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RedEye
08-25-2008, 04:58 AM
Okay, so I'm not sure at what point The Boss's MLB experience constitutes an adequate sample size, but right now the guy is at .255/.301/.430 in just over 320 plate appearances. His power is actually right about where I expected it to be at this stage, but I'm a bit taken aback by his just-nigh-of-Corey-Patterson level OBP.

I do remember a lot of debates back and forth in the minor league forum about Bruce's plate discipline, how it might improve, how it might not, and how it didn't really need to because of his high amount of contact.

Well, after about two months with the big club, what can we say we know now? Is he right on track? Off track? Showing signs of improvement? Showing signs of regression? Is it just still too early to tell?

Thanks for your input.

camisadelgolf
08-25-2008, 05:57 AM
Jay Bruce was destroying the baseball in the minor leagues (AAA in particular) for a long time before being called up, and everyone was wondering what was keeping him down there. I have to think that plate discipline was the biggest thing he needed to work on. He has always been someone who doesn't walk much, and he's going to a few seasons before that changes. When he starts hitting 30+ homeruns per year, pitchers will be giving him more and more respect, which will result in him getting less hittable pitches. That's when his walk totals should creep up, but until then, he will continue to walk at very-low-but-not-quite-anemic rate.

Highlifeman21
08-25-2008, 08:38 AM
Unless Bruce cuts down his Ks (not that I'm concerned with them), he'll be the next monster run out of town.

This city still has the torches and pitchforks out. Watch out, Mr. Bruce.

Crosley68
08-25-2008, 09:16 AM
Jay Bruce was destroying the baseball in the minor leagues (AAA in particular) for a long time before being called up, and everyone was wondering what was keeping him down there. I have to think that plate discipline was the biggest thing he needed to work on. He has always been someone who doesn't walk much, and he's going to a few seasons before that changes. When he starts hitting 30+ homeruns per year, pitchers will be giving him more and more respect, which will result in him getting less hittable pitches. That's when his walk totals should creep up, but until then, he will continue to walk at very-low-but-not-quite-anemic rate.

I agree, but I think he is already getting many less hittable pitches than he was right after his callup. It is starting to appear that he is becoming a REAL RED and it is not neccessary to throw strikes to get him out.

Blimpie
08-25-2008, 09:23 AM
I agree, but I think he is already getting many less hittable pitches than he was right after his callup. It is starting to appear that he is becoming a REAL RED and it is not neccessary to throw strikes to get him out.I agree...

With this God awful lineup, why on Earth, would teams give him anything to hit?

RANDY IN INDY
08-25-2008, 09:24 AM
He's young and he'll need to make adjustments at the plate on an ongoing basis. With experience, he should begin to make the pitchers work a little more.

flyer85
08-25-2008, 10:07 AM
Unless Bruce cuts down his Ks (not that I'm concerned with them), he'll be the next monster run out of town.

and the errors ... he has been a bit of a butcher in the OF.

IslandRed
08-25-2008, 11:43 AM
The one thing that wouldn't have really helped is more time in the minors. When a hitter is tearing up every level with one plate approach, it's difficult to effect a behavior change to a different approach. Now he's in the show and struggling, and since swinging the bat has been his meal ticket, his natural instinct is to swing the bat *more*. In fact, he needs to do the opposite. Whether there's anyone in the Reds' dugout telling him this, I have no idea.

Az Red
08-25-2008, 11:56 AM
He is under pressure to try and carry the team right now. Hopefully, Eric the Red will be a huge influence and a veteran right hand hitter addition next year will help with the plate patience.

flyer85
08-25-2008, 12:03 PM
Jay Bruce is just an example for how tough the transition is for most players(even #1 prospects) from the minors to the majors. Sorry to say there has only been one Albert Pujols in the history of MLB.

Jay had a hot start but now pitchers have figured out how to pitch to him and take advantage of his aggressiveness. Ball is now in his court to make some adjustments.

lollipopcurve
08-25-2008, 12:05 PM
It's really the first time he's struggled as a professional. You can see on his face and in his body language it's beating him up some. Clearly, he hasn't made the necessary adjustments yet, and that may take a while, given that this is a first for Bruce. The more open to learning he is, the better. If he maintains the "I just need to stay with my approach" mindset, as he was saying shortly after being promoted, his numbers are going to stay with their approach too, "Dive! Dive! Dive!"

It's a good reminder that even the best prospects often have some learning left to do at the major league level. Rarely does a team promote a truly finished product.

hebroncougar
08-25-2008, 12:07 PM
What I worry about, is who in the heck in the Reds major league organization is going to teach him plate discipline? :(

Highlifeman21
08-25-2008, 01:12 PM
and the errors ... he has been a bit of a butcher in the OF.

Seems to me like he's trying to do too much out in the field. He has a strong arm, and he reads the ball off the bat well, and his instincts/reaction/foot speed seem definitely above average, so I think he just needs to reel himself in and play within himself.

Conversely, I also think he's pressing at the plate, again trying to do too much.

OnBaseMachine
08-25-2008, 01:29 PM
Seems to me like he's trying to do too much out in the field. He has a strong arm, and he reads the ball off the bat well, and his instincts/reaction/foot speed seem definitely above average, so I think he just needs to reel himself in and play within himself.

Conversely, I also think he's pressing at the plate, again trying to do too much.

Agreed. I think the more experience he gets in right field the better he'll get. The Reds have been bouncing him between center and right field most of the year so he hasn't been able to get comfortable in one position. With Griffey gone Bruce should have the right field spot locked up for good now. As for his offense, I agree that he seems to be pressing. He's getting way to anxious and swinging at the first pitch nearly every atbat. When you're constantly behind in the count then you're most likely going to struggle like Jay has lately. When Bruce is hitting well he's usually taking pitches and working the count deep like he did when he was first called up. Hopefully the coaching staff can work with him and correct this.

RedsManRick
08-25-2008, 01:34 PM
Agreed. I think the more experience he gets in right field the better he'll get. The Reds have been bouncing him between center and right field most of the year so he hasn't been able to get comfortable in one position. With Griffey gone Bruce should have the right field spot locked up for good now. As for his offense, I agree that he seems to be pressing. He's getting way to anxious and swinging at the first pitch nearly every atbat. When you're constantly behind in the count then you're most likely going to struggle like Jay has lately. When Bruce is hitting well he's usually taking pitches and working the count deep like he did when he was first called up. Hopefully the coaching staff can work with him and correct this.

I'm very interested in what sort of messages he's getting from the Reds coaching staff. His approach, particularly against lefties, seems to have regressed. He seems to do pretty well judging pitches out and in, but he's chasing high and low. Given Dusty's "more aggressive" directive earlier in the year, I have to wonder if that's not been part of it.

RichRed
08-25-2008, 01:45 PM
What I worry about, is who in the heck in the Reds major league organization is going to teach him plate discipline? :(

Chris Chambliss. Oh, wait...

OnBaseMachine
08-25-2008, 01:46 PM
Chris Chambliss. Oh, wait...

I'll never understand why he was let go.

Ltlabner
08-25-2008, 03:11 PM
I'm very interested in what sort of messages he's getting from the Reds coaching staff. His approach, particularly against lefties, seems to have regressed. He seems to do pretty well judging pitches out and in, but he's chasing high and low. Given Dusty's "more aggressive" directive earlier in the year, I have to wonder if that's not been part of it.

Of corse it is.

While not entirely at Dusty's feet (Bruce has to adjust to MLB pitching) it can't help to have the "be agressive" mantra whispered in his ear.

The real tragedy will be when he gets sent down because he "strikes out too much" for trying to listen to and follow Dustys goofy plate apprach. It's not too hard to envision Bruce getting put on the Lousiville to Cincy treadmill and ultamatley getting his head all kinds of messed up.

It also doesn't help casting him and Votto as the next in a long line of Reds team saviors that would ride in from Louisville and resurect this morbund franchise.

The D-backs "get it" with Dunn and let him do his thing. Would be refreshing if Bruce was allowed to just come up and figure things out on his own and play to his own strengths.

Highlifeman21
08-25-2008, 05:54 PM
Of corse it is.

While not entirely at Dusty's feet (Bruce has to adjust to MLB pitching) it can't help to have the "be agressive" mantra whispered in his ear.

The real tragedy will be when he gets sent down because he "strikes out too much" for trying to listen to and follow Dustys goofy plate apprach. It's not too hard to envision Bruce getting put on the Lousiville to Cincy treadmill and ultamatley getting his head all kinds of messed up.

It also doesn't help casting him and Votto as the next in a long line of Reds team saviors that would ride in from Louisville and resurect this morbund franchise.

The D-backs "get it" with Dunn and let him do his thing. Would be refreshing if Bruce was allowed to just come up and figure things out on his own and play to his own strengths.


I definitely agree that Bruce should be allowed to find himself at the plate, and figure out which approach works best for him. So far, he's had varying approaches and has had moderate success, but I feel once he's more consistent with an approach (Hell, at this point just pick one and ride it out for the year) we'll see his numbers stablize and we'll find out the answer of "Who is Jay Bruce?".

Spring~Fields
08-25-2008, 06:30 PM
Plate discipline ? Hitting instructions ? Fatigue ? Injury ? Experience ?
Or versus left handed or right handed pitching differences ?

Why are the more experienced players hitting below their career norms in this particular August?



August Season Career
Paul Bako .143 .205 .171 .377 .208 .281 .322 .603 .230 .302 .316 .618
J. Hairston Jr. .188 .278 .250 .528 .338 .388 .475 .864 .259 .329 .366 .696
B. Phillips .200 .250 .447 .697 .265 .313 .459 .773 .263 .308 .429 .737
J. Keppinger .205 .250 .256 .506 .263 .312 .346 .658 .288 .342 .396 .738
Encarncion .224 .298 .355 .653 .252 .336 .472 .809 .268 .345 .456 .801
Jay Bruce .227 .253 .489 .741 .256 .301 .430 .732 .256 .301 .430 .732
C. Patterson .234 .286 .391 .676 .195 .233 .338 .571 .253 .293 .408 .700
Ryan Hanigan .238 .333 .429 .762 .238 .333 .429 .762 .258 .343 .419 .762
J. Valentin .241 .333 .483 .816 .252 .310 .400 .710 .251 .308 .401 .710
J. Cabrera .276 .313 .517 .830 .291 .333 .455 .788 .259 .306 .366 .672
C. Dickerson .319 .385 .681 1.065 .319 .385 .681 1.065 .319 .385 .681 1.065
Joey Votto .382 .414 .545 .959 .290 .353 .460 .813 .295 .354 .475 .829



Experience
P. Bako 10 years
J. Hairston 10 years
J. Valentin 9 years
C. Patterson 8 years
J. Cabrera 7 years
B. Phillips 6 years
J. Keppinger 3 years
E. Encarncion 3 years
J. Bruce rookie
R. Hanigan rookie
C. Dickerson rookie
J. Votto rookie

Plate discipline ?
Experience ?
Or versus left handed or right handed pitching differences ?



Experienced Phillips Encarncion Keppinger
vs. Left .307 .364 .613 .977 .311 .418 .538 .956 .362 .422 .495 .917
vs. Right .249 .293 .393 .686 .228 .301 .446 .747 .217 .259 .277 .536
Patterson Bako Valentin
vs. Left .143 .176 .204 .380 .206 .239 .426 .665 .190 .227 .333 .560
vs. Right .206 .245 .368 .613 .209 .294 .286 .580 .266 .320 .415 .735
Hairston Cabrera
vs. Left .371 .439 .529 .968 .294 .316 .647 .963
vs. Right .321 .359 .448 .807 .289 .341 .368 .709


Rookies Bruce Votto Dickerson
vs. Left .200 .267 .305 .572 .274 .344 .437 .781 .100 .100 .200 .300
vs. Right .284 .319 .495 .814 .297 .358 .471 .829 .378 .452 .811 1.263
Hanigan
vs. Left .273 .273 .636 .909
vs. Right .167 .167 .167 .334

Jay Bruce Louisville
vs Left .389 .386 .685 1.071
vs Right .354 .396 .608 1.004
Chris Dickerson Louisville
vs Left .247 .346 .337 .683
vs Right .300 .397 .527 .924
Ryan Hanigan Louisville
vs Left .343 .416 .418 .833
vs Right .317 .384 .420 .803


Plate Discipline ?



P/PA: Pitches per plate appearance
C. Patterson 3.27
B. Phillips 3.58
J. Keppinger 3.58
J. Cabrera 3.63
Jay Bruce 3.64
Joey Votto 3.65
Paul Bako 3.71
J. Hairston Jr. 3.76
E. Encarnacion 3.83
J. Valentin 3.99
C. Dickerson 4.08
Ryan Hanigan 4.38

BB/PA: Walks per plate appearance
C. Patterson .045
Jay Bruce .057
B. Phillips .062
J. Keppinger .063
J. Cabrera .067
J. Hairston Jr. .069
J. Valentin .079
Joey Votto .088
Paul Bako .092
C. Dickerson .096
E. Encarnacion .099
Ryan Hanigan .125

BB/K: Walks to strikeout ratio
Jay Bruce 0.24
J. Cabrera 0.27
C. Patterson 0.33
C. Dickerson 0.33
Paul Bako 0.35
B. Phillips 0.40
J. Valentin 0.45
Joey Votto 0.49
E. Encarnacion 0.57
J. Hairston Jr. 0.59
Ryan Hanigan 1.00
J. Keppinger 1.26

RedEye
08-25-2008, 07:08 PM
vs. Left .200 .267 .305 .572
vs. Right .284 .319 .495 .814

Yes, he has clearly been worse vs. LHP than RHP. But it also looks like he's swinging away at both of 'em, since neither his .267 or his .319 OBP is where you'd like him to be. He's making a bit more contact against the righties, which accounts for his higher OBP... but he's still not walking at all.

RedsBaron
08-25-2008, 09:13 PM
Chris Chambliss. Oh, wait...

I've thought of the same thing. Have the Reds had anyone on their coaching staff who understood plate discipline since Chambliss was dismissed?

GAC
08-25-2008, 10:19 PM
I've thought of the same thing. Have the Reds had anyone on their coaching staff who understood plate discipline since Chambliss was dismissed?

No. Next question. ;)

And I really don't think we're going to see that emphasized with this manager either, who believes "hitters should hit". Just look at what he is beginning to assemble on the field, and more importantly, where Dusty was placing those players that did have any knowledge of plate discipline on this team in the lineup? Did he respect that?

Some don't like it when Dusty quotes are posted (analyzed). But how else is one to get an understanding of what a field manager's philosophy or approach is if not by what he says, as well as the product he is beginning to assemble on that field?

But we're going to know for sure over the course of the next 6 months as to what direction Walt and Dusty are taking this team in '09.

RFS62
08-25-2008, 10:27 PM
I've always felt it takes about 1,500 plate appearances in the minor leagues to really understand hitting. Lesser players get to learn how to make adjustments when pitchers start getting them out in the minor leagues, away from the national spotlight. Bruce is learning how to make adjustments for the first time in the big leagues, as this is the first time he's had to.

Give him time, and more plate appearances. It's part of the learning curve, learning how to make adjustments. It never ends, as he goes around the league pitchers will probe and prod and find the holes in his swing, even as fast as he closes them up.

It's part of his craft, learning how to make adjustments. And you can only learn that through experience.

Highlifeman21
08-25-2008, 11:42 PM
I've always felt it takes about 1,500 plate appearances in the minor leagues to really understand hitting. Lesser players get to learn how to make adjustments when pitchers start getting them out in the minor leagues, away from the national spotlight. Bruce is learning how to make adjustments for the first time in the big leagues, as this is the first time he's had to.

Give him time, and more plate appearances. It's part of the learning curve, learning how to make adjustments. It never ends, as he goes around the league pitchers will probe and prod and find the holes in his swing, even as fast as he closes them up.

It's part of his craft, learning how to make adjustments. And you can only learn that through experience.

Coombs didn't need experience.

Neither should Bruce. ;)

WVRedsFan
08-26-2008, 02:15 AM
What we've seen is, in my opinion, is a total miss in handling Bruce's development. Partially because we were short on outfielders and Jay's tremendous numbers in AAA, we bring him up, throw him to the Lions and then watch in horror when he swings early in the count, makes errors, and simply doesn't look like the savior many thought he would be.

Case in point is he became the great hope when Griffey and Dunn were traded. How in the heck do you put that on some 21 year old kid? The Reds did. Regardless of the reason, monetary or otherwise, after Griffey and Dunn, we had Bruce and...who else? Patterson? Hariston? Who else was being counted on to be the big bats in the outfield? No one. This organization spent years banking on Junior and Dunn until Junior got old and Dunn got too expensive. Poor planning. As the team shrunk into offensive pitifulness, the great savior was Jay Bruce and all that pressure leads him to go up and swing, regardless of the "philosophy" of the manager. Jay needs some veterans who can hit and produce around him. Otherwise, he'll be a .260 hitter his whole life and that's sad.

nate
08-26-2008, 08:59 AM
What we've seen is, in my opinion, is a total miss in handling Bruce's development. Partially because we were short on outfielders and Jay's tremendous numbers in AAA, we bring him up, throw him to the Lions and then watch in horror when he swings early in the count, makes errors, and simply doesn't look like the savior many thought he would be.

Case in point is he became the great hope when Griffey and Dunn were traded. How in the heck do you put that on some 21 year old kid? The Reds did. Regardless of the reason, monetary or otherwise, after Griffey and Dunn, we had Bruce and...who else? Patterson? Hariston? Who else was being counted on to be the big bats in the outfield? No one. This organization spent years banking on Junior and Dunn until Junior got old and Dunn got too expensive. Poor planning. As the team shrunk into offensive pitifulness, the great savior was Jay Bruce and all that pressure leads him to go up and swing, regardless of the "philosophy" of the manager. Jay needs some veterans who can hit and produce around him. Otherwise, he'll be a .260 hitter his whole life and that's sad.

I think the outlook might not be as bleak as you've painted it.

Spring~Fields
08-26-2008, 09:09 AM
What we've seen is, in my opinion, is a total miss in handling Bruce's development. Partially because we were short on outfielders and Jay's tremendous numbers in AAA, we bring him up, throw him to the Lions and then watch in horror when he swings early in the count, makes errors, and simply doesn't look like the savior many thought he would be.

Case in point is he became the great hope when Griffey and Dunn were traded. How in the heck do you put that on some 21 year old kid? The Reds did. Regardless of the reason, monetary or otherwise, after Griffey and Dunn, we had Bruce and...who else? Patterson? Hariston? Who else was being counted on to be the big bats in the outfield? No one. This organization spent years banking on Junior and Dunn until Junior got old and Dunn got too expensive. Poor planning. As the team shrunk into offensive pitifulness, the great savior was Jay Bruce and all that pressure leads him to go up and swing, regardless of the "philosophy" of the manager. Jay needs some veterans who can hit and produce around him. Otherwise, he'll be a .260 hitter his whole life and that's sad.

Bruce has to follow instruction, what choice does the 21 year old rookie have but to try to comply with what his coaches and manager tells him to do?

The rookie should have been treated like a rookie from day one, no special press conference as if the second coming of whoever was arriving, he should have been placed down in the order like the unknown rookie quantity that he was with reduced pressure to learn and to gain experience with limited expectations, instead of being thrust into to positions that he was not ready for experience wise. The number two spot, the leadoff and the three, from which he surely received special instructions having no experience at leadoff, from which he has not recovered, struggling ever since, not to mention playing three different outfield positions after even greats such as Ken Griffey Jr. had expressed the differences in learning those outfield position differences.

Knowing what they had planned in unloading Dunn, Griffey and Ross leaving themselves nothing but Phillips, Votto, and Encarcion on the inventory list and a bench player in Keppinger, they should have known to handle Bruce with the utmost care. Let’s just hope that the former hitting coach Baker and the present batting coach Jacoby can do a better job than they have to date.
As you have already noted, "As the team shrunk into offensive pitifulness", implying the entire team.

Because Walt Jocketty’s trading chips, if he had any left in Phillips, Votto, Bruce and Encarncion, are losing value.

Where are they going to find these veterans?

What trading chips do they have to acquire some veterans of any value? Phillips, Edwin Encarncion, Votto, Arroyo, some prospects from the minors? What can they get from that selection?

What’s on the FA market, a few starting pitchers, CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets, Dempster? A few relievers, Joe Beimel, Juan Cruz, Brian Fuentes?

A couple second basemen Ellis and Hudson and an outfielder maybe, Milton Bradley? The larger market teams from New York, LA, Chicago, Boston or a St. Louis or Houston will snatch them up or they will resign with their current teams, now what?

More minor league prospects coming up from the Reds system, Jocketty better get some people that know how to work with young players and that knows how to develop them on the major league level. Of course there is always the Patterson’s, Hatteberg‘s, Bako’s, and Cabrera’s of the baseball world to bring in as cheap fodder and filler for a veteran presence.

MWM
08-26-2008, 10:01 AM
I'll never understand why he was let go.

He couldn't "fix" ADam Dunn. Period.

OnBaseMachine
08-26-2008, 12:29 PM
He couldn't "fix" ADam Dunn. Period.

What's funny is Dunn had his best season under Chambliss in 2004, and the Reds led the league in runs scored in 2005. I thinking firing Chambliss was one of the worst moves the Reds have made this decade.

RedsBaron
08-26-2008, 01:06 PM
What's funny is Dunn had his best season under Chambliss in 2004 and led the league in runs scored in 2005. I thinking firing Chambliss was one of the worst moves the Reds have made this decade.

Actually Dunn in 2005 finished fifth in the NL in runs scored with 107; Pujols lead with 129. However your point is well taken. Dunn prospered under Chambliss and should have been retained.
This has been perhaps the most frustrating issue for me as a Reds fan. I understand that the Reds cannot have as large a player payroll as the Yankees, but there is no excuse for the continual parade of incompetent coaches, managers and general managers Reds fans have endured for much of this decade.

OnBaseMachine
08-26-2008, 01:07 PM
Actually Dunn in 2005 finished fifth in the NL in runs scored with 107; Pujols lead with 129. However your point is well taken. Dunn propsered under Chambliss and should have been retained.
This has been perhaps the most frustrating issue for me as a Reds fan. I understand that the Reds cannot have as large a player payroll as the Yankees, but there is no excuse for the continual parade of incompetent coaches, managers and general managers Reds fans have endured for much of this decade.

Oops. I meant the Reds led the league in runs scored in 2005. I'm an idiot.

BRM
08-26-2008, 01:24 PM
I'm an idiot.

No argument there. :p:

OnBaseMachine
08-26-2008, 01:32 PM
No argument there. :p:

:mooner:

:D

jojo
08-26-2008, 01:51 PM
Concerning young punks and plate discipline, I'd take Adam Jones in center and Bruce in right and call it a happy day.

Highlifeman21
08-26-2008, 02:31 PM
Concerning young punks and plate discipline, I'd take Adam Jones in center and Bruce in right and call it a happy day.

Don't get me excited like that on a Tuesday, jojo! :D

Add Lastings Milledge in LF, and you got yourself a trio!

Mario-Rijo
08-26-2008, 02:35 PM
At this point his approach doesn't concern me, if he has the same approach in 2 years I will start worrying. It's the same approach I had with Dunn and more recently with Phillips. When you become content with who you are as a player (and unless you are Pujols) and you stop attempting to improve your game, that's when it aggravates me. These kids (Bruce, Votto, Cueto esp.) seem to be cut from a different cloth in that they seemingly want to be as good as they can be, so we'll see if they put the work in or not.

So in essence I would answer the 1st post by saying it's too soon to be concerned. Right now Jay is just trying to hang in and not completely embarrass himself. Next season I would expect to see some minimal-moderate improvement in this area. I would hope to see better than that but I don't necc. expect it.

With regards to the coaches I would say I agree our coaches (throughout the organization) including Baker need to be gone before they do more damage. They may have their positives but clearly they have the wrong idea about what truly does work when it comes to playing winning baseball.

jojo
08-26-2008, 03:22 PM
Don't get me excited like that on a Tuesday, jojo! :D

Add Lastings Milledge in LF, and you got yourself a trio!

That would work for me. :cool:

westofyou
08-26-2008, 03:30 PM
Talent is the ability to do some things, not all things.

George Will
Men at Work

RedEye
08-26-2008, 04:07 PM
At this point his approach doesn't concern me, if he has the same approach in 2 years I will start worrying. It's the same approach I had with Dunn and more recently with Phillips. When you become content with who you are as a player (and unless you are Pujols) and you stop attempting to improve your game, that's when it aggravates me. These kids (Bruce, Votto, Cueto esp.) seem to be cut from a different cloth in that they seemingly want to be as good as they can be, so we'll see if they put the work in or not.


Do we have anything other than anecdotal evidence that proves Dunn and Phillips aren't trying to improve? Put another way, isn't it possible that some players try to improve the holes in their game, but don't succeed?

I tend to be of the school of thought that says a player "is what he is" at a certain point, and that it's just a question of knowing when that point is reached. I think both Dunn and Phillips are known quantities. We can wish all we want that Dunn would hit for better average, and we can pine away for a Phillips that has a better OBP, but we will likely be frustrated if our expectations are too high.

Maybe player skills are kind of like their DNA. Kind of like those separated twin studies they've done where two people with identical DNA grow up in completely different environments. One exercises all the time and eats healthy while the other drinks constantly and eats crap--but their body weights and overall health tend to be quite comparable despite these differences.

In baseball, I think after a certain time you know a range of performance for a player. Phillips, I would guess, is likely to have an OBP between .320 and .340 for the rest of his career. If he works hard, he can attain his ceiling. If he doesn't work hard, he might hit his floor. But the fact remains that he's always going to be somewhere in that range.

Hence my original post about Bruce. I would hazard a guess that we don't quite yet even know what he is. But we might know soon.

Highlifeman21
08-26-2008, 05:37 PM
That would work for me. :cool:

We'd never pry a 5 tooler away from Jimbo.

Ever.

GAC
08-26-2008, 09:16 PM
What we've seen is, in my opinion, is a total miss in handling Bruce's development. Partially because we were short on outfielders and Jay's tremendous numbers in AAA, we bring him up, throw him to the Lions and then watch in horror when he swings early in the count, makes errors, and simply doesn't look like the savior many thought he would be.

Case in point is he became the great hope when Griffey and Dunn were traded. How in the heck do you put that on some 21 year old kid? The Reds did.

Very true. But how many people (threads) were started on RZ earlier in the year screaming at the injustice of not having Bruce on the OD roster? ;)

Spring~Fields
08-26-2008, 10:11 PM
Very true. But how many people (threads) were started on RZ earlier in the year screaming at the injustice of not having Bruce on the OD roster? ;)


Wasn't that about the time that Patterson was leading the Reds in on base percentage and scoring a lot of runs for the Reds?

WVRedsFan
08-27-2008, 12:12 AM
Very true. But how many people (threads) were started on RZ earlier in the year screaming at the injustice of not having Bruce on the OD roster? ;)Posters on RZ are always over optimistic about our minor leaguers. Bruce was going to play a much better centerfield or rightfield and hit for average and power. He started out hot and has been lukewarm since. Why? Like I said, this 21-year old kid was the savior. The screams or the drone of Brrruuuccce just added pressure to him.

Most kids get slowly put into the lineup and learn as they go. The Reds exposed all his faults to the whole league before he had a chance to learn that the majors was a tad more difficult than he thought. Much the same can be said for Cueto, too. Votto hasn't had the problem because he wasn't the savior.

Few on here understand that kids are kids. JB will be a good player in time. I just hope fans allow him the time.

camisadelgolf
08-27-2008, 02:11 AM
Do we have anything other than anecdotal evidence that proves Dunn and Phillips aren't trying to improve? Put another way, isn't it possible that some players try to improve the holes in their game, but don't succeed?

Brandon Phillips was known for being lazy while with the Indians (and even Phillips admitted that he thought the game would come easy to him), but in 2006, the Reds scouts noticed that Phillips suddenly had an excellent work ethic, so the Reds traded for him in hopes that his work ethic could take him from being a bust to being a great second baseman. It's paid off so far, I'd say.

As for Dunn, a few years ago, he would often talk about fishing in the offseason and things like that, but the past couple years, the talk has changed to lifting weights (but granted, not too much about actual baseball activity, which I find somewhat understandable after eight consecutive months of baseball activity every day). Still, it's obvious that he has lost weight and this past spring, you could see that he was working very hard on improving his swing. Maybe he was prone to being lazy in the past, but he certainly wasn't lazy this year.

Spring~Fields
08-27-2008, 02:23 AM
He started out hot and has been lukewarm since. Why?

A lot of them start out hot and then run lukewarm. Why?


May BA June BA July BA Aug BA
Ryan Freel .300 .125
Paul Janish .280 .128
Paul Bako .186 .151 .196 .143
C. Patterson .180 .156 .111 .234
Adam Dunn .284 .161 .310 .139
Andy Phillips .000 .167 .143 .294
J. Valentin .267 .182 .364 .241
K. Griffey Jr. .250 .205 .271 .254
David Ross .282 .216 .242 .133
Jay Bruce .579 .223 .253 .227
Joey Votto .281 .257 .261 .382
B. Phillips .292 .262 .278 .200
E. Encarnacion .172 .294 .291 .224
J. Hairston Jr. .343 .302 .429 .188
J. Keppinger .400 .296 .206 .205
J. Cabrera .389 .125 .276

WVRedsFan
08-27-2008, 02:30 AM
A lot of them start out hot and then run lukewarm. Why?


May BA June BA July BA Aug BA
Ryan Freel .300 .125
Paul Janish .280 .128
Paul Bako .186 .151 .196 .143
C. Patterson .180 .156 .111 .234
Adam Dunn .284 .161 .310 .139
Andy Phillips .000 .167 .143 .294
J. Valentin .267 .182 .364 .241
K. Griffey Jr. .250 .205 .271 .254
David Ross .282 .216 .242 .133
Jay Bruce .579 .223 .253 .227
Joey Votto .281 .257 .261 .382
B. Phillips .292 .262 .278 .200
E. Encarnacion .172 .294 .291 .224
J. Hairston Jr. .343 .302 .429 .188
J. Keppinger .400 .296 .206 .205
J. Cabrera .389 .125 .276


Pitchers haven't caught up yet. Well-known fact. Bruce was all that. The next star is fixable. I'm not sure any of the others are. Stay tuned.

Spring~Fields
08-27-2008, 03:06 AM
Pitchers haven't caught up yet. Well-known fact. Bruce was all that. The next star is fixable. I'm not sure any of the others are. Stay tuned.

Is there a "real" keeper in the entire group? :)

RedEye
08-27-2008, 10:12 AM
Brandon Phillips was known for being lazy while with the Indians (and even Phillips admitted that he thought the game would come easy to him), but in 2006, the Reds scouts noticed that Phillips suddenly had an excellent work ethic, so the Reds traded for him in hopes that his work ethic could take him from being a bust to being a great second baseman. It's paid off so far, I'd say.

As for Dunn, a few years ago, he would often talk about fishing in the offseason and things like that, but the past couple years, the talk has changed to lifting weights (but granted, not too much about actual baseball activity, which I find somewhat understandable after eight consecutive months of baseball activity every day). Still, it's obvious that he has lost weight and this past spring, you could see that he was working very hard on improving his swing. Maybe he was prone to being lazy in the past, but he certainly wasn't lazy this year.

As I said, we don't have anything more than anecdotal evidence about this. Just because someone is "known for being lazy" or "talks about fishing in the offseason" doesn't mean he isn't working to improve. Just because a player "hustles" or "plays the game the right way" doesn't mean he is more likely to improve.

I guess just I think we're too hasty to draw conclusions about a player's work ethic based on scraps of info we get in the media and our impressions of how the player looks in the handful of games we watch.

Further, and this is my point, I think players reach a plateau stage in their careers after which it gets pretty difficult to change what they are. Two years into the league, Dunn reached his (.240/.375/.550) and, much to the chagrin of many Reds fans, he was never really able to change it. Phillips took a couple of years of yo-yoing up and down with the Tribe before he upped a sub .300 OBP to around .330 with decent power, and that's what he's been pretty much ever since as well.

Do I think improvement is possible? Absolutely. I just think it's rare and less related to the superficial observations we make as fans.

GAC
08-27-2008, 05:42 PM
Posters on RZ are always over optimistic about our minor leaguers. Bruce was going to play a much better centerfield or rightfield and hit for average and power. He started out hot and has been lukewarm since. Why? Like I said, this 21-year old kid was the savior. The screams or the drone of Brrruuuccce just added pressure to him.

Most kids get slowly put into the lineup and learn as they go. The Reds exposed all his faults to the whole league before he had a chance to learn that the majors was a tad more difficult than he thought. Much the same can be said for Cueto, too. Votto hasn't had the problem because he wasn't the savior.

Few on here understand that kids are kids. JB will be a good player in time. I just hope fans allow him the time.

I completely agree with all the above WV. He's not Brandon Larson.

I'm just wary of a manager like Dusty messin' with him though. ;)

Spring~Fields
08-27-2008, 07:54 PM
I'm just wary of a manager like Dusty messin' with him though. ;)

GAC, you and WV will really appreciate this next story then. Obviously Baker has been a big help to Bruce. ;)

Bruce: It's embarrassing
Posted by JohnFay at 8/27/2008 5:49 PM EDT on Cincinnati.com

Jay Bruce is going through a skid like Jay Bruce has never gone through. His strikeout streak reached seven before he grounded out last night in his final. He's 0-for-his-last-11. And he's playing in his home territory.

"Honestly, it's embarrassing," he said, "not doing as well as should as player, not because of the people here, but it's embarrassing for me because I feel like I'm so much better a player than I'd been showing. It's frustrating."

Dusty Baker pulled Bruce in for a little pep talk.

"He was very positive," Bruce said. "He's here for us. He enjoys trying to help us out. I appreciate the time he does take with us. It's good to have someone you can talk, who's been in the situation as a young player in the big leagues."

When asked if he left a lot of tickets this time, Bruce said something that makes you realize how young he is. "A lot my friends have gone back to school," Bruce said. Had he gone the college route, he'd be entering his senior year.

Bruce is about to play into September for the first.

"It's uncharted territory for me," Bruce said. "That's the beauty of it. I've got a whole another month to get it straight. I'm excited about it."

Bruce thinks he just needs to be Bruce.

"I'm kind of feeling my way at-bat instead of going up there with the mind set I usually have. I need to go up there and do what I do and let my natural ability take over, instead of second guessing myself."

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=blog07&plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3ae57bcc87-152a-4f72-96fb-cc08b1f396efPost%3a95926e25-8b3e-448f-bfe6-ef0e8c11ed89&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

Degenerate39
08-27-2008, 08:57 PM
"Honestly, it's embarrassing," he said, "not doing as well as should as player, not because of the people here, but it's embarrassing for me because I feel like I'm so much better a player than I'd been showing. It's frustrating."

I hope that's another John Faye typo.

OnBaseMachine
08-27-2008, 09:12 PM
ADAM DUNN and Ken Griffey Jr. used to call it, “Getting called to the principal’s office.”

Jay Bruce was summoned to manager Dusty Baker’s office before tonight’s game. No hickory stick or paddle awaited, just a man-to-man people talk. Over the course of the last two games Bruce struck out seven times in a row.

“I appreciate Dusty doing that,” said Bruce. “That’s what he is there for and it is good that he is there for us. He’s been through it. He knows things.”

Baker said, “Jay is in Never-Never Land right now. He is between off-speed pitches and fastballs. The secret is to get back on the fastballs. He is so aggressive and I’d rather have that way than for him to be passive. It is focus and concentration. We want him to keep being aggressive, but be aggressive in the strike zone.”

Nobody knows it better than the 21-year-old Bruce.

“I’m learning,” he said. “The way I’ve been hitting lately is not acceptable by my standards because I expect a lot out of myself. No matter how old I am or am not or how long I’ve been here in the majors or not been here, I have a certain standard to perform. Lately I haven’t been doing it. And, yes, it’s embarrassing.

“But that’s the beauty of baseball,” he added. “Every day you start over. Make the best of it and learn from it. This is probably one of a million slumps I’ll go through and dealing with adversity is all part of it. That’s the positive side of it for me. Everybody struggles.”

Somebody suggested that maybe playing in Houston, his home, in front of family and friends, was too much pressure, but the first four strikeouts came Sunday in Denver and the next three came Tuesday in Houston.

Baker said he likes the fact that players leave scads of tickets and play in front of friends and relatives on the road and added, “I like that. Players know people want to see them play and usually they bear down and do better. All those people probably never saw Jay struggle as a kid.”

Said Bruce, “I know I have to be aggressive in the zone. These pitchers up here know right now that they don’t have to throw me a strike, so they won’t. Why should they? I wouldn’t either if I didn’t have to.

“This is all a learning process I need to shorten that process as quickly as I can,” he added. “I haven’t struck out seven times in my life, ever. In your whole life you are always experiencing first times and hopefully that’s the last time I experience that.

“But at this point I was going up there more trying not to strikeout than get a hit,” he said. “That’s a bad approach. That’s like playing not to lose rather than playing not to win.”

Count on this. Bruce soon will again come out smoking and some pitchers are going to pay. Knowing Bruce, if pressed, he’d promise that with a money-back guarantee.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/o/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/

RedsManRick
08-27-2008, 09:24 PM
Jay Bruce seems to have the perfect mix of work ethic, confidence, and optimism. He's certainly hit the rookie wall hard and will have to make his adjustments, but every word out of his mouth gives me faith that he will.

GAC
08-27-2008, 09:24 PM
Baker said, “Jay is in Never-Never Land right now. He is between off-speed pitches and fastballs. The secret is to get back on the fastballs. He is so aggressive and I’d rather have that way than for him to be passive. It is focus and concentration. We want him to keep being aggressive, but be aggressive in the strike zone.”

Translation please? ;)

Spring~Fields
08-27-2008, 11:42 PM
Baker said, “Jay is in Never-Never Land right now. He is between off-speed pitches and fastballs. The secret is to get back on the fastballs. He is so aggressive and I’d rather have that way than for him to be passive. It is focus and concentration. We want him to keep being aggressive, but be aggressive in the strike zone.”

Said Bruce, “I know I have to be aggressive in the zone. These pitchers up here know right now that they don’t have to throw me a strike, so they won’t. Why should they? I wouldn’t either if I didn’t have to.

“I haven’t struck out seven times in my life, ever. In your whole life you are always experiencing first times and hopefully that’s the last time I experience that.



Sounds like he has been told to be aggressive at the plate instead of staying within himself.

Spring~Fields
08-27-2008, 11:55 PM
Translation please? ;)

Bruce is speaking the "aggressive" mantra, where did that come from this year?

How’s that worked out for the individual batters and the offense this year?

He's received bad instruction (some input that has not translated well at the plate for him) and is now talking the company line to stay up with the big club, i.e. another Reds batter with no clue at the plate.

Bruce should have just stayed within himself and made adjustments as he has throughout his time in baseball. Bruce did not need a new approach to hitting, he was already an outstanding hitter.


"Honestly, it's embarrassing," he said, "not doing as well as should as player, not because of the people here, but it's embarrassing for me because I feel like I'm so much better a player than I'd been showing. It's frustrating."

“I haven’t struck out seven times in my life, ever. In your whole life you are always experiencing first times and hopefully that’s the last time I experience that."

Bruce isn't the only one that should be embarrassed.

IslandRed
08-28-2008, 12:34 AM
Bruce is speaking the "aggressive" mantra, where did that come from this year?

He always was aggressive at the plate. The fact that he's tagging it with "in the zone," and his quote about how pitchers don't have to throw strikes to get him out right now, indicate that he knows he's crossed the line from "aggressive" to "hacking." The two words are not synonyms, as often as this forum treats them as such.

Let's not over-parse here. "Aggressive in the zone" means you're ready to hit when they throw you something to hit but you aren't swinging at crap. That's a pretty standard-issue good-hitter approach, isn't it?

Spring~Fields
08-28-2008, 12:40 AM
He always was aggressive at the plate. The fact that he's tagging it with "in the zone," and his quote about how pitchers don't have to throw strikes to get him out right now, indicate that he knows he's crossed the line from "aggressive" to "hacking." The two words are not synonyms, as often as this forum treats them as such.



I agree.

camisadelgolf
08-28-2008, 03:38 AM
Translation please? ;)

I'm drunk right now, as usual, but I think I understand.

Bruce is behind fastballs and ahead of off-speed pitches. This means that he is swinging and missing a lot. He is an aggressive hitter, but Dusty really likes that. Dusty would rather Bruce be overly-aggressive than overly-passive at the plate. However, it would be ideal if Bruce were aggressively swinging at pitches in the strike zone as opposed to pitches outside of the strike zone. In other words, even though Bruce isn't getting hits, it's good that he's maintaining an aggressive effort and not clogging the bases.

Spring~Fields
08-30-2008, 09:57 AM
EDWIN OFF: Edwin Encarnacion was out of the lineup Thursday. Rookie Adam Rosales started at third in Encarnacion's spot.

"I wanted to give him a day off to collect his thoughts," Baker said. "He looked a little lost yesterday."
http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080829/SPT04/808290417/1071/SPT04

Does anyone look more lost than the young man Jay Bruce at times?

When does this young man get a day or two off for the same reasons above, under the same theory? To just step away from it for a bit and to see if that can help him as it has other players in the past.

Last seven days
Jay Bruce .200 .200 .400 .600
August
Jay Bruce .219 .241 .457 .698
Vs. Left
Jay Bruce .189 .254 .288 .542

Game Log - Looks like he has played a lot of games without an extra day off through his struggles.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/gamelog?playerId=28954

Dickerson and Cabrera can play left or right, Patterson of course can play center.

mth123
08-30-2008, 10:09 AM
Does anyone look more lost than the young man Jay Bruce at times?

When does this young man get a day or two off for the same reasons above, under the same theory? To just step away from it for a bit and to see if that can help him as it has other players in the past.

Last seven days
Jay Bruce .200 .200 .400 .600
August
Jay Bruce .219 .241 .457 .698
Vs. Left
Jay Bruce .189 .254 .288 .542

Game Log - Looks like he has played a lot of games without an extra day off through his struggles.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/gamelog?playerId=28954

Dickerson and Cabrera can play left or right, Patterson of course can play center.

The OF should be Rosales or Votto in LF, Dickerson in CF and Bruce in RF. With Bruce struggles primarily being against lefties, Cabrera should play RF occassionally against LHP to give Bruce a day off. Patterson should be strictly a defensive replacement for the guys learning LF.

Spring~Fields
08-30-2008, 12:25 PM
The OF should be Rosales or Votto in LF, Dickerson in CF and Bruce in RF. With Bruce struggles primarily being against lefties, Cabrera should play RF occassionally against LHP to give Bruce a day off. Patterson should be strictly a defensive replacement for the guys learning LF.

I don't have any problem with that, especially at this point in the season.

I just would like to see if a day away from it would help Bruce some, not to send any messages and not to punish etc.

Just to give him a break.

Jpup
08-30-2008, 05:54 PM
he's 21. He'll be fine.

Chip R
08-30-2008, 08:50 PM
Hasn't Bruce initially struggled when he's been moved up a level?

Highlifeman21
08-30-2008, 08:59 PM
Let's see what Jay Bruce does in 2009.

2008 is on the job training.

He could go 0 for the rest of the year and I honestly wouldn't care.

SirFelixCat
08-30-2008, 09:11 PM
Jay Bruce seems to have the perfect mix of work ethic, confidence, and optimism. He's certainly hit the rookie wall hard and will have to make his adjustments, but every word out of his mouth gives me faith that he will.


I completely agree. I also feel that the rest of this year is really OJT and while not meaningless, I'm not concerned really. I think the kid is going to find it again and become the player that we all think and hope he will be.

RFS62
08-30-2008, 10:05 PM
21 is the only number you can use to judge Bruce.

How many other 21 year old baseball players are better?

westofyou
08-30-2008, 10:29 PM
21 is the only number you can use to judge Bruce.

How many other 21 year old baseball players are better?

Quoted for truth,he ain't Roy Hobbs and he ain't Paul Householder, he had over 80 ebh's last year.

That's impressive... even in the wake of his debut and the anti accolades showered on him nightly here by the impatient Eeyores that post of his led zepplin effect on this years squad.

Spring~Fields
08-31-2008, 03:54 PM
3 walks today, Bakers talk with him must have really helped.

remdog
08-31-2008, 04:54 PM
3 walks today, Bakers talk with him must have really helped.

I thought that his AB's today were exceptional because, not only did he show patience but he seemed totally aware of what he could and couldn't drive and he seemed totally aware of the importance of the game situation.

Rem

OnBaseMachine
08-31-2008, 04:57 PM
Bruce looked great at the plate today. That's how he looked when he was first called up... working the count, laying off pitches he can't hit, and hitting the ball hard. He walked three times and worked the count to 3-1 and 3-2 in his other plate appearances. Hopefully this is a sign of him coming out of that nasty slump and maybe the start of a strong September.

Spring~Fields
08-31-2008, 07:45 PM
I thought that his AB's today were exceptional because, not only did he show patience but he seemed totally aware of what he could and couldn't drive and he seemed totally aware of the importance of the game situation.
Rem

His approach today was very encouraging.

OnBaseMachine
09-07-2008, 06:47 PM
Bruce has walked nine times in his last eight games, and as a result he's back to crushing the ball again. He's looked very good at the plate in the last eight to ten games, and is looking like the superstar he's gonna be. Hopefully he can finish the season strong and carry that into next season.

RedEye
09-08-2008, 11:06 PM
Another walk and a double so far tonight against Bush. A few more days like this, and the Reds might need to move Bruce back up in the order. I'd like to see he and Votto get used to batting 3-4 for a few weeks.

RedEye
09-08-2008, 11:10 PM
Hairston rf
Keppinger ss
Bruce lf
Votto 1b
Encarnacion 3b
Phillips 2b
Bako c
Patterson cf
pitcher

_Sir_Charles_
09-08-2008, 11:17 PM
Ummm....are you saying that you'd LIKE that lineup? *shudders*

I do like the idea of 3-4 Bruce & Votto, and I like the 5 & 6 of Edwin & Brandon.

RedEye
09-08-2008, 11:39 PM
Ummm....are you saying that you'd LIKE that lineup? *shudders*

I do like the idea of 3-4 Bruce & Votto, and I like the 5 & 6 of Edwin & Brandon.

In a general sense, no I don't like it. With what the Reds have available right now? I'd take it. Obviously, I'd prefer Dickerson over Patterson, but that's not an option currently.

RedEye
09-08-2008, 11:40 PM
And I agree, the Reds could do worse than batting Bruce-Votto-EdE-Phillips in the 3-6 slots.

_Sir_Charles_
09-09-2008, 12:01 AM
In a general sense, no I don't like it. With what the Reds have available right now? I'd take it. Obviously, I'd prefer Dickerson over Patterson, but that's not an option currently.

I kinda figured. Dickerson over Patterson and Hanigan over Bako and I'd be fine with it too.

OnBaseMachine
09-09-2008, 12:07 AM
Hairston rf
Keppinger ss
Bruce lf
Votto 1b
Encarnacion 3b
Phillips 2b
Bako c
Patterson cf
pitcher

Why Hairston in right field? Bruce's future is in right field and that's where he needs to play so he can get adjusted to all the nooks and crannies around MLB parks. JMO.

RedEye
09-09-2008, 07:35 PM
Why Hairston in right field? Bruce's future is in right field and that's where he needs to play so he can get adjusted to all the nooks and crannies around MLB parks. JMO.

Okay, so I was thinking more about the batting order than defensive positions. You can flip Hairston and Bruce. My point was that the middle of the order should be Bruce-Votto-EdE-Phillips.

Spring~Fields
09-09-2008, 08:44 PM
I am glad to see Bruce doing better, now we need a thread on Patterson, Phillips and Bako's plate discipline. Think it would help?

RedEye
09-09-2008, 09:04 PM
I am glad to see Bruce doing better, now we need a thread on Patterson, Phillips and Bako's plate discipline. Think it would help?

:D Of course! In fact, we should probably keep this thread going just in case it is responsible for Bruce's recent streak!

Spring~Fields
09-09-2008, 10:18 PM
:D Of course! In fact, we should probably keep this thread going just in case it is responsible for Bruce's recent streak!

:)

RedEye
09-16-2008, 11:25 PM
Bruce over his last 42 at bats: .309/.416/.700

8 walks

I know some might accuse me of cherry picking a hot streak, but what I've seen recently from him has been really encouraging. It's almost like he reads our threads, takes them seriously, and tries to apply them.

OnBaseMachine
09-17-2008, 12:05 AM
Bruce over his last 42 at bats: .309/.416/.700

8 walks

I know some might accuse me of cherry picking a hot streak, but what I've seen recently from him has been really encouraging. It's almost like he reads our threads, takes them seriously, and tries to apply them.

Very encouraging. Even when he was going through some rough patches I never doubted his talent or future. I couldn't have asked for more. He's only 21 years old and is putting up solid numbers. There's no doubt in my mind that he's gonna be a future superstar in this league. You can just tell he's got a great head on his shoulders and is willing to learn and make the necessary adjustments to be a great player.

SteelSD
09-17-2008, 01:19 AM
Very encouraging. Even when he was going through some rough patches I never doubted his talent or future. I couldn't have asked for more. He's only 21 years old and is putting up solid numbers. There's no doubt in my mind that he's gonna be a future superstar in this league. You can just tell he's got a great head on his shoulders and is willing to learn and make the necessary adjustments to be a great player.

Excepting the tag of "future superstar" (never a given), Bruce has done about what I expected. And we shouldn't take his performance lightly given his age. He came on like gangbusters, figured out that he wasn't all that, and then dedicated himself to improving. We still need to see gains in the IsoD portion of his game, but he's shown enough pop so far to help that along.