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OnBaseMachine
04-27-2009, 11:47 AM
Bruce a 40 home run guy?
Posted by JohnFay at 4/27/2009 10:34 AM EDT on Cincinnati.com

Jay Bruce has 19 home runs in a little less than his last half of a season. He hit seven in August, seven in September and has five so far in April. Scouts talk about his electric bat. But I don't think many people projected him as a 40 home run guy. He's not pulling to the ball to do it. His first home run yesterday nearly hit the foul pole in left. At least one of the other four was to the opposite field.

What kind of numbers do you project for him?

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%3a1b18e928-d1c2-4ee4-b87f-433839e6d012&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

Sea Ray
04-27-2009, 11:50 AM
I think he can hit 40 but I don't want him to change his approach to do it. I'm sure he'll have some 40 HR years in his career

Falls City Beer
04-27-2009, 11:56 AM
As long as he's healthy, he'll hit 40. He won't have to change his game to do it either. Power is his game despite his youth.

Root Down
04-27-2009, 12:02 PM
I think he can hit 40 though he is a natural line drive hitter. I really hope when he posts larger numbers than he or anyone else expected that he doesn't try to become a home-run hitter (see BP).

Falls City Beer
04-27-2009, 12:28 PM
I think he can hit 40 though he is a natural line drive hitter. I really hope when he posts larger numbers than he or anyone else expected that he doesn't try to become a home-run hitter (see BP).

Bruce doesn't need a dead-pull swing to hit it out (unlike BP), so his feeling the need to change his approach is pretty unlikely.

OnBaseMachine
04-27-2009, 12:31 PM
Bruce doesn't need a dead-pull swing to hit it out (unlike BP), so his feeling the need to change his approach is pretty unlikely.

Yep. Bruce has great power too all parts of the field. Two of his five homers have been to left field.

I agree that he has a few 40 homer seasons in him. This year? Probably not. I'm expecting around 30 from Bruce this season.

bucksfan2
04-27-2009, 12:35 PM
If he tries to no. If he continues to swing the way he is right now then yes. He showed yesterday that he has enough power to hit it out to LF and also crush one to RC. If he takes the approach of driving the ball to LC, like Votto does, then Bruce will likely be in the 40 HR range. If he starts the Edwin pull everything then he will likely be a 30 HR guy.

RedEye
04-27-2009, 01:09 PM
Whether he is a 30 or 40 HR guy is less important to me than whether he starts walking more. 30-40 HR with a .350+ OBP is much more imposing than 30-40 HR with a .310 OBP. If we're lucky, he'll develop into a patient slugger who also hits for high average.

HumnHilghtFreel
04-27-2009, 03:14 PM
Whether he is a 30 or 40 HR guy is less important to me than whether he starts walking more. 30-40 HR with a .350+ OBP is much more imposing than 30-40 HR with a .310 OBP. If we're lucky, he'll develop into a patient slugger who also hits for high average.

I feel the same way. I haven't been overly impressed with his patience, but he's still so young that I'm assuring myself that he will mature into a more patient approach at the plate.

RedsManRick
04-27-2009, 03:25 PM
Power wise, he's more Berkman or Braun than Fielder or Dunn. I think he's a regular 30-35 HR guy with maybe a few 40 HR seasons in him.

JaxRed
04-27-2009, 03:34 PM
On the Braves broadcast yesterday they indicated Reds managment thinks at this point that Bruce has never met a pitch he didn't like.

membengal
04-27-2009, 03:35 PM
Were they bitter when they said it? B/c Bruce, while working on strike zone command at his tender age, has never been the free-swinging lady of the evening that Francouer has been...

dougdirt
04-27-2009, 03:43 PM
On the Braves broadcast yesterday they indicated Reds managment thinks at this point that Bruce has never met a pitch he didn't like.

Jay goes through stretches of hot and cold. Interestingly enough, when he is hot, his plate discipline is quite strong. When he is cold, he is swinging at everything. With maturity and experience hopefully he figures it out and learns to consistently wait for his pitch rather than going for the pitchers pitch.

M2
04-27-2009, 03:56 PM
Bruce hit 31 HR last season (10 of them in AAA). He hit 26 HR the season before. So 40 HR wouldn't be all that stunning from him.

His doubles totals dropped off sharply last year and it would be nice to see that rebound.

Yet he'll be violating plenty of baseballs this year, which brings me to where the next phase of where Jay Bruce's career is headed - before this season ends, the plight of the Reds will be all his fault.

OnBaseMachine
04-27-2009, 04:20 PM
Jay goes through stretches of hot and cold. Interestingly enough, when he is hot, his plate discipline is quite strong. When he is cold, he is swinging at everything. With maturity and experience hopefully he figures it out and learns to consistently wait for his pitch rather than going for the pitchers pitch.

Yep.

If you go back and read some of the recent articles on Bruce, one of the first things he always mentions is how he needs to improve his plate discipline. Like Doug said, when Bruce is right, his plate discipline is very good. When he struggles is when he starts swinging at bad pitches and getting himself out. By all accounts, Bruce is a very hard worker so it wouldn't surprise me if his plate discipline is a strength two years from now.

Scrap Irony
04-27-2009, 04:31 PM
Bruce, in his prime, is a 50-homer bat. Or at least has that potential. (Potential may be the ugliest word in the English language.) Bruce's prime power years should be between 25 and 35.

For now, look for 30-40 dingers per season. The key, as others have said, is his BA and his BB total. The higher his BBs, the higher his BA, the more likely he has a great year and a HOF career.

No pressure, that.

NJReds
04-27-2009, 04:36 PM
If the guys batting before him and after him don't get their averages over .200, Bruce may start getting the Barry Bonds treatment from pitchers.

SMcGavin
04-27-2009, 05:09 PM
Whether he is a 30 or 40 HR guy is less important to me than whether he starts walking more. 30-40 HR with a .350+ OBP is much more imposing than 30-40 HR with a .310 OBP. If we're lucky, he'll develop into a patient slugger who also hits for high average.

I agree, development of his plate discipline is the big thing to look at with Bruce. We know he has the power. I think he'll definitely get to the .350 OBP you reference. The question in my mind is, will he get his OBP up to an elite level - up around .380 - which would take him from a good player to a top shelf one. I don't think something like .290/.380/.575 is out of the question for him in his prime. High expectations perhaps, but he's pretty good already and he just turned 22.

Nasty_Boy
04-27-2009, 06:50 PM
Jay goes through stretches of hot and cold. Interestingly enough, when he is hot, his plate discipline is quite strong. When he is cold, he is swinging at everything. With maturity and experience hopefully he figures it out and learns to consistently wait for his pitch rather than going for the pitchers pitch.

I know its easier said than done, but one would think that being as close as he is to Votto that he would start to pick up on that. I wonder if Jay does the film study that Joey does? It probably helps that Joey is 3-4 years older, but Jay does show flashes of great discipline that make him an extremely dangerous hitter. I think the rest of this season will be filled with the same ups and downs like we have seen in the first 3 weeks, but I do believe that the cold stretches are going to start being fewer and far between.

dougdirt
04-27-2009, 08:38 PM
I know its easier said than done, but one would think that being as close as he is to Votto that he would start to pick up on that. I wonder if Jay does the film study that Joey does? It probably helps that Joey is 3-4 years older, but Jay does show flashes of great discipline that make him an extremely dangerous hitter. I think the rest of this season will be filled with the same ups and downs like we have seen in the first 3 weeks, but I do believe that the cold stretches are going to start being fewer and far between.

Jay Bruce - 5 walks in 62 PA with 14 Ks. Thats 8% and 22.6%.
Joey Votto - 6 walks in 78 PA with 18 K's. Thats 7.7% and 23%.

I think the one difference between the two is that Joey seems to be a little better at fouling off pitches currently, but still, to this point in the season, the two have similar walk and K rates.

Nasty_Boy
04-28-2009, 12:12 AM
I think Jay knows he can make contact and is eager to do so. He may not be striking out, but he's still not disciplined. I do agree with what you are saying... Joey just seems to have a plan, Jay just seems to want to swing.

RedsBaron
04-28-2009, 08:04 AM
Plate discipline often is one of the last skills a major league hitter fully develops, if he develops it at all. I'm not surprised that Bruce doesn't yet have the discipline he needs at this point. I think he will have some 40+ HRs seasons.

GAC
04-28-2009, 09:42 AM
Wonder how many of the homers will be solo shots though? ;)

cumberlandreds
04-28-2009, 10:09 AM
Wonder how many of the homers will be solo shots though? ;)

I was wondering how many would be rally killers? ;)

Scrap Irony
04-28-2009, 11:39 AM
Here at Redszone, Bruce is certainly not the whipping boy du joir.

That would be Phillips, with EdE and Volquez a distant second and third.

In the past week, there have been twice as many negative posts about Phillips than any other Red. (Just last night, for example, Phillips got hit with eight posts on his rally-killing double play, with EdE's rally-killing dribbler netted only five dings. McDonald, meanwhile, had another five negative posts simply for showing his face as a pinch-hitter. Tough job, that 25th man.)

Falls City Beer
04-28-2009, 11:46 AM
That would be Phillips, with EdE and Volquez a distant second and third.



Right now those three have painted targets on themselves and handed fans the gun.

Scrap Irony
04-28-2009, 11:53 AM
No doubt all three have played well below even modest expectations. Just observing what's happening. Most here (intelligent fans, for the most part) have glommed onto one of those three as chief rally killer/ reason behind Red struggles.

There is a Reason Why "We" Suck Vacuum, as Dunn, Junior, Patterson, Bako, Javy, and Ross have all left town. Though, thankfully (for the masses) Teh Dust is still around, wristbands, toothpick, and all.

SMcGavin
04-28-2009, 12:09 PM
Here at Redszone, Bruce is certainly not the whipping boy du joir.

That would be Phillips, with EdE and Volquez a distant second and third.

In the past week, there have been twice as many negative posts about Phillips than any other Red. (Just last night, for example, Phillips got hit with eight posts on his rally-killing double play, with EdE's rally-killing dribbler netted only five dings. McDonald, meanwhile, had another five negative posts simply for showing his face as a pinch-hitter. Tough job, that 25th man.)

Brandon Phillips, on the Reds caravan tour this winter, at a fan's suggestion of adding another bat to the team: "I don't need any help." This was just before he trashed Adam Dunn, the guy batting behind BP most of the past couple seasons and likely the reason Brandon saw so many good pitches.

So yea, as the Reds sit here today scoring less than four runs a game and Phillips sits in the cleanup spot with a .536 OPS, I give Phillips a harder time than the others. The self-proclaimed "team leader" asked for it.

RedlegJake
04-28-2009, 12:21 PM
Jay Bruce - 5 walks in 62 PA with 14 Ks. Thats 8% and 22.6%.
Joey Votto - 6 walks in 78 PA with 18 K's. Thats 7.7% and 23%.

I think the one difference between the two is that Joey seems to be a little better at fouling off pitches currently, but still, to this point in the season, the two have similar walk and K rates.

I think another difference is that Jay swings at more bad pitches. I don't see pitchers pounding the strikezone to him because he gets anxious and swings at balls. Because he gets fewer strikes but swings at more bad pitches he ends up with walk & K rates similar to Joeys but I believe he's actually better at making contact when swinging at strikes than Votto is. His numbers suffer because he swings too often at pitches out of the zone - increasing his K rate and lowering his potential walk rate. If he learns more discipline I think he'll become an elite class of hitter - even a step up from Votto.

Scrap Irony
04-28-2009, 01:16 PM
Brandon Phillips, on the Reds caravan tour this winter, at a fan's suggestion of adding another bat to the team: "I don't need any help." This was just before he trashed Adam Dunn, the guy batting behind BP most of the past couple seasons and likely the reason Brandon saw so many good pitches.

So yea, as the Reds sit here today scoring less than four runs a game and Phillips sits in the cleanup spot with a .536 OPS, I give Phillips a harder time than the others. The self-proclaimed "team leader" asked for it.

BP should have said, "Yeah, we need another bat. Dickerson hasn't proven jack, Taveras should bat tenth in a nine person order, and Hairston hasn't been good two years in a row since high school."

Being a team leader is sometimes saying what your team needs to hear, rather than what fans may want you to say. Dusty has mastered that particular ability and may have influenced Phillips to do the same.

Does he deserve grief? Sure. Some. But you give him a harder time because you didn't like his answer to a question wherein there wasn't a good way to say anything else?

*BaseClogger*
04-28-2009, 01:27 PM
BP should have said, "Yeah, we need another bat. Dickerson hasn't proven jack, Taveras should bat tenth in a nine person order, and Hairston hasn't been good two years in a row since high school."

Being a team leader is sometimes saying what your team needs to hear, rather than what fans may want you to say. Dusty has mastered that particular ability and may have influenced Phillips to do the same.

Does he deserve grief? Sure. Some. But you give him a harder time because you didn't like his answer to a question wherein there wasn't a good way to say anything else?

How about "The team can be successful with its current construction" rather than "I don't need any help"?

nate
04-28-2009, 01:55 PM
Does he deserve grief? Sure. Some. But you give him a harder time because you didn't like his answer to a question wherein there wasn't a good way to say anything else?

"I liked playing with Adam when he was here but he's gone now and we're working on making the 2009 Reds the best team they can be. I'm excited about our ballclub and fired up to get out there and play."

WMR
04-28-2009, 02:07 PM
BP should have said, "Yeah, we need another bat. Dickerson hasn't proven jack, Taveras should bat tenth in a nine person order, and Hairston hasn't been good two years in a row since high school."

Being a team leader is sometimes saying what your team needs to hear, rather than what fans may want you to say. Dusty has mastered that particular ability and may have influenced Phillips to do the same.

Does he deserve grief? Sure. Some. But you give him a harder time because you didn't like his answer to a question wherein there wasn't a good way to say anything else?

"I hope Walt is ALWAYS looking to add more talent to our team. I want to win a World Series and to do that the Reds need to add more talent whenever the opportunity presents itself."

dougdirt
04-28-2009, 02:13 PM
I think another difference is that Jay swings at more bad pitches. I don't see pitchers pounding the strikezone to him because he gets anxious and swings at balls. Because he gets fewer strikes but swings at more bad pitches he ends up with walk & K rates similar to Joeys but I believe he's actually better at making contact when swinging at strikes than Votto is. His numbers suffer because he swings too often at pitches out of the zone - increasing his K rate and lowering his potential walk rate. If he learns more discipline I think he'll become an elite class of hitter - even a step up from Votto.

I think I am actually going to look at the pitches they swing out more than 3 inches outside of the zone, for just this season only with the help of the PitchF/X data. Hopefully can get it done before tonights game. I have some other articles to get done before working on that though.

SMcGavin
04-28-2009, 02:14 PM
BP should have said, "Yeah, we need another bat. Dickerson hasn't proven jack, Taveras should bat tenth in a nine person order, and Hairston hasn't been good two years in a row since high school."

Being a team leader is sometimes saying what your team needs to hear, rather than what fans may want you to say. Dusty has mastered that particular ability and may have influenced Phillips to do the same.

Does he deserve grief? Sure. Some. But you give him a harder time because you didn't like his answer to a question wherein there wasn't a good way to say anything else?

The three guys ahead of me just gave perfectly acceptable answers, there are 100 more, none of them involve "I don't need any help". Say that and you're opening yourself up to getting ripped when it becomes painfully obvious that not only do you need help, but you need someone to carry you.

BTW I agree that Dusty is a good leader, that's why you never heard him throw Dunn or KGJ under the bus once they were gone.

osuceltic
04-28-2009, 02:23 PM
So you guys wanted him to say basically nothing -- other than maybe kissing Dunn's rear end on the way out of town.

Talk about a load of crap. You don't know exactly how the question was phrased or exactly how it was answered or if anything was taken out of context. It's ridiculous, and it's more about two things than it is about what was said:

1. BP was talking about Dunn, who could do no wrong to many here.

2. BP doesn't have a .350 OBP.

As I've said before, at Redszone, if a player has a good OBP, none of the other bad things he does seem to matter and if he has a bad OBP, none of the other good things he does seem to matter. Some here measure a player with one number.

Brandon isn't a high OBP guy. That's why the anti-BP crowd dislikes him. The rest of it is just convenient.

Falls City Beer
04-28-2009, 02:25 PM
So you guys wanted him to say basically nothing -- other than maybe kissing Dunn's rear end on the way out of town.

Talk about a load of crap. You don't know exactly how the question was phrased or exactly how it was answered or if anything was taken out of context. It's ridiculous, and it's more about two things than it is about what was said:

1. BP was talking about Dunn, who could do no wrong to many here.

2. BP doesn't have a .350 OBP.

As I've said before, at Redszone, if a player has a good OBP, none of the other bad things he does seem to matter and if he has a bad OBP, none of the other good things he does seem to matter. Some here measure a player with one number.

Brandon isn't a high OBP guy. That's why the anti-BP crowd dislikes him. The rest of it is just convenient.


Brandon should be lobbying Dusty to bat 9th. He is almost single-handedly killing this offense.

nate
04-28-2009, 02:29 PM
Brandon should be lobbying Dusty to bat 9th. He is almost single-handedly killing this offense.

You're just down on him because he has a low OBP!

:cool:

dougdirt
04-28-2009, 02:30 PM
So you guys wanted him to say basically nothing -- other than maybe kissing Dunn's rear end on the way out of town.

Talk about a load of crap. You don't know exactly how the question was phrased or exactly how it was answered or if anything was taken out of context. It's ridiculous, and it's more about two things than it is about what was said:

1. BP was talking about Dunn, who could do no wrong to many here.

2. BP doesn't have a .350 OBP.

As I've said before, at Redszone, if a player has a good OBP, none of the other bad things he does seem to matter and if he has a bad OBP, none of the other good things he does seem to matter. Some here measure a player with one number.

Brandon isn't a high OBP guy. That's why the anti-BP crowd dislikes him. The rest of it is just convenient.

While I will give you some of that, I don't dislike Phillips exactly, I just think he is an egomaniac and is being extremely misused by the Reds. Some of the comments he has made about Griffey, Dunn and Josh Hamilton attest to the fact that he has a major issue with not being viewed as 'the man'. I have a serious problem with that for a guy viewed by the fans as 'the leader' and 'the face of the franchise'.

Phillips has his good stuff too, but there are more things that irk me with Phillips (his fault and not his fault) than things I enjoy about Phillips.

SMcGavin
04-28-2009, 02:34 PM
So you guys wanted him to say basically nothing -- other than maybe kissing Dunn's rear end on the way out of town.

Talk about a load of crap. You don't know exactly how the question was phrased or exactly how it was answered or if anything was taken out of context. It's ridiculous, and it's more about two things than it is about what was said:

1. BP was talking about Dunn, who could do no wrong to many here.

2. BP doesn't have a .350 OBP.

As I've said before, at Redszone, if a player has a good OBP, none of the other bad things he does seem to matter and if he has a bad OBP, none of the other good things he does seem to matter. Some here measure a player with one number.

Brandon isn't a high OBP guy. That's why the anti-BP crowd dislikes him. The rest of it is just convenient.

I don't dislike him as a player. He's an OK bat who plays good defense. That has value. I wouldn't have signed him to a contract that will pay him $18M over the next two seasons, but I still think he's a solid player.

His comments being stupid has little to do with Dunn, he could have been talking about KGJ or really any former teammate who was a good player. The fact that he was talking about Dunn did make his "I don't need any help" a little more ironic since it was Dunn who had been protecting him in the lineup and BP has flat out tanked since Dunn was traded. But talking poorly about any teammate on their way out is poor form. I said the same thing when Arroyo did it (though he wasn't quite as arrogant about it as BP was).

In other words, you're completely missing the point. It's not about Dunn. Or about BP's OBP. It's about BP and his self-proclaimed leadership.

CTA513
04-28-2009, 02:48 PM
So you guys wanted him to say basically nothing -- other than maybe kissing Dunn's rear end on the way out of town.

Talk about a load of crap. You don't know exactly how the question was phrased or exactly how it was answered or if anything was taken out of context. It's ridiculous, and it's more about two things than it is about what was said:

1. BP was talking about Dunn, who could do no wrong to many here.

2. BP doesn't have a .350 OBP.

As I've said before, at Redszone, if a player has a good OBP, none of the other bad things he does seem to matter and if he has a bad OBP, none of the other good things he does seem to matter. Some here measure a player with one number.

Brandon isn't a high OBP guy. That's why the anti-BP crowd dislikes him. The rest of it is just convenient.



Why didn't Cleveland like him?

Scrap Irony
04-28-2009, 03:10 PM
"I liked playing with Adam when he was here but he's gone now and we're working on making the 2009 Reds the best team they can be. I'm excited about our ballclub and fired up to get out there and play."


How about "The team can be successful with its current construction" rather than "I don't need any help"?


"I hope Walt is ALWAYS looking to add more talent to our team. I want to win a World Series and to do that the Reds need to add more talent whenever the opportunity presents itself."

Now do it like that every day-- rain, wind, shine, aches and pains, tough losses, hard-fought wins, despite playing with people you may not personally enjoy being around. And say something nice. And say something smart. All the time. Without exception. Because, if you happen to say something the least bit wrong, you'll get hammered.

Is Phillips egotistical? I'm sure he is.

Shrug.

So was Pete Rose. So was Johnny Bench.

Double shrug.

What they say shouldn't matter all that much. (Provided, of course, there's nothing hard-core derrogatory or hate-filled in it.) What matters is performance. Phillips gets plenty of blame for his poor performance (and deservedly so, this year). That he gets grief for this is silly.

dougdirt
04-28-2009, 03:16 PM
So was Pete Rose. So was Johnny Bench.

Double shrug.

What they say shouldn't matter all that much. (Provided, of course, there's nothing hard-core derrogatory or hate-filled in it.) What matters is performance. Phillips gets plenty of blame for his poor performance (and deservedly so, this year). That he gets grief for this is silly.

Rose and Bench were both much better players and they were on GREAT teams. They had a little more sway to be that way.

osuceltic
04-28-2009, 03:21 PM
Heaven forbid a guy play hard, play great defense, produce well for his position, be great with the fans and be willing to step forward and try to be a team leader. The reason he was asked so much about being a leader (and why he answered those questions) was because of the utter lack of leadership exhibited by Dunn and Junior over the years. After those two were gone, BP was the veteran and perceived best player. It was only natural that the media would ask him about his approach to leadership in the wake of the Junior/Dunn rudderless clubhouse. As it turns out, the team leader really ended up being Joey Votto.

I have issues with Phillips on two counts:

1. The Josh Hamilton comment. He wasn't the only one who felt it, but he voiced it. He has to live with it.

2. Not running out those singles off the wall. I hammered Junior and Dunn for it, and Phillips deserves the same treatment.

I don't like how he's producing at the plate this season, and if he doesn't turn it around he will deserve to lose his job -- but the guy has earned some rope. And his defense never slumps. That's the difference between BP and EE. With BP, when he isn't hitting, he still adds value defensively. EE needs to hit to make his defense even tolerable. He isn't, and it's not.

SMcGavin
04-28-2009, 04:07 PM
Now do it like that every day-- rain, wind, shine, aches and pains, tough losses, hard-fought wins, despite playing with people you may not personally enjoy being around. And say something nice. And say something smart. All the time. Without exception. Because, if you happen to say something the least bit wrong, you'll get hammered.


Not quite. He could have said "Dunn's gone so I don't want to talk about him, I think the guys we have are pretty good and that's all I have to say about that". That comment isn't smart or nice, but it's totally acceptable. Heck he could have said "Dunn's a good baseball player but personally I couldn't stand the guy" and I wouldn't have blinked. It's the arrogance of "I don't need help", followed by bashing the contributions of the guy who gave him that help, that I don't like. I don't know how to make it any clearer than that.

By the way, Brandon's stats since August, the month when the guy who's help he didn't need left (his last 229 PAs):

.197/.270/.339

Scrap Irony
04-28-2009, 04:39 PM
I don't get your response here. Are you really saying you don't like him (Phillips) because he said he didn't need Dunn? That he could "bash" him all he wanted as long as he was honest enough with the media to accurately describe Dunn's value? In essence, you're mad at Phillips because he didn't think he'd need Dunn as much as he apparently does?

Really?

That's why you're mad?

SMcGavin
04-28-2009, 04:57 PM
I don't get your response here. Are you really saying you don't like him (Phillips) because he said he didn't need Dunn? That he could "bash" him all he wanted as long as he was honest enough with the media to accurately describe Dunn's value? In essence, you're mad at Phillips because he didn't think he'd need Dunn as much as he apparently does?

Really?

That's why you're mad?

Forget Dunn. Any good hitter. Abreu, Burrell, whoever, any bat that the Reds added would have greatly helped Phillips because he's not nearly a good enough hitter to lead an offense. That conversation started with a fan telling him "I think we need to add a bat".

I have a problem with "I don't need any help" bravado, especially when it comes from a guy who clearly needs a ton of help. I don't see why that is hard to understand.

Scrap Irony
04-28-2009, 05:11 PM
It's hard to understand because all athletes use that bravado (or at least 99% of them). I don't know of any athlete-- not one of them-- that would have said something you'd have agreed with at that point.

A fan is basically (in his eyes) dogging both Phillips and his team. ("We need to add a bat.") Sure, he could have said something better than he did. Sure, he could have been politically correct in his answer or said something in baseball speak that meant nothing. Instead, as a supposed leader on the team, he took up for said team and teammates (himself included) and is dogged because of it.

Don't get it.

If put in the same position, I don't know of anyone that could handle it better than he has throughout his short career in Cincinnati. He's always available to the media, no matter how well or poorly he played. He's always had time for fans, signing autographs long after others have left. He's been lauded for his hard work both in the cage and on the field.

And, because of one fan, one comment, one wrong-headed comment, he's the bad guy.

That's what I don't get.

I don't mind dogging the guy because he's hitting .150. I don't mind dogging the guy because he occasionally jogs to first base or hot dogs around the infield. It bothers me, though, when he's dogged for something that any one of us would have handled the same way or worse.

Phillips is a stand-up guy in a world where it's increasingly accepted and applauded to keep your head down. By standing up, he makes himself a target.

dougdirt
04-28-2009, 05:12 PM
By the way, Brandon's stats since August, the month when the guy who's help he didn't need left (his last 229 PAs):

.197/.270/.339

Put that in your cleanup pipe and smoke it. Thats brutal.... downright brutal.

WMR
04-28-2009, 05:18 PM
Put that in your cleanup pipe and smoke it. Thats brutal.... downright brutal.

No kidding.

230 PAs isn't an insignificant amount, either.

osuceltic
04-28-2009, 05:33 PM
Those PAs at the end of last season mean about as much as Dickerson's did -- not much.

The reason Phillips gets the benefit of the doubt is because he has a sizable track record that says he will come around. Encarnacion has the same -- but riding out his slump is more difficult because his defense also is atrocious.

Nasty_Boy
04-28-2009, 06:13 PM
Those PAs at the end of last season mean about as much as Dickerson's did -- not much.


Why don't they matter?

GAC
04-28-2009, 08:26 PM
Right now those three have painted targets on themselves and handed fans the gun.

Fans have always needed targets in order to survive. ;)

CaiGuy
04-28-2009, 09:37 PM
So you guys wanted him to say basically nothing -- other than maybe kissing Dunn's rear end on the way out of town.

Talk about a load of crap. You don't know exactly how the question was phrased or exactly how it was answered or if anything was taken out of context. It's ridiculous, and it's more about two things than it is about what was said:

1. BP was talking about Dunn, who could do no wrong to many here.

2. BP doesn't have a .350 OBP.

As I've said before, at Redszone, if a player has a good OBP, none of the other bad things he does seem to matter and if he has a bad OBP, none of the other good things he does seem to matter. Some here measure a player with one number.

Brandon isn't a high OBP guy. That's why the anti-BP crowd dislikes him. The rest of it is just convenient.

I love great defense up the middle. Therefore, I like BP's defense and am glad that the team has his glove on the field. I have no problem with him being on the team.

But what I loathe about him is that is miscast/overrated as a middle-of-the-order hitter. He thinks that he is a middle-of-the-order hitter. But he clearly isn't. Even during his 2007 season, he was anemic against RH pitchers (the vast majority of his ABs). He is killing the offense out of the #4 hole.

RedsManRick
04-28-2009, 10:45 PM
I love great defense up the middle. Therefore, I like BP's defense and am glad that the team has his glove on the field. I have no problem with him being on the team.

But what I loathe about him is that is miscast/overrated as a middle-of-the-order hitter. He thinks that he is a middle-of-the-order hitter. But he clearly isn't. Even during his 2007 season, he was anemic against RH pitchers (the vast majority of his ABs). He is killing the offense out of the #4 hole.

Exactly. I'd much rather my stars think they're role players than have my role players think they're stars. If Phillips wants to be the man, like he clearly thinks he is, he needs to do more than play great defense and beat up on LH pitching.

KronoRed
04-28-2009, 11:16 PM
Why don't they matter?

Because, he was 30/30 a few years ago, that is all that matters!

Praise Brandon! Savior of the Reds!:D

hebroncougar
04-28-2009, 11:21 PM
But what I loathe about him is that is miscast/overrated as a middle-of-the-order hitter. He thinks that he is a middle-of-the-order hitter. But he clearly isn't. Even during his 2007 season, he was anemic against RH pitchers (the vast majority of his ABs). He is killing the offense out of the #4 hole.

What would be great is if he had a manager who would let him know that. And make darn sure he knows that. That would probably help, I can imagine Phillips looks up to Baker, and some tough love would do him a world of good.

OnBaseMachine
05-08-2009, 12:46 AM
After another nice game tonight, Jay Bruce is hitting .269/.358/.559 - .918 through 93 atbats. He's also walked 12 times. I've been impressed with his plate discipline lately. He still gets anxious and chases some bad pitches every now and then, but overall I like the improvements he's making at the plate. He's on pace for 74 walks. He's also on pace for 49 home runs. He won't hit that many but 35-40 is within reason. He's going to be a special player, IMO.

Homer Bailey
05-08-2009, 01:07 AM
He's going to be a special player, IMO.

BOLD Statement OBM.:p:

tripleaaaron
05-08-2009, 01:23 AM
After another one tonight he is well on his way to being a 40 homer guy.

fearofpopvol1
05-08-2009, 01:35 AM
Tied for 4th in the majors for HRs is Bruce.

WVRedsFan
05-08-2009, 02:30 AM
He's going to be a great one, no doubt. My only concern (and it's probably youth rearing its ugly head and me being paranoid) is that he'll always hit about .250 and drive in 100 runs with those 40 HR's. You know what happened to the last guy who did that around here.

OnBaseMachine
05-08-2009, 02:46 AM
He's going to be a great one, no doubt. My only concern (and it's probably youth rearing its ugly head and me being paranoid) is that he'll always hit about .250 and drive in 100 runs with those 40 HR's. You know what happened to the last guy who did that around here.

I don't think you have to worry about that long term. Bruce has all the tools to be a .300+ hitter. His ability to hit the ball hard to all parts of the field should allow him to hit for a good average. He may hover around .250 this year but he'll hit for a much higher average in the future, IMO. He hit .325 in High-A, .333 in Double-A, and .334 in Triple-A.

cincyinco
05-08-2009, 03:20 AM
That's great and all OBM, but Dunn hit over 300 for a couple of his stops in the minors too.

That said, I dont expect Bruce to be a 300 hitter this year, but with maturation I believe he should certainly approach that level.

edabbs44
05-08-2009, 09:07 AM
Why don't they matter?

Phillips babip for 2nd half of 2008: .235
Babip so far in 2009: .217

Maybe he is...unlucky?

bucksfan2
05-08-2009, 10:06 AM
He's going to be a great one, no doubt. My only concern (and it's probably youth rearing its ugly head and me being paranoid) is that he'll always hit about .250 and drive in 100 runs with those 40 HR's. You know what happened to the last guy who did that around here.

If I worry anything it is his BA. I just don't know if he has shown enough yet to wash away those worries.

I do think he has more raw ability and also more baseball ability that Dunn did and think he will eventually hit around .280+. IMO one of his biggest keys right now is to become a little more selective at the plate. That probably will come with playing more but he tends to get himself out on hitters pitches.

OnBaseMachine
05-08-2009, 12:31 PM
That's great and all OBM, but Dunn hit over 300 for a couple of his stops in the minors too.

That said, I dont expect Bruce to be a 300 hitter this year, but with maturation I believe he should certainly approach that level.

That's true, but Dunn become strictly a pull hitter. Bruce uses all parts of the field. It's easier to hit for a high average when you use the whole field.