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View Full Version : Jay Bruce/Defense



RANDY IN INDY
05-11-2009, 01:03 PM
Anybody liking Bruce's defense as much as I am. Has made some very nice plays and the arm is outstanding. If he continues to grow defensively, he could be a top notch rightfielder.

traderumor
05-11-2009, 01:09 PM
Yes, and I imagine the pitching staff is liking it just as much, esp. considering what they had to endure from our OF D the last several years.

George Anderson
05-11-2009, 01:12 PM
I have seen him play in person twice and both times he nailed a runner at home with a big league throw.

Best arm in RF since O'Neil.........but thats not sayin alot.

GoReds33
05-11-2009, 01:26 PM
I have seen him play in person twice and both times he nailed a runner at home with a big league throw.

Best arm in RF since O'Neil.........but thats not sayin alot.
Kearns had a cannon. I'm not old enough for O'Neil.

OnBaseMachine
05-11-2009, 01:33 PM
According to UZR, Jay Bruce has been the best defensive outfielder in all of baseball so far. He currently has a UZR of +9.0. I don't know if he's the best, but he's been very, very good so far. That catch he made on Saturday night was outstanding. It's fun watching him develop into a superstar in all facets of the game.

traderumor
05-11-2009, 01:38 PM
Kearns had a cannon. I'm not old enough for O'Neil.

I'd have to say O'Neill and Kearns arms were even, both in strength and accuracy. I think both were very good HS pitchers, O'Neill was for sure at Columbus Brookhaven (and a tough basketball player as well).

remdog
05-11-2009, 01:40 PM
Bruce's work in RF was shoddy last summer but he seems to have gotten back to his game this year. He was always considered a 'plus' OFer in the minors.

Anyone else see the play where Kearns threw the guy out at the plate, from RF, on a force out! I don't think I've ever seen that before and we're talkin' BIG sample size here. :)

Jose Guillen had a bazooka when he was with the Reds.

Rem

Mario-Rijo
05-11-2009, 01:41 PM
He has been leaps and bounds better this year no doubt about it. Very pleased with his approach of late as well, you can see he is trying to improve his game and it showing up in the #'s.

wheels
05-11-2009, 01:51 PM
He was moved around a little too much last year, and in the minors.

I could tell the raw material was there, but it was obvious to me that he couldn't get into the comfort zone of playing different fields and angles.

He's got RF down now. Hopefully they'll leave him there if Taveras gets hurt or something. I think they will.

MasonBuzz3
05-11-2009, 01:59 PM
i would rate the recent Reds arms in RF as:
1. Hamilton/Guillen
2. Kearns
3. Bruce

but now that Bruce can focus solely on RF, he should be a top notch RF for years

remdog
05-11-2009, 02:19 PM
Forgot about Hamilton but, yeah, the guy can definately air mail it.

Dave Parker was another one but goes back to a time that many of the posters here don't remember.

Rem

RedsManRick
05-11-2009, 02:23 PM
Bruce looks like a guy with a lot of raw talent who is still learning the ins and outs of the position. Last year he was mediocre at best. This year he's been solid. We have to remember that he's spent most of his career in CF.

Add in that arm that helps him make up for perhaps a less than perfect route and I expect him to be even better next year.

MrCinatit
05-11-2009, 02:50 PM
It's been a joy watching Bruce in the field. At times, he seems to have a Dave Parkeresque cannon. And not to beat a dead horse, but it is so refreshing to watch the catchers catch his throws, rather than have them bounce off their chest protectors as their are avoiding the collision.

jojo
05-11-2009, 02:53 PM
UZR has to be taken with a grain of salt given the sample size but I think early returns are jiving with the eyes even if we can't yet trust the actual run values.

He's a monster in development and the world had better start looking for cover.

Also concerning Bruce and defense, one way to have approached the roster this off season would have been to pencil Bruce into center (he'd likely be something like a neutral defender there). This would have allowed guys like Swisher to become a real target since his contract wouldn't have prevented Bruce from eventually going back to the corner in a season (or two) nor would it have blocked a potential emergence of Stubbs.

osuceltic
05-11-2009, 02:58 PM
He has been good, but still prone to lapses in concentration that result in the occasional bobble or drop. Once he eliminates those -- and he's guilty of similar lapses in other aspects of the game -- he will be a truly top-notch right fielder.

OnBaseMachine
05-11-2009, 02:58 PM
Bruce currently has a .912 OPS despite a low .240 BABIP. jojo, or anyone, what would Bruce's numbers look like if he had a normal BABIP?

jojo
05-11-2009, 02:59 PM
Bruce currently has a .912 OPS despite a low .240 BABIP. jojo, or anyone, what would Bruce's numbers look like if he had a normal BABIP?

OPS= 3.58.... :cool:

OnBaseMachine
05-11-2009, 03:02 PM
OPS= 3.58.... :cool:

You lost me there.

remdog
05-11-2009, 03:06 PM
UZR has to be taken with a grain of salt given the sample size but I think early returns are jiving with the eyes even if we can't yet trust the actual run values.

He's a monster in development and the world had better start looking for cover.

Also concerning Bruce and defense, one way to have approached the roster this off season would have been to pencil Bruce into center (he'd likely be something like a neutral defender there). This would have allowed guys like Swisher to become a real target since his contract wouldn't have prevented Bruce from eventually going back to the corner in a season (or two) nor would it have blocked a potential emergence of Stubbs.

I agree that Jay Boy will be a monster. I thought that he would have a heck of second half---but he's started before that. The guy is just dangerous anytime he has a bat in his hands.

Your thoughts on defense are interesting. I'm not sold on Willy T as being a good glove in CF. Bruce, as a neutral defender, in CF that opens up a spot for a 'big bat' in RF is a good thought. OTOH, the Reds could have bought that big bat for LF and didn't. Maybe it was because they already shot their wad on Willy or maybe it was because Castellini cut the budget. We'll never know. But, good thinking on your part, none the less.

Rem

jojo
05-11-2009, 03:11 PM
You lost me there.

It was a little bit of hyperbole for effect.

OnBaseMachine
05-11-2009, 03:23 PM
It was a little bit of hyperbole for effect.

I thought there was a way to project numbers to a normalized BABIP. Guess not. My bad. :)

jojo
05-11-2009, 03:24 PM
I thought there was a way to project numbers to a normalized BABIP. Guess not. My bad. :)

I'm giving RMR a chance to fiddle with Bruce's LD%.... :cool:

*BaseClogger*
05-11-2009, 03:31 PM
Jose Guillen had a bazooka when he was with the Reds.

As did Wily Mo Pena. Of course, I don't know if you would have described him as 'playing' RF... :p:

Cyclone792
05-11-2009, 03:47 PM
As did Wily Mo Pena. Of course, I don't know if you would have described him as 'playing' RF... :p:

Wily Mo had the type of arm that demanded everyone who sat in the first 20 rows watch closely. If you didn't pay attention to his throws, you were liable to personally take one in the grill.

RFS62
05-11-2009, 04:52 PM
Strongest arm I've seen in a Reds uniform in many years was Jose Guillen.

Of course, he was insane, so you have to factor that into the overall picture.

dougdirt
05-11-2009, 04:54 PM
Bruce currently has a .912 OPS despite a low .240 BABIP. jojo, or anyone, what would Bruce's numbers look like if he had a normal BABIP?



PA AB H 2B 3B HR BB K HBP AVG OBP SLG BABIP
120 107 28 3 0 10 12 22 1 .262 .342 .570 .240
120 107 33 3 0 10 12 22 1 .308 .383 .617 .307
120 107 32 3 0 10 12 22 1 .299 .375 .607 .293


If he only picked up the extra singles to correct his BABIP to either .293 or .307...

wheels
05-11-2009, 05:01 PM
PA AB H 2B 3B HR BB K HBP AVG OBP SLG BABIP
120 107 28 3 0 10 12 22 1 .262 .342 .570 .240
120 107 33 3 0 10 12 22 1 .308 .383 .617 .307
120 107 32 3 0 10 12 22 1 .299 .375 .607 .293


If he only picked up the extra singles to correct his BABIP to either .293 or .307...

Gracious....Am I reading that correctly?

Could we be talking about a 1.000 OPS if things were dropping in for him?

Holy Mackeral.

He's 22 years old for crying out loud.:eek:

dougdirt
05-11-2009, 05:07 PM
Gracious....Am I reading that correctly?

Could we be talking about a 1.000 OPS if things were dropping in for him?

Holy Mackeral.

He's 22 years old for crying out loud.:eek:

Unless I did my math incorrectly (in which case Excel did it incorrectly or I typed in the formula wrong), that is indeed what we are talking about.

OnBaseMachine
05-11-2009, 05:27 PM
PA AB H 2B 3B HR BB K HBP AVG OBP SLG BABIP
120 107 28 3 0 10 12 22 1 .262 .342 .570 .240
120 107 33 3 0 10 12 22 1 .308 .383 .617 .307
120 107 32 3 0 10 12 22 1 .299 .375 .607 .293


If he only picked up the extra singles to correct his BABIP to either .293 or .307...

Thanks Doug.

remdog
05-11-2009, 05:31 PM
I know that the original premis of this post was defense but, anyone that doesn't think that this guy is going to eat NL pitching for fun isn't paying attention.

Last year, when he first came up, I was incredibly astounded by his plate discipline. After a dozen games or so, he got away from that. Same thing to start this season. Early on he would swing at bad pitches.. However, of late he's been very patient and looked for a ball to simply drive. If he maintains that attitude he will be another Lance Berkman, maybe even better!

Rem

RFS62
05-11-2009, 06:23 PM
He's our version of Larry Walker.

Mario-Rijo
05-11-2009, 06:59 PM
Forgot about Hamilton but, yeah, the guy can definately air mail it.

Dave Parker was another one but goes back to a time that many of the posters here don't remember.

Rem

Geez Parker, his infamous glove flip/drop use to irk me to no end. I think he dropped a ball or 2 because of it. For those who don't know he had this habit of snatching the ball out of the air in stead of cradling it in or allowing it to drop into his glove. It was like a sweeping downward motion, really the worst kind of technique ever. But yeah he had a nice gun.

Hammy was one of if not the best arm I have ever seen right there with Vlad and agree Guillen had a rifle as well. Bruce has had some flashes and I don't think it's quite to those guys levels but he is still a baby. In his prime it's likely to be just as good maybe better.

RedsManRick
05-11-2009, 08:17 PM
Looking at the full picture, Bruce is producing a ridiculously low 12.9 LD%, meaning his .240 BABIP is quite reasonable. But before I go and normalize that, as Jojo would like me to do, I have to notice his GB/FB and HR/FB rates. Last year Bruce had a 1.31 GB/FB ratio, solidly higher than average, meaning he was more likely to hit for a higher batting average but a lower slugging that he otherwise might. However, he did manage to hit a HR on an impressive 21.1% of his fly balls. That HR/FB rate put him 14th of the 213 players with at least 400 PA. Here's the top 20 by HR/FB from those 400+ PA group:


Rank Name GB/FB HR/FB
1 Ryan Howard 1.15 31.8%
2 Jack Cust 1.05 29.7%
3 Adam Dunn 0.78 24.2%
4 Carlos Delgado 1.23 23.3%
5 Jim Thome 0.96 22.7%
6 Manny Ramirez 0.98 22.2%
7 Kelly Shoppach 0.88 22.1%
8 Alex Rodriguez 1.05 22.0%
9 Milton Bradley 1.2 21.2%
10 Jayson Werth 1.04 21.1%
11 Adrian Gonzalez 1.18 20.7%
12 Carlos Quentin 0.96 20.7%
13 Albert Pujols 1.07 20.7%
14 Jay Bruce 1.31 20.2%
15 Ryan Ludwick 0.59 19.9%
16 Evan Longoria 0.93 19.4%
17 Hanley Ramirez 1.25 19.2%
18 Josh Hamilton 1.38 19.2%
19 Miguel Cabrera 1.05 18.9%
20 Carlos Pena 0.63 18.8%

A pretty impressive list, no? Well, this year Bruce's HR/FB is up to 24.4%. That's 10th among batters with 100+ PA, behind mostly guys on that list above. HR/FB is not something that tends to fluke easily; it stabilizes quite quickly and the leaders are consistent from year to year. But that's not all, his GB/FB is down to 0.80. That's a huge change. He's hitting a ton of fly balls and getting a higher percentage of them to leave the yard.

So what's with the low LD%? Well, that flyball rate starts to tell the story. Let's also look at how many of those flyballs aren't going over the fence - or even close. Bruce's infield flyball rate is 26.8%. By contrast, his IFFB was 13.5% last year. Encarnacion's was 20.2%.

I don't know what he's doing with his swing, but his results have clearly changed. I'm guessing he's done something to get more loft, taking some more pitches and then trying to jack the good ones he sees. He's certainly getting the ball in the air more, but on balance it's costing him solid contact. I don't think his HR/FB rate is sustainable and he's due for some trouble when the ball stops leaving the yard so often and/or when pitchers start adjusting and pitching him high in the zone. Of course, it's quite possible he just keeps it up, pitchers start to pitch around him, the walks start to add up and he turns in to an even bigger monster. Let's hope it's the latter.

OnBaseMachine
05-11-2009, 09:37 PM
Jay Bruce, Reds

Its the all-Reds edition of Stock Watch! A 22 year-old lefty with immense power, Bruce has adapted to major league pitching faster than most anticipated. With a .391 wOBA, 10 big flys and a sweet .262/.342/.570 line, Bruce has certainly been The Boss in 2009. Happily, his control of the strike zone (his biggest hurdle) has improved. Bruce has drawn a walk 10.1% of the time in 2009 (7.4% last year), whiffed less often (20.6% in 09, 26.6% in 08), and has cut his Outside-Swing percentage from 30.4% to 25.7%. In other words, hes already among the best outfielders in the game, and hell only get better from here.

http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/stock-watch-511

jojo
05-11-2009, 09:42 PM
If you're not excited about Jay Bruce's future, you're a Cubs or Cards fan. There I said it... :cool:

fisch11
05-11-2009, 10:47 PM
He is definitely showing the National League that they should not try to take extra bases on him. He just racked up his 6th outfield assist tonight by throwing out Byrnes at 2nd. He leads the National League in the category.

dougdirt
05-11-2009, 10:49 PM
Looking at the full picture, Bruce is producing a ridiculously low 12.9 LD%, meaning his .240 BABIP is quite reasonable.

I am a little curious for the big discrepency between the 12.9% LD rate that BIS is getting and then what the Gameday guys are showing at 19% LD rate.... Thats an awful big difference.

fearofpopvol1
05-11-2009, 10:59 PM
Looking at the full picture, Bruce is producing a ridiculously low 12.9 LD%, meaning his .240 BABIP is quite reasonable. But before I go and normalize that, as Jojo would like me to do, I have to notice his GB/FB and HR/FB rates. Last year Bruce had a 1.31 GB/FB ratio, solidly higher than average, meaning he was more likely to hit for a higher batting average but a lower slugging that he otherwise might. However, he did manage to hit a HR on an impressive 21.1% of his fly balls. That HR/FB rate put him 14th of the 213 players with at least 400 PA. Here's the top 20 by HR/FB from those 400+ PA group:


Rank Name GB/FB HR/FB
1 Ryan Howard 1.15 31.8%
2 Jack Cust 1.05 29.7%
3 Adam Dunn 0.78 24.2%
4 Carlos Delgado 1.23 23.3%
5 Jim Thome 0.96 22.7%
6 Manny Ramirez 0.98 22.2%
7 Kelly Shoppach 0.88 22.1%
8 Alex Rodriguez 1.05 22.0%
9 Milton Bradley 1.2 21.2%
10 Jayson Werth 1.04 21.1%
11 Adrian Gonzalez 1.18 20.7%
12 Carlos Quentin 0.96 20.7%
13 Albert Pujols 1.07 20.7%
14 Jay Bruce 1.31 20.2%
15 Ryan Ludwick 0.59 19.9%
16 Evan Longoria 0.93 19.4%
17 Hanley Ramirez 1.25 19.2%
18 Josh Hamilton 1.38 19.2%
19 Miguel Cabrera 1.05 18.9%
20 Carlos Pena 0.63 18.8%

A pretty impressive list, no? Well, this year Bruce's HR/FB is up to 24.4%. That's 10th among batters with 100+ PA, behind mostly guys on that list above. HR/FB is not something that tends to fluke easily; it stabilizes quite quickly and the leaders are consistent from year to year. But that's not all, his GB/FB is down to 0.80. That's a huge change. He's hitting a ton of fly balls and getting a higher percentage of them to leave the yard.

So what's with the low LD%? Well, that flyball rate starts to tell the story. Let's also look at how many of those flyballs aren't going over the fence - or even close. Bruce's infield flyball rate is 26.8%. By contrast, his IFFB was 13.5% last year. Encarnacion's was 20.2%.

I don't know what he's doing with his swing, but his results have clearly changed. I'm guessing he's done something to get more loft, taking some more pitches and then trying to jack the good ones he sees. He's certainly getting the ball in the air more, but on balance it's costing him solid contact. I don't think his HR/FB rate is sustainable and he's due for some trouble when the ball stops leaving the yard so often and/or when pitchers start adjusting and pitching him high in the zone. Of course, it's quite possible he just keeps it up, pitchers start to pitch around him, the walks start to add up and he turns in to an even bigger monster. Let's hope it's the latter.

This is absolutely dead on. He is most definitely taking more pitches and his eye at the plate is MUCH improved this year. He's taking more pitches and he has adjusted to the change-up much better (which was his weakness last year).

His arm and his defense continue to impress me. He's improved vastly and I can only imagine will continue to do so.

As jojo said, and I agree...if you're not excited about Bruce's future, you must be a Cubs or Cards fan.

cincrazy
05-11-2009, 10:59 PM
Yes, and I imagine the pitching staff is liking it just as much, esp. considering what they had to endure from our OF D the last several years.

I haven't seen outfield defense this great since Dante Bichette was in right :cool:

HeatherC1212
05-11-2009, 11:03 PM
Watching Jay Bruce and Nick Markakis play RF is absolutely awesome. Guys rarely run on Markakis this year and I bet they stop running on Jay by the All Star break, LOL :laugh:

fearofpopvol1
05-11-2009, 11:58 PM
oops

kaldaniels
05-12-2009, 12:25 AM
What are his odds for a Gold Glove?

Blitz Dorsey
05-12-2009, 12:27 AM
I am liking Bruce's defense as much as you are! Kid is a stud hitter and an underrated stud defender (just saying underrated because only diehard Reds fans like us talk about how great of a RF he is, but word is getting out).

So, that makes him a double stud.

BoydsOfSummer
05-12-2009, 12:28 AM
Geez Parker, his infamous glove flip/drop use to irk me to no end. I think he dropped a ball or 2 because of it. For those who don't know he had this habit of snatching the ball out of the air in stead of cradling it in or allowing it to drop into his glove. It was like a sweeping downward motion, really the worst kind of technique ever. But yeah he had a nice gun.

The world renown "Cobra Clutch".

jmcclain19
05-12-2009, 01:15 AM
Eric Byrnes tonight was trying to hot dog it and stretch a single out of a double and Bruce's laser from RF made him look absolutely ridiculous. He was out by 8 feet.

Loved seeing that - Bruce has really turned a corner this year.

WVRedsFan
05-12-2009, 01:21 AM
Bruce has an arm and it's accurate as any I've ever seen. Even when throwing a routine ball to second on a single, he's right on it. He has so many talents that I hope they can develop into the player we hope he will be. I have confidence that he'll be a star until we cannot afford him any longer.

Mario-Rijo
05-12-2009, 01:31 AM
Bruce has an arm and it's accurate as any I've ever seen. Even when throwing a routine ball to second on a single, he's right on it. He has so many talents that I hope they can develop into the player we hope he will be. I have confidence that he'll be a star until we cannot afford him any longer.

If the Reds don't spend the money to keep Bruce and Votto I'd be done with major league ball as a rabid fan anyway. I mean when it gets right down to it these 2 guys satisfy the entire fan base, they are what we want and what we need for the next 10-15 years. I certainly love our pitching know it's importance as well and would hate to see Cueto, Volquez and the like go but I'd sooner send them to a division rival than to lose those 2 young bats. Assuming of course they remain relatively healthy and productive, which I fully expect barring something completely unforeseen.

OnBaseMachine
05-12-2009, 12:42 PM
Bruce hit two bullets last night and had nothing to show for it. His BABIP is down to .225 now...