins.

Redsland
12-23-2007, 12:48 PM
So...it would always be Opening Day?

:)

dougdirt
12-23-2007, 12:49 PM
But your team's outfield defense overall would improve.

It's not about making Dunn better. It's about helping your team reduce the other teams' base runners.

Yes, but its still about overall runs. Having the best defensive centerfielder in baseball is only going to help so much if he can't hit a lick. Maybe having an average centerfielder with a real good bat actually makes him more valuable to your team.

Redsland
12-23-2007, 01:03 PM
Sure, but that doesn't change my response to your quote, which was:
You put Willie Mays out there at age 27 and he still isn't going to make Griffey or Dunn better at their position. They are still going to suck defensively.

dougdirt
12-23-2007, 01:37 PM
Sure, but that doesn't change my response to your quote, which was:

Which doesn't change the point that I was trying to make.

princeton
12-23-2007, 02:37 PM
Which doesn't change the point that I was trying to make.

try to make better points

dougdirt
12-23-2007, 05:38 PM
try to make better points

What?

No centerfielder in baseball is going to make a Griffey/Dunn outfield really work. No one in baseball can cover enough ground to make up for the crappiness they provide in the corners. My point was that you need a centerfielder who is going to be a good overall player not just a guy who can run everything down.

TC81190
12-23-2007, 08:45 PM
Here's a thought on Bruce's walk rates...but...has anyone considered that maybe his high BA may have something to do with his low walk rate? It's not just Bruce I've seen this with, I've noticed this with other players in the majors and such but...

If you're getting all kinds of good pitches to hit, why take? Maybe up until this point, Bruce hasn't really needed to be selective yet. The more challenging the pitchers become, the more selective he'll have to be and so on and so forth.

But I don't know..maybe I'm wrong. But it's something to consider, maybe.

mlbfan30
12-23-2007, 09:25 PM
Here's a thought on Bruce's walk rates...but...has anyone considered that maybe his high BA may have something to do with his low walk rate? It's not just Bruce I've seen this with, I've noticed this with other players in the majors and such but...

If you're getting all kinds of good pitches to hit, why take? Maybe up until this point, Bruce hasn't really needed to be selective yet. The more challenging the pitchers become, the more selective he'll have to be and so on and so forth.

But I don't know..maybe I'm wrong. But it's something to consider, maybe.

I see this point. But then look at his SO rates. If he's been getting good pitches to hit, therefore not needing to walk, he should also not be striking out often because of the good pitches he's been getting. The SO indicate he's been swinging through good pitches, or at bad pitches.
This method of thinking can't work both ways for BB and SO.
The high SO and low BB do concern me a little, but it's not a big of enough deal to assume that will cause him to fail. Many great hitters SO a lot, and Bruce is young enough to improve his BB. Even if Bruces increases his BB by just a little, that's good enough to have solid OBP stats.
Think of hitting stats similar to Aramis Ramirez over the past 4 years.

TC81190
12-23-2007, 09:33 PM
I see this point. But then look at his SO rates. If he's been getting good pitches to hit, therefore not needing to walk, he should also not be striking out often because of the good pitches he's been getting. The SO indicate he's been swinging through good pitches, or at bad pitches.
This method of thinking can't work both ways for BB and SO.
The high SO and low BB do concern me a little, but it's not a big of enough deal to assume that will cause him to fail. Many great hitters SO a lot, and Bruce is young enough to improve his BB. Even if Bruces increases his BB by just a little, that's good enough to have solid OBP stats.
Think of hitting stats similar to Aramis Ramirez over the past 4 years.

His K rate was really the only thing keeping me from thinking that definitively was the reason behind his low walk totals.

Still, I think his ceiling is above a RF-playing Aramis Ramirez, even if that is most likely what he becomes.

mlbfan30
12-23-2007, 10:20 PM
His ceiling is higher obviously.
But translating his overall minor league stats into a ML player, that's a very close comp.

TC81190
12-23-2007, 10:21 PM
His ceiling is higher obviously.
But translating his overall minor league stats into a ML player, that's a very close comp.

Agreed.

dougdirt
12-23-2007, 11:51 PM
One extra walk every two weeks (which really could easily come with some experience) and this isn't a problem at all. We are looking at about 20 points for just one extra walk every two weeks. I don't think that kind of improvement is something extremely out of line to expect.

camisadelgolf
12-24-2007, 03:40 AM
Is it true that next year, Jay Bruce's opponents are going to intentionally walk Bruce and proceed to intentionally walk the three guys who hit behind him just so they can get Jay Bruce's inevitable run over with?

Cyclone792
12-24-2007, 12:17 PM
Jay Bruce will be the only position player in the history of baseball to make the Hall of Fame without ever having at least one official at bat. Bruce will be intentionally walked every plate appearance during his career. He will have 10,000 career plate appearances, 10,000 career intentional walks, a 1.000 lifetime on-base percentage, and he will also shatter the single season and career all-time runs scored record.

TC81190
12-24-2007, 12:39 PM
Also,

Jay Bruce's bat is merely an extension of his arm. On a related note, Jay Bruce also cannot feel pain.

Caveat Emperor
12-24-2007, 04:50 PM
Jay Bruce's service clock will always be at 0, because Jay Bruce serves no man.

Jay Bruce was forced to turn down a scholarship to Tulane University because, per the terms of the Geneva Convention, he is specifically banned from every picking up or holding an aluminum bat.

Before going to sleep at night, pitchers check for Jay Bruce under the bed.

cincyredsone
12-29-2007, 09:27 PM
I got to see jay bruce play at louisville last year. This guy has a great plate presence. Some players you can look at and, say "wow" this guy is gonna be great. I think jay bruce is one of those few players. The sky is the limit for him. I look forward to seeing him in center field for many years to come.

kentjett
12-29-2007, 09:54 PM
We need to do something about Griifey or Dunn. We need at least one above average OF.