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Homer Bailey
05-18-2009, 04:26 PM
This has been bothering me all season long. Has it not seem like Jay Bruce has just been rocketing the ball right at people? Well, get this. His BABIP:

.206.


Granted, his LD% is down to 13%, but his plate disciplined has improved as his O-Swing % is down to 24% from 30% a year ago. His Z-Contact rate has improved from 80% to 88% in the last year.

If his BABIP is a more normal .300, his average would be hitting a .299. Granted, a BABIP of .300 may not be realistic with a 13% LD%, but I think it's worth noting that his luck is bound to turn around.

(This thread was made in order to reverse jinx JB. I've also noted that JV's BABIP is an obsurd .419).

Mario-Rijo
05-18-2009, 04:37 PM
This has been bothering me all season long. Has it not seem like Jay Bruce has just been rocketing the ball right at people? Well, get this. His BABIP:

.206.


Granted, his LD% is down to 13%, but his plate disciplined has improved as his O-Swing % is down to 24% from 30% a year ago. His Z-Contact rate has improved from 80% to 88% in the last year.

If his BABIP is a more normal .300, his average would be hitting a .299. Granted, a BABIP of .300 may not be realistic with a 13% LD%, but I think it's worth noting that his luck is bound to turn around.

(This thread was made in order to reverse jinx JB. I've also noted that JV's BABIP is an obsurd .419).

Good stuff HB. I figured this with Bruce, I think if he stops diving at balls and stays back a bit more his LD% will improve. He seems to be back and forth with that part of his approach. Votto IMO will always likely have a bit higher BABIP than normal when he is going right, just because I think he has a knack for understanding what the pitcher & defense is trying to do to him and he looks for a mistake that will result in hitting it where they ain't.

bucksfan2
05-18-2009, 04:42 PM
Good stuff HB. I figured this with Bruce, I think if he stops diving at balls and stays back a bit more his LD% will improve. He seems to be back and forth with that part of his approach. Votto IMO will always likely have a bit higher BABIP than normal when he is going right, just because I think he has a knack for understanding what the pitcher & defense is trying to do to him and he looks for a mistake that will result in hitting it where they ain't.

I agree with you. Once Bruce begins to have better all around at bats he will begin to become a dominant hitter. It just seems that he swings at more bad pitches and often gets himself out on pitchers pitches. Once he learns a more refined plate discipline then he will explode. It just seems that he give away too many atbats.

PuffyPig
05-18-2009, 04:49 PM
I wouldn't worry about Jay Bruce. His K-rate is down, his W-rate is up.

He'll be just fine, nothing a little better luck won't solve.

Homer Bailey
05-18-2009, 04:51 PM
I agree with you. Once Bruce begins to have better all around at bats he will begin to become a dominant hitter. It just seems that he swings at more bad pitches and often gets himself out on pitchers pitches. Once he learns a more refined plate discipline then he will explode. It just seems that he give away too many atbats.

The fact that his O-Swing % has improved by 6% shows that his plate discipline is improving. However, I still think it can afford to be improved a bit more.

bucksfan2
05-19-2009, 08:51 AM
The fact that his O-Swing % has improved by 6% shows that his plate discipline is improving. However, I still think it can afford to be improved a bit more.

Don't really know what O-Swing % is but there was an example in a game this weekend that plagues Bruce quite a bit. Bruce had worked the count to 3-1. There were 2 outs an no one on. The next pitch was a very good pitch, a boarder line strike that came in just underneath the hands on the inside corner. It was a pitch no batter could do anything with. Instead of taking the pitch, Bruce rolled over a weak GB to the right side of the infield. It was a pitch he shouldn't have swung at because the count was in his favor. It was a perfect pitchers pitch, one experienced batters take and live to fight on the 3-2 pitch.

IMO Bruce needs to quit swinging at pitchers pitches and needs to quite giving up swings. Its much easier said than done but once he learns to do that he will become a complete hitter.

Homer Bailey
05-19-2009, 11:06 AM
Don't really know what O-Swing % is but there was an example in a game this weekend that plagues Bruce quite a bit. Bruce had worked the count to 3-1. There were 2 outs an no one on. The next pitch was a very good pitch, a boarder line strike that came in just underneath the hands on the inside corner. It was a pitch no batter could do anything with. Instead of taking the pitch, Bruce rolled over a weak GB to the right side of the infield. It was a pitch he shouldn't have swung at because the count was in his favor. It was a perfect pitchers pitch, one experienced batters take and live to fight on the 3-2 pitch.

IMO Bruce needs to quit swinging at pitchers pitches and needs to quite giving up swings. Its much easier said than done but once he learns to do that he will become a complete hitter.


O-Swing % is the percentage of pitches outside the strike zone that a hitter swings at.

I agree that Jay needs to be more selective and look for more hitters pitches, but I think once we start seeing his rips find some gaps, we are going to see a whole new level of confidence for him.

Homer Bailey
05-28-2009, 02:42 PM
10 days later, JB's O-Swing % has increased to 27%, and his BABIP has risen, as expected, albeit slightly, to .226. His LD% is still rather low, but I'm guessing that we are about to see Bruce's numbers start to skyrocket.

FYI he's on pace for 49 home runs. Of course, I don't expect him to hit that many, but at least the power is already there.

OnBaseMachine
05-28-2009, 02:52 PM
ESPN has Bruce on pace for 51 homers.

Homer Bailey
05-28-2009, 03:37 PM
ESPN has Bruce on pace for 51 homers.

They must have a more complicated formula than me:

14 HR's/46 Games played (Reds) *162 game season = 49.3 HR's.

OnBaseMachine
06-02-2009, 10:09 AM
Jason Grey, a scout who writes for ESPN, on Jay Bruce (and a piece on Harang):

Clipboard: Bruce showing progress
Hidden in Jay Bruce's numbers is some nice development in terms of plate discipline.
By Jason Grey

ESPN.com

We expected improvement from Jay Bruce in his second big league season, and while he has shown it in the power department, he hasn't posted the batting average to go along with it just yet. But there are signs that we just need to be patient.

After making his debut last year with 21 homers in 413 at-bats, Bruce has already hit 14 homers in just 179 at-bats this season. It doesn't really have anything to do with any mechanical adjustments -- Bruce is pretty much doing the same things with his swing -- as much as learning what pitches to offer at.

"I'm a big advocate of doing what got you here," Bruce said. "It's just tightening up my approach a bit. I have a plan, pitchers have a plan; it's really about who executes theirs better. It's not about taking pitches; it's about taking pitches you can't do anything with. It's about taking balls and swinging at drivable strikes. Up here you're not going to get as many drivable strikes as you are in the minors, but you're still going to get some and you have to take advantage of them."

That focus is allowing him to do more with the pitches he's swinging at. Bruce's fly-ball rate has shot up more than 15 percent this season, which is driving his power surge. With his swing plane, more solid contact on the barrel means more balls in the air, and more balls with a chance to leave the yard.

At times in his rookie season, Bruce was a little too aggressive and anxious at the plate, but he's gradually learning to slow the game down a little bit.

"Absolutely," Bruce agreed. "It still happens this year, but it's much less. That's one thing I've been working on is keeping that settled-down approach and letting the game come to me a bit more. The game's fast enough up here as it is."

One of the by-products of that is a slight improvement in Bruce's walk and strikeout rates. It's not a huge shift, but things are definitely moving in the right direction, and Bruce is starting to chase a bit less out of the strike zone.

"Last year I struck out a lot, and I didn't walk very much," Bruce said. "This year I'm not thinking more about striking out less, or walking more, or anything like that. All I'm trying to do is have quality at-bats, stick with a certain approach and look for something to drive. Just because it's a strike doesn't mean you have to hit it. That's what I'm focusing on this year, and I think it's been better."

Bruce's strikeouts are never really going to be a big concern for me given his production, but it's good to see things moving in the right direction regardless. Of course, while his fantasy owners love the power, his batting average has been an issue. Even though he has slugged better than .500 this season, he has managed to post just a .229 average. To put that number in perspective, the negative effect of his batting average serves to cancel out all the runs he has scored this season in terms of mixed-league fantasy value.

However, there are good reasons to think that average is going to be on the way up in the future. Bruce is simply too talented to hit in that range for long, especially in light of the improvements in his approach at the plate. The other reason is purely statistical. Bruce has an extremely unlucky .221 batting average on balls in play (as opposed to a .298 mark his rookie season, which was right around the norm).

How unlucky is that number? It is the third-worst BABIP mark in baseball, behind only Brian Giles and Garrett Atkins, and that's likely to even out over the balance of the season.

The one caveat with Bruce has to do with handling left-handed pitching. He still hasn't proven that he can do that at the big league level yet, although I believe he eventually will. Granting they are small sample sizes, Bruce hit just .190 and slugged .291 against southpaws in 137 at-bats last season, and has posted just a .188 mark with a .292 slugging percentage against them in 48 at-bats this season. That's worth noting for those of you in leagues with daily transactions.

The bottom line, though, is that if someone wants to sell Bruce because of his low batting average, I'm buying.

• It appears Reds starter Aaron Harang has safely come out on the other side of last season's whole relief-outing kerfuffle (always wanted to use that word in a column) just fine, and is back to being a quality starting pitcher for fantasy owners.

For those who don't remember, at the end of May last season, Harang was called upon to pitch four innings of relief in an 18-inning game on three days' rest, throwing 63 pitches, and then was asked to start on just three days' rest after that outing.

"I think I just tried to come back too fast after [the relief outing]," Harang said. "My feet were never completely underneath me, my arm wasn't fully recovered, and one thing led to another. I just tried to pitch through it, and things got worse and worse."

Harang started feeling some discomfort and wound up changing his arm angle to compensate, before it got to the point where he couldn't do it anymore. By that time, his numbers had ballooned in the wrong direction.

He wound up hitting the disabled list in early July with an injured forearm, but when he was healthy again late in the season, he posted quality starts in six of his final eight outings and had a 3.07 ERA in September. He has carried that into 2009.

He's in great shape after an offseason of conditioning in which he both lost weight and strengthened his legs, his velocity is fine, and he's posting one of the best strikeout-to-walk ratios of his career while fanning eight batters per nine innings. As a fly-ball pitcher who plays his home games in a hitters' park, he'll always give up his fair share of homers -- which means some ERA fluctuations -- and some poor luck on balls in play has resulted in an inflated WHIP, but he's rebounded from a rough 2008 to be a solid fantasy starter again, and should continue to be one.

He just hopes for one thing: "No long relief appearances this year."

http://insider.espn.go.com/fantasy/baseball/flb/story?page=clipboard090601&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2ffan tasy%2fbaseball%2fflb%2fstory%3fpage%3dclipboard09 0601

Homer Bailey
06-02-2009, 10:25 AM
The most upset I got during the entire game last night was Bruce's first at bat, when he absolutely laced a line drive to left, only to have Chris Duncan, one of the worst LF'ers in the game, make a diving catch on him. I thought to myself, "How long can this go on?" I've been telling my buddies that Bruce is about to break out, and he can't stay this unlucky for long, but it seems like it just continues to happen. When he does break it out though, watch out.

VR
06-02-2009, 10:27 AM
Bruce continues to pull off the ball....his head isn't on the ball at all by the time it gets there.
Dunn used to strike out a lot, on called k's, or whiffs in the zone. Bruce is giving up 1 or more pitches on his k's swinging that pitches that he isn't seeing go through the zone....and so the k's are a bit more painful.
Just a phase for the kid, but hope he's getting some good instruction on it.

I'm almost ready to advocate Ramon Hernandez for player/hitting coach. He has really impressed with his plate approach. When Bruce gets to that level....hello Albert Pujols.

RANDY IN INDY
06-02-2009, 10:56 AM
Pulls off very badly on LH pitching. If he learns to use the whole field, he will be a much tougher out. Doesn't have to swing out of his shoes to get the ball out of the park. A lot of undisciplined swings, but he is very young. I think he will get better. Has the all around tools to be the best RF in the National League.

Roy Tucker
06-02-2009, 11:12 AM
I was impressed by Bruce's last AB in last night's game.

Down 0-2 and the Creeper was saying how the league has caught up to him and has been feeding him a steady diet of breaking balls.

And then Bruce fouls one off and then lays off some tough breaking pitches and eventually walks. I went "hmmmm, I think we have something here".

Reminds me a bit of how Votto was last year when he began to mature as a hitter. You didn't see much in his stats, but his approach at the plate and ability to discern pitches became better.

Chip R
06-02-2009, 11:45 AM
I was impressed by Bruce's last AB in last night's game.

Down 0-2 and the Creeper was saying how the league has caught up to him and has been feeding him a steady diet of breaking balls.

And then Bruce fouls one off and then lays off some tough breaking pitches and eventually walks. I went "hmmmm, I think we have something here".



Yeah, I listened to it on the radio and I was also impressed. That said, I don't know why anyone throws him a fastball.

lollipopcurve
06-02-2009, 11:57 AM
That said, I don't know why anyone throws him a fastball.

Lefties, for sure. Until he learns to lay off breaking stuff from lefthanders, he's going to look foolish often enough. Let's hope the "tightening up" in his approach continues. He's certainly not the first guy to come into the league with contact/pitch recognition issues -- yet I have not seen much progress on that front over the course of his 1st year. He does appear better equipped to handle it mentally, though, and that's a good sign.

Chip R
06-02-2009, 12:03 PM
Lefties, for sure. Until he learns to lay off breaking stuff from lefthanders, he's going to look foolish often enough. Let's hope the "tightening up" in his approach continues. He's certainly not the first guy to come into the league with contact/pitch recognition issues -- yet I have not seen much progress on that front over the course of his 1st year. He does appear better equipped to handle it mentally, though, and that's a good sign.


Plus he's only 22 and even if he batted .000 he gives you top notch defense in RF.

smith288
06-02-2009, 12:21 PM
Bruce, as unlucky as he's been, has been a hole. Lefties could roll the ball to the plate and he would flail at it.

GAC
06-02-2009, 05:12 PM
Bruce continues to pull off the ball....his head isn't on the ball at all by the time it gets there.


Pulls off very badly on LH pitching. If he learns to use the whole field, he will be a much tougher out. Doesn't have to swing out of his shoes to get the ball out of the park. A lot of undisciplined swings, but he is very young. I think he will get better. Has the all around tools to be the best RF in the National League.

I agree gentlemen. :thumbup:

BRM
06-02-2009, 05:17 PM
Anyone liking the idea of Jay hitting second? If Willy can get on in front of him, it should allow him to see more fastballs.

Homer Bailey
06-02-2009, 05:28 PM
Anyone liking the idea of Jay hitting second? If Willy can get on in front of him, it should allow him to see more fastballs.

I was going to propose something like that, but didn't want it to turn into a lineup thread. Hitting in front of a hot BP can only help as well. Last year in 64 AB's he hit .344/.432/.516/.948 in the 2 hole. Granted, a lot of that can be attributed to his amazing start, but still. Those are some nice numbers.

What's amazing this year is that he's done very well in the 4 and 5 spots, but it's the 3 and 6 spots that are killing him. Granted, these are SSS.



By Order AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Batting #3 45 7 7 0 0 3 7 4 1 13 2 0 0.156 0.24 0.356 0.596
Batting #4 15 3 4 1 0 1 2 2 0 8 1 1 0.267 0.353 0.533 0.886
Batting #5 114 18 29 4 1 10 19 11 1 23 0 0 0.254 0.325 0.57 0.895
Batting #6 8 1 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 0 0.125 0.222 0.125 0.347

dougdirt
06-02-2009, 05:43 PM
Bruce, as unlucky as he's been, has been a hole. Lefties could roll the ball to the plate and he would flail at it.

Thats not really an accurate statement. If so, we would see his K/BB rate being much worse against lefties than it is against rights.
vL - 17/7 (2.49)
vR - 28/11 (2.54)

Heck, his strikeout to walk ratio is better vs lefties than it is righties.

Mario-Rijo
06-02-2009, 05:43 PM
Anyone liking the idea of Jay hitting second? If Willy can get on in front of him, it should allow him to see more fastballs.

That's the thing though Willy can't find 1st base these days. But the last time he had to sit out a few days he was patient at the plate when he come back, of course that time he was sick.

Brutus
06-02-2009, 07:08 PM
Yeah, I listened to it on the radio and I was also impressed. That said, I don't know why anyone throws him a fastball.

Great point. I think we're seeing fewer teams do just that. He's swinging (at least it seems like it) at more and more early breaking balls (many of which are out of the zone) and as he gets behind in the count, pitchers have been content to feed him a steady diet of off-speed pitches. As he continues to improve his plate discipline and lays off these pitches, I'm not sure teams will have an easy method of getting an out on him.

In fact, looking at Fan Graphs, he's seen about a 5% increase in Changups, Splitters and Curveballs from last season.

As far as whether or not Bruce has been unlucky...

As has been mentioned, his BABIP is now .220. Although his LD% is uncomfortably low (13.9%), I decided to test what his average would be if it were back up to 21% (his 2008 numbers). I took all the balls put in play and figured an 8% increase in batted balls would create an additional 11 hits up to this point. That would bring his batting average to .285. Even keeping his 13.9% LD, if his BABIP were a more normal .280 (or thereabouts), he would have about seven more hits which would give him a .266 average.

I think the numbers, both in regression and maturity, will sort themselves out.

RedsManRick
06-02-2009, 08:28 PM
I was impressed by Bruce's last AB in last night's game.

Down 0-2 and the Creeper was saying how the league has caught up to him and has been feeding him a steady diet of breaking balls.

And then Bruce fouls one off and then lays off some tough breaking pitches and eventually walks. I went "hmmmm, I think we have something here".

Reminds me a bit of how Votto was last year when he began to mature as a hitter. You didn't see much in his stats, but his approach at the plate and ability to discern pitches became better.

I had the same reaction. You could see the lightbulb go off and he started taking that breaking ball. Given how young he is, I have to believe he just hasn't seen very much breaking stuff from lefties, so his recognition isn't very good yet. He's got the talent and approach to get a whole lot better.

dougdirt
06-02-2009, 08:33 PM
http://www.redsminorleagues.com/images/jaybrucebymonthprogression.gif

His rate stats are trending the right ways.

WVPacman
06-02-2009, 11:37 PM
You know what I see when I watch Bruce bat? Yep I see Adam Dunn!! All Bruce trys to do is pull every pitch he see's.He pulls off very badly againist left handers and he is so out of his comfort zone that I don't see him getting any better anytime soon.So until he gets his head back on straight and gets the batting average raised and starts knocking in runs I will call him Jay Dunn :D.


Jay Dunn,is so much like Adam Dunn that I can't help but laugh.Remember you guys called for Adam Dunn's head b/c of his low batting average and high amount of strikeouts.So my question is if Bruce somehow keeps this up a few more years with the constant low batting average's with all the strikeouts but hits alot of homeruns with say about 75-90 rbi per season will you call for his head and want him traded?

Degenerate39
06-03-2009, 12:23 AM
You know what I see when I watch Bruce bat? Yep I see Adam Dunn!! All Bruce trys to do is pull every pitch he see's.He pulls off very badly againist left handers and he is so out of his comfort zone that I don't see him getting any better anytime soon.So until he gets his head back on straight and gets the batting average raised and starts knocking in runs I will call him Jay Dunn :D.


Jay Dunn,is so much like Adam Dunn that I can't help but laugh.Remember you guys called for Adam Dunn's head b/c of his low batting average and high amount of strikeouts.So my question is if Bruce somehow keeps this up a few more years with the constant low batting average's with all the strikeouts but hits alot of homeruns with say about 75-90 rbi per season will you call for his head and want him traded?

I'll take 40 homers and 100 RBIs. Just sayin

redsfaninbsg
06-03-2009, 12:30 AM
Bruce plays much better defense than Dunn and at this point in his career makes much less. Bruce>Dunn.

TheNext44
06-03-2009, 12:43 AM
You know what I see when I watch Bruce bat? Yep I see Adam Dunn!! All Bruce trys to do is pull every pitch he see's.He pulls off very badly againist left handers and he is so out of his comfort zone that I don't see him getting any better anytime soon.So until he gets his head back on straight and gets the batting average raised and starts knocking in runs I will call him Jay Dunn :D.


Jay Dunn,is so much like Adam Dunn that I can't help but laugh.Remember you guys called for Adam Dunn's head b/c of his low batting average and high amount of strikeouts.So my question is if Bruce somehow keeps this up a few more years with the constant low batting average's with all the strikeouts but hits alot of homeruns with say about 75-90 rbi per season will you call for his head and want him traded?

If Bruce can put up the same offensive numbers as Dunn, and play RF as well as he has so far, I would be happier then George Grande after he won "Win a Date With Albert Pujols"... than Adam Rosales at Chuckie Cheese on his birthday... than Bronson Arroyo as a judge at a wet T-Shirt contest.

WVPacman
06-03-2009, 12:53 AM
I'll take 40 homers and 100 RBIs. Just sayin

I would too thats why I wish he was still playing for the reds!.:D

WVPacman
06-03-2009, 01:03 AM
If Bruce can put up the same offensive numbers as Dunn, and play RF as well as he has so far, I would be happier then George Grande after he won "Win a Date With Albert Pujols"... than Adam Rosales at Chuckie Cheese on his birthday... than Bronson Arroyo as a judge at a wet T-Shirt contest.

Well defense is the only thing that Jay Dunn has right now and that shows just how bad he is playing.If Votto was'nt on the DL I would'nt mind seeing Dusty sit Jay and put Gomes in right field.The way Jay is playing right now Gomes would be a instant upgrade in the lineup imo and maybe they should do it anyways even if Votto is out

Brutus
06-03-2009, 01:09 AM
Some people are glutton for punishment. I cringe that any Redszone member would knowingly want to elicit comparisons to Adam Dunn, considering the polarizing figure he has been on this website lol :eek:

I nearly fell out of my chair!

OnBaseMachine
06-03-2009, 02:28 AM
I remember people saying last year that Jay Bruce would become the new whipping boy now that Dunn is gone. I thought they were crazy. It turns out, they were right. It didn't take people long to turn on Jay Bruce. Despite his struggles, he's maintained an OPS close to .800 all year long and is playing great defense, and he's only 22 years old. He's going to be a special player.

Ron Madden
06-03-2009, 04:06 AM
I remember people saying last year that Jay Bruce would become the new whipping boy now that Dunn is gone. I thought they were crazy. It turns out, they were right. It didn't take people long to turn on Jay Bruce .


This happens far too often in Cincinnati.

Here the Fans usually adopt the favorite players of broadcasters and beat writers as their favorites too.

When the broadcasters or beat writers have an ax to grind with a player, that player no matter how productive, soon becomes a whipping boy.

It's been that way as long as I can remember.

1. Frank Robinson

2. Eric Davis

3. Adam Dunn

4. NEXT

:(

thatcoolguy_22
06-03-2009, 04:44 AM
I remember people saying last year that Jay Bruce would become the new whipping boy now that Dunn is gone. I thought they were crazy. It turns out, they were right. It didn't take people long to turn on Jay Bruce. Despite his struggles, he's maintained an OPS close to .800 all year long and is playing great defense, and he's only 22 years old. He's going to be a special player.


I nominate 1B coach, Billy Hatcher. Why? He has yet to drive a single run, his BA this year (.000) is well below the mendoza line, wonderful K rate but absolutely zero pop. Maybe we should think about a position change to LF or maybe pull a reverse Micah and let him be the #5 SP and put Owings out in left? Regardless this whole season's losses rest squarely on his shoulders IMO. JB in comparison to that bum is like Godzilla vs a 1st grade kid with a stutter, Lebron James vs an actual turtle, a chicken vs an elephant being ridden by a great white shark wearing a laser(eating and trampling anything it wants...) or Donald Trump's hair vs my trimmed nose hair currently using my sink drain as a habitat.


Bruce is 22. He should be no one's whipping boy. If he would have gone to college we would be talking about whether or not the number 1 pick will be Strasburg or Bruce!

Homer Bailey
06-03-2009, 08:20 AM
I would too thats why I wish he was still playing for the reds!.:D


Well defense is the only thing that Jay Dunn has right now and that shows just how bad he is playing.If Votto was'nt on the DL I would'nt mind seeing Dusty sit Jay and put Gomes in right field.The way Jay is playing right now Gomes would be a instant upgrade in the lineup imo and maybe they should do it anyways even if Votto is out

You say you want Dunn still on the team, but want Bruce benched for Jonny Gomes because he plays too much like Adam Dunn?

nate
06-03-2009, 08:53 AM
Remember you guys called for Adam Dunn's head b/c of his low batting average and high amount of strikeouts.

Nope! I don't remember that.

OK, then!

Brutus
06-03-2009, 11:13 AM
Not that I'm daring everyone to turn this into a full-fledged Adam Dunn conversation, but leaving the Dunn karma out of the equation, I actually think Bruce has a higher ceiling for being a thorough hitter. I don't mean that negatively toward Dunn, but once Bruce snaps out of this funk and becomes willing to take an outside pitch and line it down the right field line, I think he will sport a higher batting average. Despite his pitch selection, he has 14 home runs and many more hard-hit or 'warning track' outs. Sooner or later, some of these are going to start falling for hits either by chance or by improved skill.

dougdirt
06-03-2009, 11:17 AM
Jay Bruce and Adam Dunn are nothing alike as hitters outside of power. Dunn walks a lot more, Bruce strikes out a lot less.

Jay Bruce - 21.8% K rate and 8.7% walk rate
Adam Dunn (08) - 25.1% K rate and 18.7% walk rate

Not really similar players at all at the plate.

traderumor
06-03-2009, 11:19 AM
Jay Dunn? Steal that from Bill Cunningham?

remdog
06-03-2009, 11:22 AM
.....but once Bruce snaps out of this funk and becomes willing to take an outside pitch and line it down the right field line....

I'd rather see him line it down the left field line. He has enough power to do a lot of damage going with the pitch.

Rem

flyer85
06-03-2009, 11:22 AM
Jay Bruce and Adam Dunn are nothing alike as hitters outside of power. Dunn walks a lot more, Bruce strikes out a lot less.

Jay Bruce - 21.8% K rate and 8.7% walk rate
Adam Dunn (08) - 25.1% K rate and 18.7% walk rate

Not really similar players at all at the plate.that K rate isn't all that different. The biggest difference is that Bruce does not command the strike zone, the results show up in vastly different OBPs when comparing the beginning of their major league careers.

Until Bruce learns not to swing at balls and get himself out on pitchers pitches early in the count he will struggle with BA and OBP. Has little to do with a willingness to hit the ball the other way.

Tony Cloninger
06-03-2009, 11:24 AM
How is Bruce a whipping boy? He is struggling badly...but hey that's ok beacuse he is young and will get better. OK...I agree with that but right now he is not doing well at all and he is going to get the brunt of the blame beacuse a lot more is being expected from him right now.

If that is not fair...and most times it is not....then why not sit him against some LH's?

dougdirt
06-03-2009, 11:28 AM
that K rate isn't all that different. The biggest difference is that Bruce does not command the strike zone, the results show up in vastly different OBPs when comparing the beginning of their major league careers.

Until Bruce learns not to swing at balls and get himself out on pitchers pitches early in the count he will struggle with BA and OBP. Has little to do with a willingness to hit the ball the other way.

Thats the difference between 142 strikeouts and 165 strikeouts. Thats a significant difference in K rate. His plate discipline is a work in progress, but its moving in the right direction. K rate has steadily gone down and walk rate has been creeping its way up since day 1. Jay shows flashes at times of really strong plate discipline. Other times its quite obvious that he presses and forgets what his plan was and swings at a 58 foot pitch.

flyer85
06-03-2009, 11:33 AM
If that is not fair...and most times it is not....then why not sit him against some LH's?he was the worst splits seen in some time. He looks really lost against LHPs and the sub 600 OPS confirms it.

The Reds have committed to Bruce and he needs to play. In a more perfect world he would bat 6th or 7th but this is the 2009 Reds, Bruce's numbers indicated a lack of plate discipline coming through the minors, most around here just chose to ignore it because he hit for a high average(so did Dunn, just not quite as high). So his struggles were eminently predictable, however, he is still very young. Justin Upton is one that seems to have made a quick adjustment from early struggles so with Bruce it is certainly still possible but the main thing to keep an eye on is the BB rate. If he improves his discipline it will show up in his BB rate.

flyer85
06-03-2009, 11:36 AM
Thats the difference between 142 strikeouts and 165 strikeouts. Thats a significant difference in K rate.
a 4% difference is just not significant. It would likely translate to ~1 extra hit per 100 ABs. Now that BB rate difference is significant as getting on base 10 extra times per 100 ABs is a big deal.

flyer85
06-03-2009, 11:42 AM
BTW, Bruces K rate does not bother me one bit. It is simply an indication that he is swinging at too many pitches that he shouldn't be swinging at.

cincrazy
06-03-2009, 11:42 AM
I remember people saying last year that Jay Bruce would become the new whipping boy now that Dunn is gone. I thought they were crazy. It turns out, they were right. It didn't take people long to turn on Jay Bruce. Despite his struggles, he's maintained an OPS close to .800 all year long and is playing great defense, and he's only 22 years old. He's going to be a special player.

Amen to that. The guy is in his early 20's. Some people need to chiiiilllllllllllll out. To expect him to not come up and struggle is incredibly naive. He will be fine, and once the light bulb goes on, he'll catch the league on fire.

nate
06-03-2009, 11:47 AM
Not that I'm daring everyone to turn this into a full-fledged Adam Dunn conversation, but leaving the Dunn karma out of the equation, I actually think Bruce has a higher ceiling for being a thorough hitter. I don't mean that negatively toward Dunn, but once Bruce snaps out of this funk and becomes willing to take an outside pitch and line it down the right field line, I think he will sport a higher batting average. Despite his pitch selection, he has 14 home runs and many more hard-hit or 'warning track' outs. Sooner or later, some of these are going to start falling for hits either by chance or by improved skill.

I'm a big Dunn fan and I totally agree that Bruce can potentially be a much better hitter.

flyer85
06-03-2009, 11:48 AM
He will be fine, and once the light bulb goes on, he'll catch the league on fire.at the least he will be a solid player but there he is no lock to be a stud player. The lack of plate discipline is not an easy issue to overcome. Guys that already have it when they hit the majors generally have a much smoother transition as the ability of MLB pitchers to command the strike zone is what really sets them apart from the minor league hurlers.

There is no doubt that Bruce has top notch power.

flyer85
06-03-2009, 11:49 AM
Bruce can potentially be a much better hitter.
the dreaded P word.

nate
06-03-2009, 11:51 AM
the dreaded P word.

I don't dread it. He's 22. If he's 27 and we're still saying "potential" then I'm calling shenanigans.

OnBaseMachine
06-03-2009, 11:51 AM
I'm a big Dunn fan and I totally agree that Bruce can potentially be a much better hitter.

I agree.

I see Bruce eventually being a .300/.380/.550 type of hitter.

flyer85
06-03-2009, 11:55 AM
I don't dread it. He's 22. If he's 27 and we're still saying "potential" then I'm calling shenanigans.
the issue is what hurdles will he have to overcome to be that 900+ OPS hitter. Lack of plate discipline is not a small barrier in making the leap from average to stud.

Brutus
06-03-2009, 12:09 PM
Bruce & Dunn comparison by age starting with 19 years old, as they were both in Single-A

19 years old

Bruce (A) .291/.355/.516/.871...31 AB/HR, 9%BB, 23.9%K, .289 GPA, 6.5 PA/RC
Dunn (A) .306/.409/.476/.885...28 AB/HR, 12.7%BB, 20.4%K, .303 GPA, 6.0 PA/RC

20 years old

Bruce (A-AAA) .319/.375/.582/.957...20 AB/HR, 8%BB, 24%K, .314 GPA, 6.0 PA/RC
Dunn (A) .281/.428/.469/.897...26 AB/HR, 19%BB, 24%K, .310 GPA, 6.1 PA/RC

21 years old

Bruce (AAA-ML) .288/.338/.507/.846...19 AB/HR, 7.5%BB, 23.7%K, .279 GPA, 6.8 PA/RC
Dunn (AA - ML) .305/.405/.581/.986...15 AB/HR, 14.4%BB, 22.5%K, .328 GPA, 5.9 PA/RC

*Note: thought slightly different levels, the plate appearances were very similar for the two players at each age & level

Comparing, briefly the two players at the age of 22 (both at the major league level):

BA: Bruce .220 / Dunn .249
OBP: Bruce .296 / Dunn .400
SLG: Bruce .484 / Dunn .454
OPS: Bruce .780 / Dunn .854
GPA: Bruce .254 / Dunn . 294
AB/HR: Bruce 13.3 / Dunn 20.6
BB%: Bruce 8.8 / Dunn 19.3
K%: Bruce 24.2 / Dunn 31.8

Brutus
06-03-2009, 12:10 PM
I'd rather see him line it down the left field line. He has enough power to do a lot of damage going with the pitch.

Rem

Eek. Typo. That's what I meant.

Brutus
06-03-2009, 12:17 PM
a 4% difference is just not significant. It would likely translate to ~1 extra hit per 100 ABs. Now that BB rate difference is significant as getting on base 10 extra times per 100 ABs is a big deal.

I'd say it's still significant. Truthfully, the difference in this game between a .320 hitter and a .260 hitter is six hits per hundred at-bats. So merely an extra hit or two (as a .300 BABIP would produce another 7 hits in 23 less K's on the season) per 100 AB's is still a pretty big deal. Those seven hits might lead to another five runs. If even four players cut down that many strikeouts in a season, you're looking at possibly a couple extra wins.

Now most certainly, the difference between a .300 and .400 OBP is more glaring. There is no doubting that's a huge differential. But I would not dismiss the strikeouts as being so insignificant.

VR
06-03-2009, 12:18 PM
I agree.

I see Bruce eventually being a .300/.380/.550 type of hitter.

I think most here would agree. And very solid defense on top of it.

RFS62
06-03-2009, 12:21 PM
The only number you need to remember about Bruce right now is 22. His age.

He'll be a much different player with another thousand at bats under his belt.

dougdirt
06-03-2009, 12:23 PM
a 4% difference is just not significant. It would likely translate to ~1 extra hit per 100 ABs. Now that BB rate difference is significant as getting on base 10 extra times per 100 ABs is a big deal.

4% is a fairly big difference. Over 650 PA thats 23 extra balls in play that the other guy isn't going to have in play. With Jay Bruce thats probably a HR or two and 5 or 6 singles. So we might be looking at something to the tune of 15-20 points of slugging and 10-12 points in average (and roughly the same in OBP). I would think that 25-30 points in OPS is significant.

The walk rate difference of course is pretty huge. No one is going to argue that. Still, I see it continuing to go up for Jay while the strike outs are going to continue to go down.

We wouldn't be having most of this thread if Jay weren't sporting a .213 BABIP.


PA AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP
206 186 41 5 1 14 18 45 .220 .296 .484 .780 .213
206 186 45 5 1 14 18 45 .242 .316 .505 .821 .244
206 186 47 5 1 14 18 45 .253 .325 .516 .841 .260
206 186 49 5 1 14 18 45 .263 .335 .527 .862 .276
206 186 50 5 1 14 18 45 .269 .340 .532 .872 .283
206 186 51 5 1 14 18 45 .274 .345 .538 .882 .291
206 186 52 5 1 14 18 45 .280 .350 .543 .893 .299
206 186 53 5 1 14 18 45 .285 .354 .548 .903 .307

This is what his season would look like with different BABIPs if he only picked up singles with his extra hits. Some people can get worried and freak out if they want to. I see a 22 year old showing a skillset that suggests he is an .875 OPS or better hitter right now.

dougdirt
06-03-2009, 12:26 PM
Comparing, briefly the two players at the age of 22 (both at the major league level):

BA: Bruce .220 / Dunn .249
OBP: Bruce .296 / Dunn .400
SLG: Bruce .484 / Dunn .454
OPS: Bruce .780 / Dunn .854
BABIP: Bruce .212 / Dunn .313
GPA: Bruce .254 / Dunn . 294
AB/HR: Bruce 13.3 / Dunn 20.6
BB%: Bruce 8.8 / Dunn 19.3
K%: Bruce 24.2 / Dunn 31.8

You left out a significant stat in that comparison so I added it in. You are also using a crappy K%. It ignores walks, HBP, SH and SF's when a player doesn't K. Dunn was at 25.1% and Bruce is at 21.8%.

fearofpopvol1
06-03-2009, 12:40 PM
I don't think people are turning on Bruce...they're just calling out his poor performance. There is nothing wrong with that. Just because he has big time potential doesn't mean he should be given a pass on being called out. I love Jay Bruce and I want him to succeed as much or more than anyone, but he's not exempt.

Admittedly, the problem is probably being exacerbated by the fact that the expectations are higher (with Votto out), but he hasn't been stellar. His OBP is miserable, whether it's bad luck or not.

dougdirt
06-03-2009, 12:48 PM
I don't think people are turning on Bruce...they're just calling out his poor performance. There is nothing wrong with that. Just because he has big time potential doesn't mean he should be given a pass on being called out. I love Jay Bruce and I want him to succeed as much or more than anyone, but he's not exempt.

Admittedly, the problem is probably being exacerbated by the fact that the expectations are higher (with Votto out), but he hasn't been stellar. His OBP is miserable, whether it's bad luck or not.

I think my point is more of 'is he really having poor performance or is he really having a string of bad luck'? I would suggest that his performance is just fine. The things he has control over look just fine and suggest his season should be incredibly better in the slash lines than what they currently look like. When I think poor performance, I don't think of the peripherals that Jay is currently producing at all.

flyer85
06-03-2009, 12:52 PM
I would think that 25-30 points in OPS is significant.
but that number is easily trumped by the difference in BB rate.

Brutus
06-03-2009, 12:55 PM
You left out a significant stat in that comparison so I added it in. You are also using a crappy K%. It ignores walks, HBP, SH and SF's when a player doesn't K. Dunn was at 25.1% and Bruce is at 21.8%.

For the available information on Fan Graphs, I used their K & BB percentages. In the ones that weren't available or if I had to combine multiple stops into an aggregate, I used total plate appearances (which would include the aforementioned factors). However, because I was jotting these down by hand, it's possible I may have mistakenly divided by at-bats instead of plate appearances on a few of those particular lines. I very much intended to use PA instead of AB. So it was not purposeful.

Considering Bruce's low line drive percentage, his BABIP under normal circumstances should be around .260-.270. That does obviously add another 40/50 points to his OBP/OPS. However, I was not trying to over-analyze the comparison between the two, but rather give a snapshot of where they were at during similar points in their careers. Adding BABIP definitely gives added context to Bruce's batting average, but I was not trying to knock Bruce for the difference.

fearofpopvol1
06-03-2009, 12:56 PM
I think my point is more of 'is he really having poor performance or is he really having a string of bad luck'? I would suggest that his performance is just fine. The things he has control over look just fine and suggest his season should be incredibly better in the slash lines than what they currently look like. When I think poor performance, I don't think of the peripherals that Jay is currently producing at all.

I wasn't directing my comment toward you specifically...but just in general, for those that have said that Jay Bruce is the new "whipping boy." I really don't think that's the case. I think most people are just calling out his performance. I think swinging at a lot of bad pitches can be considered "poor performance." But I will say it looks like he's improving each time he goes out there...which is a great sign for all of us Reds fans.

dougdirt
06-03-2009, 12:58 PM
but that number is easily trumped by the difference in BB rate.

Sure, but that's not really at all what we were talking about.

traderumor
06-03-2009, 01:08 PM
All the things about Bruce's projections aside, Dusty could do both he and Johnny Gomes a service and sit Bruce against a lefty now and then in this season, play Hairston in LF on those day. It wouldn't hurt a 22 year old to only play 130-140 games and sit and watch occasionally.

Chip R
06-03-2009, 04:43 PM
I don't think people are turning on Bruce...they're just calling out his poor performance. There is nothing wrong with that. Just because he has big time potential doesn't mean he should be given a pass on being called out.


Unfortunately that's how it starts.

oneupper
06-03-2009, 05:30 PM
More than "turning on" Bruce or not appreciating his youth, what I feel is disappointment.

After burning through the minors without much of a hitch, I expected him to make an immediate impact in the majors, much like David Wright or Ryan Braun. That first week last year only opened my appetite for more.

It's still hitting a baseball, be it in high school, the minors or in the big leagues. I'd really like to have more confidence that JB will be able to do it in the future. I'm really hard-pressed to think that no one threw him a curveball in the dirt in dozen or so years he's been playing baseball. How many more does he have to see before he learns to lay off?

So sure, tell me he is "developing" or "maturing" or whatever. I'll buy it because I want to and because the other assumption -that he just isn't that talented- is a lot less appealing.

cincrazy
06-03-2009, 05:37 PM
More than "turning on" Bruce or not appreciating his youth, what I feel is disappointment.

After burning through the minors without much of a hitch, I expected him to make an immediate impact in the majors, much like David Wright or Ryan Braun. That first week last year only opened my appetite for more.

It's still hitting a baseball, be it in high school, the minors or in the big leagues. I'd really like to have more confidence that JB will be able to do it in the future. I'm really hard-pressed to think that no one threw him a curveball in the dirt in dozen or so years he's been playing baseball. How many more does he have to see before he learns to lay off?

So sure, tell me he is "developing" or "maturing" or whatever. I'll buy it because I want to and because the other assumption -that he just isn't that talented- is a lot less appealing.

You can not possibly compare major league pitching to minor league pitching. A bouncer in the dirt in the minors can not be compared to a bouncer in the dirt in the majors. Braun and Wright are the exception to the rule. Most hitters don't start out ripping the league apart like it's a video game. Jay Bruce hasn't been absolutely terrible. His defense has been very good (arm strength wise, anyways) and his power is obvious. If he was hitting .220 with 4 HRs and 18 RBIs I'd be a lot more concerned. We are relying on him to be one of our two best hitters right now, which is totally unfair.

oneupper
06-03-2009, 05:52 PM
No one wants to be unfair with Mr. Bruce, who seems to be a great kid who is doing his absolute best.

But it's hard to watch and realize that he is not what I expected and while he may become that player we all want, there is the possibility that he won't be. I'll root for him either way.

But that's just where I think we (he) are (is) right now.

Kc61
06-03-2009, 06:02 PM
Bruce shouldn't be overly criticized since he is young and apparently has had some bad luck. But I've watched him many times and he has problems with off-speed pitching.

If he learns to adjust, he will be fine. If not, he will be a low BA, low OBP power hitter.

I'm sure Bruce has had his share of bad luck, but it's not just bad luck. There are areas of improvement needed to be addressed, and hopefully he will adjust.

Chip R
06-03-2009, 06:08 PM
Here's an article from the magical year of 1990 where all our Reds were beloved... or were they?

http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1136550/index.htm

Here are a few excerpts from the article:


The Reds returned to Riverfront after their California expedition and lost five of the first seven games of their most recent home stand. The Giants came into town having lost four of six themselves and didn't merit a molehill of respect, either. "This is ours to lose now," Piniella told his team.

Not so, said Craig. "I was with the Cardinals in 1964, and that was the year everyone said the Phillies blew the pennant. Well, this game can humble you."

Humbled Cincinnati fans, acutely aware that the team's recent history of second-place finishes is rivaled only by the Democrats', began booing the Reds with both barrels.

A typically innocent target was reserve infielder Ron Oester, who shaved his head on July 30 in hopes of changing the team's luck (SI, Aug. 13). He promptly got some mail from a fan in Ashland, Ky., who assumed that Oester's anti-coif made him a neo-Nazi skinhead. "There's no place for that in baseball," the guy wrote.

"Yeah," confessed Oester. "I was the guy hiding in the bathroom, waiting for Morton Downey Jr."

Cincinnati centerfielder Eric Davis, who is hitting .228 with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs, has been getting the chilliest reception in the Chili City, FANS AIM WRATH AT $9 MILLION MAN was the headline in Friday's Cincinnati Post, and indeed, 48,685 fans, the second largest crowd of the season, showed up that night to aim still more wrath at him. The $9 Million Man, meanwhile, appears oddly touched by the taunting. "I've accepted it," says Davis. "I take it for what it's worth. People only boo when they care.".


Robinson was relieved by Francisco Oliveras, who was relieved by Kelly Downs in the sixth. Downs had just come off the disabled list that day, and one of his first offerings sailed straight at Davis's chin. On the next pitch Davis hit a 442-foot shot, the longest dinger dinged at Riverfront this season. It was a bigger homer than Reds broadcaster Joe Nuxhall, which, as we shall see, is saying something.

Stunned, perhaps by the applause, Davis was unable to leave the batter's box for several moments before doing his home run lap. "It wasn't like a big sigh of relief," he said of his and the team's scoring outburst. "We weren't gonna jump off the Empire State Building or nothin' like that."

Homer Bailey
06-03-2009, 06:29 PM
I never thought of this situation this way until now. Maybe the fact that Bruce has a ridculously low BABIP, which has helped lead him to a low BA and OBP will help him identify his problems faster than if he had a more normal BABIP and was hitting around .300 (as Doug noted earlier). We can only hope this is the case.

_Sir_Charles_
06-03-2009, 06:44 PM
My biggest concern is the fact that it's gone on for so long now, that it's got to have gotten into his head by now. That sort of string of poor luck will eat away at a players' confidence...and a young players' even more so.

I relate it to when I get the shanks as a golfer. Hit the driving range and swing until you snap it. Get Bruce in the cage and have him swing until his arms fall off. Right now it's in his head and we've got to get him to reacting instead of thinking. Once he's back on track...resume thinking. :O) Easier said than done unfortunately.

Mario-Rijo
06-03-2009, 07:12 PM
Here's an article from the magical year of 1990 where all our Reds were beloved... or were they?

http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1136550/index.htm

Here are a few excerpts from the article:

An absolutely excellent read and IMO part of what the game today is missing, genuineness. If you say anything bad about the other team/teams/players you are branded a bad guy.

ON a side note sans RBI Davis and Bruce's #'s look a lot alike and that was 2-3 weeks into August. Sign of the times or real reason to be unhappy with Davis at the time? I'd probably have to think sign of the times as O'Neill and Will Clark had similiar lines but better averages IIRC.

Big Klu
06-03-2009, 07:24 PM
Oneupper makes a very good point. Based on the amount of hype that preceded Bruce's arrival, expecting a Wright/Braun/Pujols type of beginning to Bruce's career was not out of line. We fans were told by the club, the media, and even our own Redszone that Bruce was "the next big thing." He was labeled an absolute can't-miss prospect. When someone has that kind of advance press, it's natural for expectations to be high--maybe even sky-high. So far, he hasn't lived up to expectations. Is it fair to him? Obviously not, but it's the reality that we live in. In retrospect, he shouldn't have be hyped like he was. Can he still reach those lofty levels predicted for him? Of course he can--it is true that he is still very young, and he still has a lot of growth ahead of him. But it may take longer than we were led to believe, and he may or may not ever be what we were told to expect. Personally, I see a lot of Paul O'Neill in him. Hopefully he learns to hit lefties like Paulie eventually did (albeit in Yankees pinstripes).

dougdirt
06-03-2009, 07:47 PM
More than "turning on" Bruce or not appreciating his youth, what I feel is disappointment.

After burning through the minors without much of a hitch, I expected him to make an immediate impact in the majors, much like David Wright or Ryan Braun. That first week last year only opened my appetite for more.

It's still hitting a baseball, be it in high school, the minors or in the big leagues. I'd really like to have more confidence that JB will be able to do it in the future. I'm really hard-pressed to think that no one threw him a curveball in the dirt in dozen or so years he's been playing baseball. How many more does he have to see before he learns to lay off?

So sure, tell me he is "developing" or "maturing" or whatever. I'll buy it because I want to and because the other assumption -that he just isn't that talented- is a lot less appealing.

Ryan Braun's rookie year he struck out more than Bruce is striking out now (22.7% to 21.8% for Bruce), walked a lot less than Bruce is walking now (5.9% to 8.7% for Bruce) and hitting for a little more power (.310 isoP to .264 for Bruce). The difference between their two seasons? Bruce has a .212 BABIP right now. Braun had a .361 BABIP his rookie year. Braun was also a year and a half older in his rookie year than Bruce is right now.

WVPacman
06-03-2009, 11:48 PM
How is Bruce a whipping boy? He is struggling badly...but hey that's ok beacuse he is young and will get better. OK...I agree with that but right now he is not doing well at all and he is going to get the brunt of the blame beacuse a lot more is being expected from him right now.

If that is not fair...and most times it is not....then why not sit him against some LH's?

Exactly Cloninger,Bruce isn't the whipping boy atleast not in my eyes.I for for one am glad he is playing on my team.I have always liked Bruce and I always will.The truth is that he is playing horrible and theres no denying that and yes I do think he should sit out a few games and let somebody else play.Just b/c I talk about his lack of hits,homers,rbis,and lack of ofense does'nt mean I hate the guy.

I do not think he deserves a free pass just b/c he is Jay Bruce,if he is stinking the joint up then he deserves to be criticised just like every other player on the reds team would be.Every player that plays good needs praised and every player that is playing horrible needs criticised.Now again it seems that some of you think im just picking on Jay Bruce and thats not the case.I always talk good about Bruce and everyother player on the reds team BUT if a player is slaking during games I don't talk good about him by making excuses.I criticise the player b/c I feel he deserves it and b/c he is hurting the team.

Homer Bailey
06-13-2009, 11:58 PM
Hadn't seen this yet:


BABIP of the Week: Jay Bruce
By: Jonah KeriOn: 6/4/2009 12:50:00 PM
Related: Jonah Keri Los Angeles Angels Cincinnati Reds Colorado Rockies Washington Nationals MLB



View Comments : 7
Today marks the debut of a new Rotosynthesis feature, BABIP of the Week. Every week, I'll look at one batter, or pitcher, who's either a good buy-low or sell-high, using BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) as a barometer. Our first victim: Jay Bruce.

Only one everyday player in Major League Baseball sports a lower BABIP than Bruce's microscopic .206 (more on that other player in a minute). Given what we know about a typical player's BABIP (average figures tend to cluster about 100 points higher), Bruce's start tells us he's either been unlucky, or that he's hitting in the ball in a way that's not conducive to hitting balls where they ain't.

First let's look at the factors he can control. Bruce hits 0.70 groundballs for every one flyball. That's the 19th lowest rate in the game. As this Rich Lederer article (and many others) tell us, groundballs hit in play yield a much higher rate (about .260) than do flyballs hit in play that don't result in home runs (around .160-.170).

More troubling is Bruce's line drive rate. Those are the types of batted balls that are by far the most likely to drop in safely. But Bruce owns the third-lowest LD% in MLB at 13.1%--only pikers Cristian Guzman and Howie Kendrick are lower.

Where these numbers go from here is open to debate. In his rookie season last year, Bruce produced a much higher line drive rate, 21.1%. His GB/FB rate was a much higher 1.31 in '08, which also explains his considerably higher batting average in '08.

Either way, we now have a player hitting .216 for the season. That's .216/.294/.474 overall, and here's where we get to the good stuff: 14 HR (6th in the NL), 30 RBI and 29 R so far this year. Indeed, while Bruce's extreme flyball rates make him a potential batting average liability, batters who hit a lot more flyballs than groundballs are also more likely to hit the ball out of the ballpark, assuming they've got the power to do so.

Bruce obviously does, with an Isolated Slugging number (ISO) of .258, 24th-highest in the majors. He's improved in other ways too, hiking his BB/K rate to 0.42 (up from 0.30 last year) and his BB/AB rate up to 0.90/PA (0.73 last year).

So here we have a hitter hitting a ton of flyballs, very few line drives (which may or may not be a small sample size fluke), while showing an improved batting eye and tons of power. By contrast, the only player with a lower BABIP than Bruce is Garrett Atkins,
who at just 29, playing in Coors Field, should be a viable player, but has shown nothing in the way of encouraging signs, hitting .188/.264/.273 (he's not even viable enough to be a candidate for Chris Liss' Buy Lowest approach right now)

Jay Bruce is not going to come at the same bottom of the barrel discount that you'd get for, say, David Ortiz right now. Bruce is just 22 years old, and fantasy owners are seduced by youth and potential, even in non-keeper leagues. But you can probably get him for 85 cents on the dollar. You absolutely should go after him. Even if the low line drive rate holds, Bruce has still been so unlucky that a .240-.250 average with tons of power and run production should be in the cards for him for the rest of the season.

And if things really start to click, Jay Bruce could be the reason you win your league.

http://rotosynthesis.rotowire.com/BABIP-of-the-Week-Jay-Bruce-BBD1104.htm

Homer Bailey
06-14-2009, 12:05 AM
And....



In many ways, Jay Bruce is well developed for a 22-year old player. His 14 home runs are tied with Johnny Bench for the 2nd most in the last 50 seasons by a 22-year old hitter in a team's first 50 games. His isolated power (slugging percentage minus batting average) ranks behind only Evan Longoria and Justin Upton this season for players under the age of 25. And his 35 home runs in his first 157 games played are the 5th most by a player who is 22 years old or younger in the last 55 years.

But even with all of that power, Bruce still has a lot of work to do to develop his game. I've noticed a handful of articles over the last couple of days telling us not to worry about Bruce. And they all have a theme similar to Jason Grey from ESPN.com:

However, there are good reasons to think that average is going to be on the way up in the future. Bruce is simply too talented to hit in that range for long, especially in light of the improvements in his approach at the plate. The other reason is purely statistical. Bruce has an extremely unlucky .221 batting average on balls in play (as opposed to a .298 mark his rookie season, which was right around the norm).

How unlucky is that number? It is the third-worst BABIP mark in baseball, behind only Brian Giles and Garrett Atkins, and that's likely to even out over the balance of the season.

Grey tells us not to worry because Bruce has been one of the most unlucky players in the league. This excites Brad Spieser at Twin Killing dot com:

I'm not sure why some of you are on Bruce's case, but hopefully the BABIP statistic will help. Just think of it like this: If Bruce's BABIP were somewhere around .280 (still below league average, but significantly better) his batting average would likely be in the .265 range and his RBI total would be closer to 40 than 30. Translation: This city would look like it was sponsored by Jay Bruce jerseys.

On the surface, these statements seem reasonable. Once a ball is put into play, the results can be much harder to predict, especially if it's not going carry out over the wall. However, it's not so cut-and-dry that Bruce's BABIP should be .300, just like the league average, or even .280 like Spieser simply estimates. The fact is that while BABIP does have some luck involved, there is more that goes into it than just luck.

One thing for instance is the type of batted balls the hitter puts into play. Here is the breakdown of BABIP by batted ball type for the last 3 seasons in the Majors:

Year GB FB LD
2007 .235 .135 .723
2008 .246 .142 .718
2009 .238 .142 .726

As you can see, how you hit the ball most definitely matters when it comes to BABIP. And if you are wondering why flyball BABIP is so low, it's mainly because the majority of hits off of flyballs go for home runs, which are removed from BABIP.

Now let's look at Bruce's batted ball type breakdown this season:

GB FB LD
Rate 36.2% 50.4% 13.5%
BABIP .283 .036 .556

So it does indeed appear that Bruce has been somewhat unlucky, especially on flyballs and line drives. However, Bruce's flyball percentage is in the top 10% in the Majors, while his line drive rate is the 8th lowest. So, adjusting strictly on "luck" (i.e. setting his batted ball BABIPs to league average numbers) only gives Bruce 7 more hits on the year for a .258 batting average. I'm sure we'd all take those 7 extra hits, but the point is that for Bruce to really make improvements in his game, it's not a matter of just waiting around for his luck to turn. His lack of luck isn't what is killing his batting average. His lack of line drives is.

The good news is that, as Doug Gray shows us, Bruce is slowly improving on a couple of key peripheral stats. An increased walk-rate and a decreasing strikeout rate will go a long way toward making Bruce a more complete player. But there is still much work to be done as neither the 8.8% walk rate or the 21.8% strikeout rate are particularly impressive.

The biggest problem for Bruce right now appears to be strike zone recognition. And I think Bruce understands this, at least in thought, as he told Jason Grey:

I have a plan, pitchers have a plan; it's really about who executes theirs better. It's not about taking pitches; it's about taking pitches you can't do anything with. It's about taking balls and swinging at drivable strikes.

He's still learning what those pitches are though, as he's swinging at 28.7% of the pitches out of the strike zone, but only making contact with 48% of those pitches. Only Ryan Howard swings at more pitches out of the zone AND makes less contact. Look for Bruce to continue to try to shrink down that strike zone to pitches he can handle as he matures. If he can manage to do that, then he should blossom into the star we all hope he can be.

http://www.redreporter.com/2009/6/3/897511/jay-bruce-is-young-and-talented

OnBaseMachine
06-14-2009, 04:50 PM
Today's game pretty much summed up the season for Bruce. His first time up, he dropped down a beautiful bunt but as luck would have it, the ball rolled foul at the last second. He singled in his second atbat. In his next atbat, he hit a sharp groundball up the middle that the shortstop made a diving stop on and threw him out at first base. In his last atbat, he hit a frozen rope that the right fielder caught off his shoetops. Bruce could have easily had a 3-for-4 or 4-for-4 day, instead he finished 1-for-4.

dougdirt
06-14-2009, 06:28 PM
I just checked the numbers. Since 1960 of players with at least 300 at bats in a season (I know Bruce isn't there yet but its what I filtered my search for) and an isoP of at least .200, no one has a BABIP as low as Jay Bruce has currently. Not a single one of the 2026 players that meet the criteria. The average BABIP of the group? .304.

dougdirt
06-16-2009, 07:36 PM
Different day, same old stuff.

Heath
06-16-2009, 09:11 PM
We could almost make a quasi-game thread of Jay Bruce's unluckiness.

Homer Bailey
06-16-2009, 10:11 PM
I can't believe this is still going on. A rocket to the wall and McClouth crashes into the wall and catches it.

Ron Madden
06-17-2009, 03:07 AM
Back in the old school they always said these things even out.

If so Bruce is in store for one hell of a productive second half of the season.

dougdirt
06-21-2009, 02:21 PM
And its still going strong.

fearofpopvol1
06-21-2009, 03:15 PM
His plate discipline has at least looked somewhat better as of late, which is encouraging.

dougdirt
06-21-2009, 03:17 PM
His plate discipline has at least looked somewhat better as of late, which is encouraging.

His plate discipline has looked good all year outside of about a 2 week stretch in May when he began to press.

fearofpopvol1
06-21-2009, 03:24 PM
His plate discipline has looked good all year outside of about a 2 week stretch in May when he began to press.

I disagree, but that's your opinion. I think you're being a bit generous. He's definitely had quite a few bad moments in June as well.

dougdirt
06-21-2009, 03:45 PM
I disagree, but that's your opinion. I think you're being a bit generous. He's definitely had quite a few bad moments in June as well.

Everyone has had a few bad moments in any given month. But Bruce has 13 walks and 10 strikeouts in June. May was pretty ugly, 9 walks and 27 strikeouts. From May 16th-May31st (2 weeks) Jay had 3 walks and 19 strikeouts in 59 plate appearances. If we take out that two week stretch Jay would be sitting at 26 walks and 34 strikeouts in 212 plate appearances. Thats pretty darn good plate discipline outside of about two weeks (14 games).

fearofpopvol1
06-21-2009, 03:53 PM
Everyone has had a few bad moments in any given month. But Bruce has 13 walks and 10 strikeouts in June. May was pretty ugly, 9 walks and 27 strikeouts. From May 16th-May31st (2 weeks) Jay had 3 walks and 19 strikeouts in 59 plate appearances. If we take out that two week stretch Jay would be sitting at 26 walks and 34 strikeouts in 212 plate appearances. Thats pretty darn good plate discipline outside of about two weeks (14 games).

If I'm not mistaken, most of those walks have come as of late, not in the earlier part of June (hence my comment that he's looked better as of late.

dougdirt
06-21-2009, 03:54 PM
If I'm not mistaken, most of those walks have come as of late, not in the earlier part of June (hence my comment that he's looked better as of late.

Jay walked 7 times in the first week of June.

osuceltic
06-21-2009, 06:11 PM
I think blaming his numbers on bad luck is being awfully generous. He continues to take some terrible swings and even when he isn't striking out, he's getting himself out on pitchers' pitches. I'm not turning on the guy, but he has earned the numbers he owns.

Brutus
06-21-2009, 07:17 PM
Everyone has had a few bad moments in any given month. But Bruce has 13 walks and 10 strikeouts in June. May was pretty ugly, 9 walks and 27 strikeouts. From May 16th-May31st (2 weeks) Jay had 3 walks and 19 strikeouts in 59 plate appearances. If we take out that two week stretch Jay would be sitting at 26 walks and 34 strikeouts in 212 plate appearances. Thats pretty darn good plate discipline outside of about two weeks (14 games).

I've been pretty impressed with Jay's recent approach. However, most of the month of May was pretty hideous to watch.

For the month, he wound up with 9 BB's and 27 K's in 120 PA's. He saw just over 3.7 pitches per plate appearance with an OBP of .270.

This month has been an entirely different story. 12 BB's and 10 K's in 71 PA's and seeing 4.11 pitches per plate appearance. He has a .310 OBP despite his low .169 BA.

Even outside of that atrocious stretch you're talking about, he simply was hacking at too many bad pitches or being too impatient - swinging often at early breaking balls and hitting weak flies. This month, though he's not putting great wood on the ball all the time, his discipline and approach at the plate has been noticeably better.

Redmachine2003
06-21-2009, 07:28 PM
He has Dunn Syndrome he refuses to go with the pitch, even Robinson has noticed it and mentioned it last night. So every pitcher is pitching him away knowing he will try to pull it and hit a weak pop up or ground out. Until he starts going with the pitch and driving the ball the other way he will continue to struggle. It is a frustrating thing to watch when they have pro hitting coaches that should be wearing his butt out until he does and if he doesn't listen send him back to AAA for an attitude adjustment. It is not like he wasn't doing that last year when he came up. The young man was hitting the ball to all fields but hey chicks dig the long ball I guess.

Kc61
06-21-2009, 07:43 PM
I think blaming his numbers on bad luck is being awfully generous. He continues to take some terrible swings and even when he isn't striking out, he's getting himself out on pitchers' pitches. I'm not turning on the guy, but he has earned the numbers he owns.

I think putting Bruce's performance on bad luck is an excuse and doesn't properly address the guy's deficiencies this year. However, there is very good reason to be optimistic.

One problem has been the injuries to other offensive players. When Bruce hits in a better lineup he will get better pitches to hit and will do better. Now, pitchers can play around with him -- they can tease him with off-the-plate pitches and almost never have to throw him a fastball. They just aren't worried that Hanigan or Gonzo or Hernandez or whomever will beat them.

When the lineup is intact, I think Bruce will improve. He needs to lay off bad pitches and walk more. His 29 walks in 241 at bats is too few. It largely comes down to patience and avoiding pitches he can't handle.

Ron Madden
06-21-2009, 07:54 PM
The truth is Jay Bruce has hit into a ton of bad luck this season.

HokieRed
06-21-2009, 08:36 PM
He has Dunn Syndrome he refuses to go with the pitch, even Robinson has noticed it and mentioned it last night. So every pitcher is pitching him away knowing he will try to pull it and hit a weak pop up or ground out. Until he starts going with the pitch and driving the ball the other way he will continue to struggle. It is a frustrating thing to watch when they have pro hitting coaches that should be wearing his butt out until he does and if he doesn't listen send him back to AAA for an attitude adjustment. It is not like he wasn't doing that last year when he came up. The young man was hitting the ball to all fields but hey chicks dig the long ball I guess.


I watched the whole game today, though I did miss the hit he got, and the pitches that got him out--or that he fouled at key counts [3-1 in his walk]--were inside low, not away. He doesn't get those pitches out far enough and he grounds to the right side.

Brutus
06-21-2009, 08:47 PM
The truth is Jay Bruce has hit into a ton of bad luck this season.

I've been in agreement he's had some bad luck. However, because of his low line drive percentage, I've been hesitant to pass off too much to hitting into a ton of bad luck. So I decided to look a little more closely.

This year, he's 34-of-168 with balls in play (.202). He has a 14% line drive percentage (down from 21% last season).

Using the premise that line drives usually fall for hits around 75% of the time, and everything else falls around 20-25% of the time, he's not close to where he should be. Of 168 balls in play, 14% is roughly 24 line drives, with about 18 of those being hits. Using 20% as our threshold for all the rest of the balls hit, that's another 29 hits.

18 + 29 = 47 for a new BABIP of .280.

Add a total of 13 hits to his season total, and he's now batting .269 - Up from .214. Another 55 points to the average & on base percentage does seem pretty significant right now. I'd like to see that LD% come up (as it's awfully low), but even then, he's definitely had some things not go his way.

I'm just glad to see him to improve on the thing he can control the most (his plate discipline). As that gets better, I think the balls will drop a little more often as well. Combine those balls dropping with the return of Votto & Encarnacion and maybe the Reds offense will get jump-started.

GAC
06-21-2009, 08:54 PM
One problem has been the injuries to other offensive players. When Bruce hits in a better lineup he will get better pitches to hit and will do better. Now, pitchers can play around with him -- they can tease him with off-the-plate pitches and almost never have to throw him a fastball. They just aren't worried that Hanigan or Gonzo or Hernandez or whomever will beat them.

Very good point. Why pitch to the guy when you don't have to? Look who is batting ahead of him. He has no protection whatsoever. And people need to understand that he is only 22. But he can't hit LH'd pitching if his life depended on it. His swing is still way too long IMO.

Redmachine2003
06-21-2009, 08:57 PM
I watched the whole game today, though I did miss the hit he got, and the pitches that got him out--or that he fouled at key counts [3-1 in his walk]--were inside low, not away. He doesn't get those pitches out far enough and he grounds to the right side.
Did he move up on the plate because over the last week they were getting him out on the away pitch. They were even talking about it in the booth. Now if he has move closer to the plate to try and cheat to get that outside pitch then the want to pitch him either down and in or up and in so he will jam himself with his swing and look really bad doing it.

dougdirt
06-21-2009, 11:55 PM
I think blaming his numbers on bad luck is being awfully generous. He continues to take some terrible swings and even when he isn't striking out, he's getting himself out on pitchers' pitches. I'm not turning on the guy, but he has earned the numbers he owns.

I don't really think its being awfully generous at all.
From 1960-2008 I looked at players with 300 at bats and at least a .200 Isolated power number, to compare Jay Bruce to players with similar type power that he has. There were 2026 players who met that criteria. Not a single one of those 2026 players in that group has a BABIP as low as Jay's current .205 BABIP. The groups rates look awfully like Jay's rates too


IsoP BB% K% BABIP
Group .241 10.9% 16.9% .300
Bruce .253 10.7% 19.5% .205

Jay certainly has his flaws at the plate. Just about everyone does outside of guys named Pujols or Bonds. Dude has been flat out unlucky though, no matter how you want to slice it.

Kc61
06-22-2009, 09:30 AM
I don't really think its being awfully generous at all.
From 1960-2008 I looked at players with 300 at bats and at least a .200 Isolated power number, to compare Jay Bruce to players with similar type power that he has. There were 2026 players who met that criteria. Not a single one of those 2026 players in that group has a BABIP as low as Jay's current .205 BABIP. The groups rates look awfully like Jay's rates too


IsoP BB% K% BABIP
Group .241 10.9% 16.9% .300
Bruce .253 10.7% 19.5% .205

Jay certainly has his flaws at the plate. Just about everyone does outside of guys named Pujols or Bonds. Dude has been flat out unlucky though, no matter how you want to slice it.

Folks are attributing Bruce's somewhat disappointing numbers to bad luck but articles posted on this thread say something slightly different.

If you review the articles in posts 83 and 84 of this thread, it seems there is something more at work. As of the date of those articles, Bruce had an extremely high fly ball rate. A low ground ball rate. And a relatively low line drive rate which was lower than last season.

I've read at least one manager say that when hitters play in a stadium like GABP they tend to upper cut the ball, trying for homers particularly to the short fields. Not necessarily intentional, but it's been reported that guys do that.

If Bruce is hitting so many fly balls, it seems possible that he is not swinging for line drives, is upper cutting the ball, and is popping out a lot. That -- along with a relatively low walk rate -- would seem to be the principal answer.

I'm not saying the bad luck thing is wrong. Just saying that there appears to be something at work here that is correctable.

Note -- the articles in posts 83 and 84 are not current as of this moment, they were written a few weeks ago.

Kc61
06-22-2009, 10:01 AM
Based on a pm I received, I looked at some other numbers for Bruce which are quite telling and also tend to show, perhaps, that more than "luck" is at issue here.

Bruce's OPS at home is .986. Road -- .568.
Bruce's OPS v. righties is .865. Lefties -- .548.
Bruce's homers -- 11 home, 6 road.
Bruce's homers -- 16 v. righties, 1 v. lefties.

I don't know the BABIP breakdown home, road, righties, lefties, perhaps someone can find.

One interesting stat is that Bruce now has the exact same number of plate appearances, home and road, yet has seen 577 pitches at home but 508 on the road. So it may be a lack of patience on the road.
This seems like a very good sign -- may show that as he gets more experience playing on the road his numbers there will improve.

I'm not sure, there may be other, better analyses, but these tendencies indicate that more than luck is at work. Again, I like Bruce a lot, just trying to see what exactly the problems have been.

nate
06-22-2009, 10:32 AM
Based on a pm I received, I looked at some other numbers for Bruce which are quite telling and also tend to show, perhaps, that more than "luck" are at issue here.

Bruce's OPS at home is .986. Road -- .568.
Bruce's OPS v. righties is .865. Lefties -- .548.
Bruce's homers -- 11 home, 6 road.
Bruce's homers -- 16 v. righties, 1 v. lefties.

I don't know the BABIP breakdown home, road, righties, lefties, perhaps someone can find.

One interesting stat is that Bruce now has the exact same number of plate appearances, home and road, yet has seen 577 pitches at home but 508 on the road. So it may be a lack of patience on the road.
This seems like a very good sign -- may show that as he gets more experience playing on the road his numbers there will improve.

I'm not sure, there may be other, better analyses, but these tendencies indicate that more than luck is at work. Again, I like Bruce a lot, just trying to see what exactly the problems have been.



Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
vs RHP as LH 59 192 172 40 5 1 16 30 2 1 18 32 .233 .313 .552 .865 95 2 2 0 0 2 0 .194 120 120
vs LHP as LH 40 80 69 12 3 0 1 4 1 1 11 21 .174 .288 .261 .548 18 1 0 0 0 0 2 .234 50 56

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
Home 34 32 136 118 22 32 6 1 11 22 2 1 18 29 .271 .368 .619 .986 73 2 0 0 0 2 1 .269 153 153
Away 32 31 136 123 14 20 2 0 6 12 1 1 11 24 .163 .243 .325 .568 40 1 2 0 0 0 1 .151 49 54


I really think it's that he's been hitting the ball where it can be caught and he's getting adjusted to major league breaking pitches.

bucksfan2
06-22-2009, 10:34 AM
Luck or not, Bruce hasn't looked good at the plate to me. He swings at a lot of bad pitches and is making outs on good hitting counts. He tends to find himself behind in the count quite often which puts him behind the 8 ball. If you are constantly hitting behind in the count your BAIBP is likely to be low because of the poor swings you are forced to put on the ball.

Jay is learning right now. IMO he is in the right place and I don't think an AAA stint will help him much. He has the ability to put a ball out of the park with one good swing and his defense has been top notch. He just has to do what most rookies do and make the proper adjustments.

nate
06-22-2009, 10:40 AM
Luck or not, Bruce hasn't looked good at the plate to me. He swings at a lot of bad pitches and is making outs on good hitting counts. He tends to find himself behind in the count quite often which puts him behind the 8 ball. If you are constantly hitting behind in the count your BAIBP is likely to be low because of the poor swings you are forced to put on the ball.

Jay is learning right now. IMO he is in the right place and I don't think an AAA stint will help him much. He has the ability to put a ball out of the park with one good swing and his defense has been top notch. He just has to do what most rookies do and make the proper adjustments.

Here's an interesting way to look at it (pitch count sorted by AB):


Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
After 0-1 61 138 127 22 5 0 7 12 11 40 .173 .239 .378 .617 48 1 0 0 0 0 1 .188 59 94
Two Strikes 59 143 126 23 5 1 8 16 1 0 16 53 .183 .280 .429 .708 54 1 1 0 0 0 1 .231 83 160
After 1-1 58 112 97 18 3 1 6 12 14 25 .186 .295 .423 .717 41 1 1 0 0 0 0 .182 87 101
After 1-0 55 102 83 20 3 1 6 14 18 13 .241 .382 .518 .900 43 2 1 0 0 2 1 .219 136 109
After 1-2 48 81 73 15 5 0 6 10 8 26 .205 .284 .521 .804 38 1 0 0 0 0 0 .220 104 206
After 2-2 47 67 53 12 4 1 3 6 13 22 .226 .388 .509 .897 27 1 1 0 0 0 1 .321 136 183
After 0-2 36 55 51 8 3 0 2 4 4 25 .157 .218 .333 .552 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250 42 137
After 2-1 40 54 43 10 0 1 4 7 10 12 .233 .389 .558 .947 24 0 1 0 0 0 1 .222 146 124
1-2 Count 32 40 40 7 1 0 3 6 0 0 0 14 .175 .175 .425 .600 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 .174 48 175
2-2 Count 35 39 38 6 2 1 0 2 1 0 0 18 .158 .179 .263 .443 10 1 1 0 0 0 1 .300 15 81
First Pitch 25 32 31 10 0 0 4 8 1 1 0 0 .323 .344 .710 1.053 22 0 1 0 0 0 0 .222 164 133
Three Balls 38 58 29 9 2 0 6 8 0 0 29 7 .310 .655 1.000 1.655 29 0 0 0 0 2 0 .188 328 242
After 2-0 28 39 28 7 0 0 3 6 11 3 .250 .462 .571 1.033 16 0 0 0 0 2 1 .182 173 102
0-2 Count 20 26 26 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 14 .077 .077 .077 .154 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .167 -58 -15
1-0 Count 21 22 22 6 2 0 2 4 0 0 0 0 .273 .273 .636 .909 14 2 0 0 0 0 0 .200 125 91
Full Count 27 38 22 8 2 0 5 7 0 0 16 7 .364 .632 1.136 1.768 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 .300 349 331
1-1 Count 19 21 21 3 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 .143 .143 .190 .333 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .143 -13 -22
2-1 Count 13 15 15 4 0 0 2 3 1 0 0 0 .267 .267 .667 .933 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 .154 130 97
After 3-1 15 20 13 3 0 0 3 4 7 3 .231 .500 .923 1.423 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 261 180
0-1 Count 11 12 12 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250 .250 .250 .500 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .250 35 31
2-0 Count 7 7 7 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 .286 .286 .286 .571 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .286 55 23
After 3-0 15 17 6 1 0 0 1 2 11 1 .167 .706 .667 1.373 4 0 0 0 0 2 0 .000 274 139
3-1 Count 8 10 6 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 4 0 .167 .500 .667 1.167 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 206 81
3-0 Count 9 10 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0 .000 .900 .000 .900 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 .000 195 -7


Sample size and all but interesting.

Hoosier Red
06-22-2009, 10:45 AM
I don't really think its being awfully generous at all.
From 1960-2008 I looked at players with 300 at bats and at least a .200 Isolated power number, to compare Jay Bruce to players with similar type power that he has. There were 2026 players who met that criteria. Not a single one of those 2026 players in that group has a BABIP as low as Jay's current .205 BABIP. The groups rates look awfully like Jay's rates too


IsoP BB% K% BABIP
Group .241 10.9% 16.9% .300
Bruce .253 10.7% 19.5% .205

Jay certainly has his flaws at the plate. Just about everyone does outside of guys named Pujols or Bonds. Dude has been flat out unlucky though, no matter how you want to slice it.

Is there a general timeline as to how quickly that reverses itself?

Homer Bailey
06-22-2009, 10:58 AM
Watching and analyzing Bruce's AB's over the last two months, I've noticed one thing that excites me a little, but worries me more. Bruce is a mistake hitter. He's absolutely murdering balls in the middle of the plate (Gameday proved this theory to be right) like he should be. However, he continues to get himself out on pitchers on the corner.

Also, does anyone else on this team that outside strike call (especially against lefties) more than Bruce does?

Kc61
06-22-2009, 11:18 AM
Here's an interesting way to look at it (pitch count sorted by AB):


Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
After 0-1 61 138 127 22 5 0 7 12 11 40 .173 .239 .378 .617 48 1 0 0 0 0 1 .188 59 94
Two Strikes 59 143 126 23 5 1 8 16 1 0 16 53 .183 .280 .429 .708 54 1 1 0 0 0 1 .231 83 160
After 1-1 58 112 97 18 3 1 6 12 14 25 .186 .295 .423 .717 41 1 1 0 0 0 0 .182 87 101
After 1-0 55 102 83 20 3 1 6 14 18 13 .241 .382 .518 .900 43 2 1 0 0 2 1 .219 136 109
After 1-2 48 81 73 15 5 0 6 10 8 26 .205 .284 .521 .804 38 1 0 0 0 0 0 .220 104 206
After 2-2 47 67 53 12 4 1 3 6 13 22 .226 .388 .509 .897 27 1 1 0 0 0 1 .321 136 183
After 0-2 36 55 51 8 3 0 2 4 4 25 .157 .218 .333 .552 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250 42 137
After 2-1 40 54 43 10 0 1 4 7 10 12 .233 .389 .558 .947 24 0 1 0 0 0 1 .222 146 124
1-2 Count 32 40 40 7 1 0 3 6 0 0 0 14 .175 .175 .425 .600 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 .174 48 175
2-2 Count 35 39 38 6 2 1 0 2 1 0 0 18 .158 .179 .263 .443 10 1 1 0 0 0 1 .300 15 81
First Pitch 25 32 31 10 0 0 4 8 1 1 0 0 .323 .344 .710 1.053 22 0 1 0 0 0 0 .222 164 133
Three Balls 38 58 29 9 2 0 6 8 0 0 29 7 .310 .655 1.000 1.655 29 0 0 0 0 2 0 .188 328 242
After 2-0 28 39 28 7 0 0 3 6 11 3 .250 .462 .571 1.033 16 0 0 0 0 2 1 .182 173 102
0-2 Count 20 26 26 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 14 .077 .077 .077 .154 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .167 -58 -15
1-0 Count 21 22 22 6 2 0 2 4 0 0 0 0 .273 .273 .636 .909 14 2 0 0 0 0 0 .200 125 91
Full Count 27 38 22 8 2 0 5 7 0 0 16 7 .364 .632 1.136 1.768 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 .300 349 331
1-1 Count 19 21 21 3 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 .143 .143 .190 .333 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .143 -13 -22
2-1 Count 13 15 15 4 0 0 2 3 1 0 0 0 .267 .267 .667 .933 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 .154 130 97
After 3-1 15 20 13 3 0 0 3 4 7 3 .231 .500 .923 1.423 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 261 180
0-1 Count 11 12 12 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250 .250 .250 .500 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .250 35 31
2-0 Count 7 7 7 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 .286 .286 .286 .571 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .286 55 23
After 3-0 15 17 6 1 0 0 1 2 11 1 .167 .706 .667 1.373 4 0 0 0 0 2 0 .000 274 139
3-1 Count 8 10 6 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 4 0 .167 .500 .667 1.167 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 206 81
3-0 Count 9 10 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0 .000 .900 .000 .900 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 .000 195 -7


Sample size and all but interesting.

Very interesting chart. What comes out, if I am reading it correctly, is that Bruce has a .600 OPS with a 1-2 count; a .443 with a 2-2 count; a .154 with an 0-2 count.

What is interesting is you would think his 2-2 count numbers would be better than 1-2. My guess is that is sample size or luck and that is one stat which soon improves. If he can hit .600 OPS with a 1-2 count, he can do better on 2-2.

Very interesting, thanks.

nate
06-22-2009, 11:28 AM
Very interesting chart. What comes out, if I am reading it correctly, is that Bruce has a .600 OPS with a 1-2 count; a .443 with a 2-2 count; a .154 with an 0-2 count.

What is interesting is you would think his 2-2 count numbers would be better than 1-2. My guess is that is sample size or luck and that is one stat which soon improves. If he can hit .600 OPS with a 1-2 count, he can do better on 2-2.

Very interesting, thanks.

I think it's more of a novelty than anything. But it might be interesting to compare to that other chart compiled of ALL hitter's stats after certain counts.

bucksfan2
06-22-2009, 11:39 AM
Nate I find these kind of pitch count charts very misleading. The only time you have a result is when a ball is put in play. If you take a pitch or foul a pitch off it doesn't count against you. IMO it is difficult to get much real value out of a chart like this. There are a lot of things that good hitters do that is completely left out of pitch count analysis.

dougdirt
06-22-2009, 12:43 PM
Folks are attributing Bruce's somewhat disappointing numbers to bad luck but articles posted on this thread say something slightly different.

If you review the articles in posts 83 and 84 of this thread, it seems there is something more at work. As of the date of those articles, Bruce had an extremely high fly ball rate. A low ground ball rate. And a relatively low line drive rate which was lower than last season.

I've read at least one manager say that when hitters play in a stadium like GABP they tend to upper cut the ball, trying for homers particularly to the short fields. Not necessarily intentional, but it's been reported that guys do that.

If Bruce is hitting so many fly balls, it seems possible that he is not swinging for line drives, is upper cutting the ball, and is popping out a lot. That -- along with a relatively low walk rate -- would seem to be the principal answer.

I'm not saying the bad luck thing is wrong. Just saying that there appears to be something at work here that is correctable.

Note -- the articles in posts 83 and 84 are not current as of this moment, they were written a few weeks ago.

This is also an assumption that no one else in baseball since 1960 has had a similar flyball rate to Jay Bruce with that kind of power. Jay isn't having some crazy batted ball types run that no one has ever had before.

Jay's batted ball types suggest his BABIP, should be in the .265-.270 range. Its currently at .205. So yeah, his types of balls he is hitting is leading to a lower than expected BABIP that should be about 30 points or so lower than the league average. What we are seeing though is one 95 points lower than the league average and well, thats not because of the types of balls he is hitting. The difference between Jay Bruce with a .205 BABIP and Jay Bruce with a .270 BABIP is the difference between him being a .216/.305/.469 hitter and Jay Bruce being a .261/.346/.515 hitter if the 11 hits he gained were all singles (not likely). So his 65 point lower than expected BABIP has cost him roughly 86 points of OPS this year.

Kc61
06-22-2009, 01:14 PM
This is also an assumption that no one else in baseball since 1960 has had a similar flyball rate to Jay Bruce with that kind of power. Jay isn't having some crazy batted ball types run that no one has ever had before.
.

I would guess that other hitters who mostly hit fly balls and relatively few grounders and line drives generally suffer from the same low BABIP problem that Bruce has. Of course, sophisticated modeling of the BABIP stat might take this into account. I don't know.

But why the dramatic difference between home and road stats? Is he lucky at home and unlucky on the road? The OPS differential is huge -- .418 points of OPS.

And is the large gap between his hitting vs. lefties and righties a result of BABIP? I doubt it.

What I see is four factors --

Too many fly balls; impatience on the road; not unusual lefty/lefty issues for a young hitter; and some bad luck.

nate
06-22-2009, 01:18 PM
But why the dramatic difference between home and road stats?

Because it's a small sample size.

When he has these kinds of splits with a good 500-600 ABs in each split, then maybe we'll be on to something. For now, it's nothing definitive.

nate
06-22-2009, 01:20 PM
Nate I find these kind of pitch count charts very misleading. The only time you have a result is when a ball is put in play. If you take a pitch or foul a pitch off it doesn't count against you. IMO it is difficult to get much real value out of a chart like this. There are a lot of things that good hitters do that is completely left out of pitch count analysis.

I think you're expecting it to measure something it doesn't. This measures what happens on the last pitch of an AB. It's not a record of an AB.

Kc61
06-22-2009, 01:24 PM
Because it's a small sample size.

When he has these kinds of splits with a good 500-600 ABs in each split, then maybe we'll be on to something. For now, it's nothing definitive.

I disagree. These numbers tell us something about the hitter.

Bruce's numbers are far better at home. He's also received 577 pitches at home v. 508 on the road. Same number of plate appearances.

This tells us that his approach at home is different. He's more patient at home.

Similarly, his lefty righty splits show that, like most young lefty hitters, batting against lefties will come harder for him.

It's not merely luck or small sample size. And if it changes it will be because of improvement, not just because of things evening out.

Again, I'm not saying these tendencies will last forever or define his career. I'm saying that there is more here than just luck, there are tendencies and he can make changes to improve.

nate
06-22-2009, 01:35 PM
I disagree. These numbers tell us something about the hitter.

I disagree. They're a curiosity right now. They may tell us something in the future but right now there's not much to go on.


Bruce's numbers are far better at home. He's also received 577 pitches at home v. 508 on the road. Same number of plate appearances.Well, he needs to see a good 2000-2500 more and then we'll know something.


This tells us that his approach at home is different. He's more patient at home.I don't think it tells us that with any certainty.


Similarly, his lefty righty splits show that, like most young lefty hitters, batting against lefties will come harder for him. I think this is an issue many hitters have.


It's not merely luck or small sample size. It is sample size.


And if it changes it will be because of improvement, not just because of things evening out.The real improvement will likely be because he improves and things even out.

bucksfan2
06-22-2009, 01:48 PM
I think you're expecting it to measure something it doesn't. This measures what happens on the last pitch of an AB. It's not a record of an AB.

My issue with the stat is that it has some serious holes.

For example if a player has an 0-0 count and swings wildly at a pitch in the dirt or a pitch well out of the strike zone it isn't counted anywhere. With an 0-1 count the player again swings at a bad ball and makes it an 0-2 count but nothing counts against the 0-1 bad swing. If he strikes out looking on a good pitch the only count that is measured is the 0-2 pitch and it is recorded as an out. The problem with this analysis is that what happens on 0-0 and 0-1 and 0-2 is very important to the outcome of the at bat but isn't measured.

What would be interesting to see if there is some kind of analysis of good and bad swings during individual counts. A swing at a bad ball in a 3-1 or 2-0 count could lead to a poor at bat. A protecting the zone foul ball on a 2 strike is a good swing. You could absolutely rip a ball on a 3-1 count but hit it right at a defender and it would go down as an out.

nate
06-22-2009, 01:56 PM
My issue with the stat is that it has some serious holes.

Again, you're asking it to measure something it's not.


For example if a player has an 0-0 count and swings wildly at a pitch in the dirt or a pitch well out of the strike zone it isn't counted anywhere.

With an 0-1 count the player again swings at a bad ball and makes it an 0-2 count but nothing counts against the 0-1 bad swing. If he strikes out looking on a good pitch the only count that is measured is the 0-2 pitch and it is recorded as an out. The problem with this analysis is that what happens on 0-0 and 0-1 and 0-2 is very important to the outcome of the at bat but isn't measured.

What would be interesting to see if there is some kind of analysis of good and bad swings during individual counts. A swing at a bad ball in a 3-1 or 2-0 count could lead to a poor at bat. A protecting the zone foul ball on a 2 strike is a good swing. You could absolutely rip a ball on a 3-1 count but hit it right at a defender and it would go down as an out.Players that have a bad approach at the plate will typically have it reflected in other stats. Vlad Guerrero, notwithstanding.

Homer Bailey
06-22-2009, 08:34 PM
It will be interesting to see Bruce's numbers once Votto gets back in the lineup. I believe he had an OPS north of .900 before JV got put on the Dl.

Blitz Dorsey
06-22-2009, 10:08 PM
My issue with the stat is that it has some serious holes.

For example if a player has an 0-0 count and swings wildly at a pitch in the dirt or a pitch well out of the strike zone it isn't counted anywhere. With an 0-1 count the player again swings at a bad ball and makes it an 0-2 count but nothing counts against the 0-1 bad swing. If he strikes out looking on a good pitch the only count that is measured is the 0-2 pitch and it is recorded as an out. The problem with this analysis is that what happens on 0-0 and 0-1 and 0-2 is very important to the outcome of the at bat but isn't measured.

What would be interesting to see if there is some kind of analysis of good and bad swings during individual counts. A swing at a bad ball in a 3-1 or 2-0 count could lead to a poor at bat. A protecting the zone foul ball on a 2 strike is a good swing. You could absolutely rip a ball on a 3-1 count but hit it right at a defender and it would go down as an out.

I think this is a good point by Bucksfan. What happens early in the count is very important and often decides the outcome (or at least plays a big role in the outcome... huge difference between being up 2-0 in a count and being down 0-2).

dougdirt
06-25-2009, 11:50 AM
http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2009/6/25/922615/jay-bruce-and-balls-in-play



Jay Bruce, along with Joey Votto, Edinson Volquez, Brandon Phillips, Johnny Cueto and others, forms the strong young core of the Cincinnati Reds. Many analysts believed, coming into the 2009 season, that a strong performance from this core could vault the Reds into contention. Despite a 31-39 3rd-order record, the Reds are sitting at 34-36, only 4.5 games behind the division leading Cardinals, and 3.5 games behind the Wild Card leading Giants. Jay Bruce's contribution to this team has certainly been significant. His contributions total to 1.4 wins above replacement so far, which is roughly .5 wins above average, and over 600 plate appearances this production would total 3.1 wins.

However, Bruce's reputation as a prospect was as an elite hitter. Bruce's contributions this year have been almost completely with the glove, posting a +7.9 UZR in RF. His hitting has been merely average, with his .332 wOBA resulting in an insignificant total runs below average. Bruce put up a similar .328 wOBA in 452 PAs (180 more than his current 2009 total of 272). Common to both of his lines is a low BABIP on fly balls and line drives. Thanks to a 21.1% line drive rate, despite a LD BABIP lower than the NL average by 29 points and a FB BABIP lower than the NL average by a whopping 56 points (39% of the NL BABIP), Bruce still maintained a .298 BABIP. Unfortunately for Bruce and the Reds, his line drive rate fell precipitously to 13.8% this year, and, unbelievably, so did his BABIPs on fly balls and line drive. A ridiculously low .560 BABIP on LDs and and unfathomable .025 FB BABIP have led to an overall BABIP of .205 through June 22nd.

Just how big of an impact has this had on Bruce's raw production? Last year, despite the roughly average BABIP, Bruce's batted ball profile suggests that he had 8 fewer hits than the average hitter with the same profile. Even if we assume that all 8 of those hits were singles, that's almost a 4 run difference in production (8 * .47 = 3.76, to be exact). However, fly balls and line drives have a high probability of being extra base hits. Let's take a look at the data.


Split ABIP HIP 2B 3B 1B/H 2B/H 3B/H RV/H
Ground Balls 13279 3086 257 11 0.913 0.083 0.004 0.500
Fly Balls 10768 2139 801 127 0.566 0.374 0.059 0.620
Line Drives 5723 2977 973 79 0.647 0.327 0.027 0.590

Using this, we can estimate how many runs Bruce has lost to bad BIP breaks. Hitter BABIP is a skill to a point, so we can't just assume that Bruce is going to be a league-average hitter with regards to balls in play. However, with only 725 PAs to his 2 year career, we are operating on a small sample size (especially when considering BABIP) and should analyze that possibility, for both his unlucky 2008 and 2009.



Jay Bruce GBHIPvsAVG FBHIPvsAVG LDHIPvsAVG RV PA RV/600
2008 -1 -5 -2 -4.78 452 -6.35
2009 1 -10 -5 -8.65 276 -18.8
Career 0 -15 -7 -13.43 728 -11.07

__HIPvsAVG = hits in play vs. league average on batted ball type
RV = run value, RV/600 = run value per 600 PAs

This is a pretty significant impact, even given the small sample size. Bruce's BABIP woes, however they're caused, have removed over a win from his value in 728 PAs. In fact, considering Bruce's 0.5 WAR last year and 1.4 WAR this year, Bruce's results on balls in play are reducing his value by nearly a third to a half. Personally, I would be interested in seeing some Hit F/X analysis on this issue, but I don't have access to the data. Hopefully for Reds fans, it's merely a case of bad luck. Despite Bruce's 2008 looking decent by overall BABIP, he still lost a lion's share of value from below average LD and FB BABIP. His value going forward could depend on it improving, not to mention the Reds playoff chances.

flyer85
06-25-2009, 11:59 AM
Bruce's peripherals look much better this year than last. His BB rate is up. His BB/K ratio went from over 3 to under 2 (IMO, a big step forward). In addition, even with a depressed BA his SLG% is still higher this season. He is moving forward it just isn't reflected in his BA at this point.

Chip R
06-25-2009, 12:06 PM
What was Jay's BIBIP last year after his hot start? Is it similar to what he's done this year?

dougdirt
06-25-2009, 12:11 PM
Bruce's peripherals look much better this year than last. His BB rate is up. His BB/K ratio went from over 3 to under 2 (IMO, a big step forward). In addition, even with a depressed BA his SLG% is still higher this season. He is moving forward it just isn't reflected in his BA at this point.
Pretty much. There is only one guy in the NL with extremely similar walk, K and IsoP rates to that of Bruce and its Ryan Braun.


Player BB% K% IsoP
Bruce - 10.4% 18.9 .249
Braun - 10.9% 18.6 .246


Bruce is doing what we all know. Braun is hitting .319/.412/.565.

dougdirt
06-25-2009, 12:13 PM
What was Jay's BIBIP last year after his hot start? Is it similar to what he's done this year?

It was .275 after his ridiculous hot start. So no, not even close.

bucksfan2
06-25-2009, 12:15 PM
Pretty much. There is only one guy in the NL with extremely similar walk, K and IsoP rates to that of Bruce and its Ryan Braun.


Player BB% K% IsoP
Bruce - 10.4% 18.9 .249
Braun - 10.9% 18.6 .246


Bruce is doing what we all know. Braun is hitting .319/.412/.565.

Is Bruce just that unlucky? I mean there is a big gap between Braun in BA and OBP. Luck can't play that big of a roll, can it?

I don't really watch much of Braun but when he plays the Reds it seems like he has much more plate presence than Bruce does. He may just be a more refined hitter than Bruce is right now.

flyer85
06-25-2009, 12:16 PM
The fact that Bruce has a low BA does not bother me(what bothers me is guys that can't find 1b with a GPS and have no power have sucked up a huge quantity of ABs). BA is a statistic that tells little about offensive performance and is highly subject to randomness in less than season's worth of ABs.

dougdirt
06-25-2009, 12:28 PM
Is Bruce just that unlucky? I mean there is a big gap between Braun in BA and OBP. Luck can't play that big of a roll, can it?

I don't really watch much of Braun but when he plays the Reds it seems like he has much more plate presence than Bruce does. He may just be a more refined hitter than Bruce is right now.

Bruce has been rather unlucky. Braun's OBP difference is due entirely due to his BA gap (mostly from luck).

Bruce's batted ball types suggest his BABIP, even with the low LD rate, should be about .265 to .270. That suggests he should be a .261/.343/.510 to .265/.346/.514 if he only picked up singles on the gained hits (which probably isn't likely... so he probably would see a small upgrade in those SLG rates).

bucksfan2
06-25-2009, 12:37 PM
Bruce's batted ball types suggest his BABIP, even with the low LD rate, should be about .265 to .270. That suggests he should be a .261/.343/.510 to .265/.346/.514 if he only picked up singles on the gained hits (which probably isn't likely... so he probably would see a small upgrade in those SLG rates).

Thats a far cry from .319/.412/.565. Bruce will become a better offensive player as long as he develops a better plate presence. IMO he swings at too many bad balls and finds himself behind in the count too much. He gives too many swings away. I have no doubt he will get better, it just can get painful watching him struggle from time to time.

cincrazy
06-25-2009, 01:06 PM
The fact that Bruce has a low BA does not bother me(what bothers me is guys that can't find 1b with a GPS and have no power have sucked up a huge quantity of ABs). BA is a statistic that tells little about offensive performance and is highly subject to randomness in less than season's worth of ABs.

True enough. But it's not his BA that concerns me, it's his OBP. He was never a great OBP man in the minors, he didn't have to be. Now he has to be, and so far it's ugly. I fully expect him to get better, no doubt. But how much better? This can be the difference between him being a great player or merely good.

dougdirt
06-25-2009, 01:06 PM
Thats a far cry from .319/.412/.565. Bruce will become a better offensive player as long as he develops a better plate presence. IMO he swings at too many bad balls and finds himself behind in the count too much. He gives too many swings away. I have no doubt he will get better, it just can get painful watching him struggle from time to time.

Its not really that far when we look at the fact that Braun has a .360 BABIP currently. Bruce certainly has his issues at the plate, but he has been quite a bit better at the plate than his slash line dictates.

RedsManRick
06-25-2009, 01:29 PM
If Bruce weren't unlucky, he'd be an .850 OPS guy right now. For a 22 year old, that's quite impressive. Remember, Braun has 3 years on Bruce. Bruce certainly has areas where he can improve, but it's pretty much impossible to be anything but quite optimistic about his future. He could hit .300/.400/.575 in the 2nd half and I wouldn't be surprised.

flyer85
06-25-2009, 02:39 PM
But it's not his BA that concerns me, it's his OBP. He was never a great OBP man in the minors, he didn't have to be. Now he has to be, and so far it's ugly. his BB rate is over 10%. His OBP is being pulled too low by his BA not by his BB rate. Guys like Willy, Alex and Jerry have the double drag of a low BA and low BB rate to suck down there OBP.

cincrazy
06-25-2009, 03:14 PM
his BB rate is over 10%. His OBP is being pulled too low by his BA not by his BB rate. Guys like Willy, Alex and Jerry have the double drag of a low BA and low BB rate to suck down there OBP.

Fair enough. But he still swings at way too many bad pitches. He gets himself out quite often. I think he's going to be a great hitter, I really do. But it's not going to happen overnight, and this fanbase needs to be careful about putting a ridiculous amount of pressure on the man, causing him to break in some way.

dougdirt
06-25-2009, 03:29 PM
Fair enough. But he still swings at way too many bad pitches. He gets himself out quite often. I think he's going to be a great hitter, I really do. But it's not going to happen overnight, and this fanbase needs to be careful about putting a ridiculous amount of pressure on the man, causing him to break in some way.

I don't think its so much that he swings at bad pitches much (he really doesn't do that much anymore), its just that he isn't making the kind of contact we would like on pitches he has been able to do damage on in the past.

flyer85
06-25-2009, 03:30 PM
But he still swings at way too many bad pitches. He gets himself out quite oftenso does Brandon Phillips. Bruce is a young player that is
showing some improvement.

bucksfan2
06-25-2009, 03:38 PM
so does Brandon Phillips. Bruce is a young player that is
showing some improvement.

Brandon Phillips has shown a great deal of improvement not chasing balls out of the zone this season. If Bruce shows that improvement he will become a great hitter.

Bruce so far this year has gotten himself out way too many times. There have been many times I have seen him in a pitchers count hit a weak ground ball in the infield. I have also see him waiving when lefties throw a sweeping curve that ends up a foot outside of the zone.

I think Bruce will be a very good hitter. He just isn't right now. And you can't just attribute that to good luck. As RMR said I wouldn't be surprised if Bruce went on a terror in the second half. He has that ability, he just needs to put it all together. I also think with Votto back in the lineup and the possibility of Edwin returning will help Bruce out considerably.

dougdirt
06-25-2009, 03:48 PM
Brandon Phillips has shown a great deal of improvement not chasing balls out of the zone this season. If Bruce shows that improvement he will become a great hitter.
Bruce swings at fewer pitches out of the zone right now than Brandon Phillips does, at least according to Fangraphs. I think you are seeing what you want to see because Bruce has ugly numbers, while Phillips has ones a little bit nicer so you are remembering Jay's swings outside a little more.

bucksfan2
06-25-2009, 03:53 PM
Bruce swings at fewer pitches out of the zone right now than Brandon Phillips does, at least according to Fangraphs. I think you are seeing what you want to see because Bruce has ugly numbers, while Phillips has ones a little bit nicer so you are remembering Jay's swings outside a little more.

Phillips has always been a free swinger. The only hitter in baseball who made Phillips look patience was Vlad. From where Phillips was to where he is now has been an improvement.

Maybe we are watching a different Bruce. I see a guy who needs to develop some plate presence. I see a guy who seems to always be behind in the count. He may not swing at as many out of zone pitches as Phillips but it only takes one per at bat to throw the count in favor of the pitcher. But you are correct maybe I am seeing what I want to see.

osuceltic
06-25-2009, 03:58 PM
Bruce swings at fewer pitches out of the zone right now than Brandon Phillips does, at least according to Fangraphs. I think you are seeing what you want to see because Bruce has ugly numbers, while Phillips has ones a little bit nicer so you are remembering Jay's swings outside a little more.

No offense, but I think we're using some numbers to mask exactly what bucksfan2 is describing. Bruce does a lousy job recognizing when he's in a hitter's count. He gets himself out on 2-0 and 3-1 pitches he shouldn't even be sniffing at. Maybe he's overeager. I don't know. But it's a flaw right now.

He also gets behind too much by swinging at bad pitches early in the count. They may be strikes, but they aren't driveable strikes. I'm all for swinging at those with two strikes, but he's doing it when he should be waiting for something to hammer.

dougdirt
06-25-2009, 04:20 PM
Phillips has always been a free swinger. The only hitter in baseball who made Phillips look patience was Vlad. From where Phillips was to where he is now has been an improvement.
Phillips made a 5% improvement from last year on pitches swung out outside of the zone, Bruce a 2.5% improvement from last year. Phillips has come further, but Bruce certainly has made a notable improvement.



Maybe we are watching a different Bruce. I see a guy who needs to develop some plate presence. I see a guy who seems to always be behind in the count. He may not swing at as many out of zone pitches as Phillips but it only takes one per at bat to throw the count in favor of the pitcher. But you are correct maybe I am seeing what I want to see.

I watch Jay get into hitters counts but as a guy who is failing to execute on them. With that said, I don't think its because of the pitches he is choosing to swing at, but the execution on the pitches he is swinging at. His flyball rate is among the league leaders this year and up 14% from last year. That tells me his swing is off by a very small level from being line drives. That quarter of an inch we are talking about is taking a perceived 'great at bat' and making it a 'poor at bat' because of execution, not selection.

cincrazy
06-25-2009, 04:31 PM
so does Brandon Phillips. Bruce is a young player that is
showing some improvement.

We're pretty much talking in circles here. I'm not bashing Jay Bruce. All I'm saying is, he has a long way to go. Against a good pitcher, the differences between Votto and Bruce are striking. Votto has a plan... often times, Bruce does not. Votto is much more developed, so it's no surprise. If Homer and Jay had taken the Joey Votto route to the majors, I doubt we'd be having these threads about their production.

dougdirt
06-25-2009, 04:47 PM
We're pretty much talking in circles here. I'm not bashing Jay Bruce. All I'm saying is, he has a long way to go. Against a good pitcher, the differences between Votto and Bruce are striking. Votto has a plan... often times, Bruce does not. Votto is much more developed, so it's no surprise. If Homer and Jay had taken the Joey Votto route to the majors, I doubt we'd be having these threads about their production.

I am very curious when the last time you remember Jay Bruce 'not having a plan' against a good pitcher. I remember a two week stretch where Jay looked like he had no plan in the last two weeks of May. Before and since, he has looked like he has had a pretty solid plan at the plate, he just hasn't executed his contact (in terms of the result of the swing, not the pitch selection) as well as we would like.

bucksfan2
06-25-2009, 04:58 PM
I watch Jay get into hitters counts but as a guy who is failing to execute on them. With that said, I don't think its because of the pitches he is choosing to swing at, but the execution on the pitches he is swinging at. His flyball rate is among the league leaders this year and up 14% from last year. That tells me his swing is off by a very small level from being line drives. That quarter of an inch we are talking about is taking a perceived 'great at bat' and making it a 'poor at bat' because of execution, not selection.

A quarter inch the other way and he may miss the ball completely. Bruce has hit into some bad luck this year, I am not doubting it. But to say that his poor offensive performance is all due to bad luck is incorrect. He has hit quite a few balls to the warning track this year that just didn't seem to carry. Maybe he just didn't square the ball up and his raw strength almost carried it out.

One problem I see with Bruce is what I call "wasted swings." Swings early in the count or swings in hitters count that can't drive the ball. If you look at Votto swing, with less than two strikes he is swinging to drive the ball. Too often Bruce just waives at pitches. As mentioned before they may be strikes, but good pitchers pitches that if put in play mean a weak ball. It is really what separates the good hitters from the average to poor hitters. You can't give away too many swings against good pitching. Its not an indictment against Bruce, it is just the realization that as a young player he has some work to do at the plate.

OnBaseMachine
06-25-2009, 09:51 PM
Bruce has been looking better against lefties lately. He doubled off Clayton Richard over the weekend, walked and was robbed of a hit vs Buehrle, doubled off Carlson on Tuesday, and doubled vs Cecil tonight and also had a good atbat in the 9th against Carlson before being rung up on a 3-2 pitch that looked outside. It takes most LH batters a while before they learn to hit lefties. Bruce hit lefties well in the minors and I think he'll eventually hit them in the majors too.

VR
06-25-2009, 10:01 PM
Bruce has been looking better against lefties lately. He doubled off Clayton Richard over the weekend, walked and was robbed of a hit vs Buehrle, doubled off Carlson on Tuesday, and doubled vs Cecil tonight and also had a good atbat in the 9th against Carlson before being rung up on a 3-2 pitch that looked outside. It takes most LH batters a while before they learn to hit lefties. Bruce hit lefties well in the minors and I think he'll eventually hit them in the majors too.

I agree that he will hit better as he gains experience. Jay is hungry to learn, and has proven he has a tireless work ethic. I have been impressed with much better plate presence in the last 3 weeks....and have confidence he'll finish the year with 35+ dingers at 260+

Kc61
06-26-2009, 10:22 PM
Bruce right now is swinging at bad pitches and is impatient. He isn't hitting lefties well and hasn't hit much on the road. Tonight, in the game against Sowers and the Indians' pen, he seemed overmatched.

His OBP is under .300 and his BA is .209.

I'm very hopeful about the guy, but I'm not sure he should be playing every day right now.

He seems to hit well at home, but at least on the road I would sit him against lefties.

Is it best for his development to watch his batting average approach the Mendoza line? I don't know the answer but I'm not sure this is the best way for him to reach his potential. Maybe, at age 22, Bruce needs to play a little less and watch and rest a little more.

Big Klu
06-26-2009, 10:34 PM
Bruce right now is swinging at bad pitches and is impatient. He isn't hitting lefties well and hasn't hit much on the road. Tonight, in the game against Sowers and the Indians' pen, he seemed overmatched.

His OBP is under .300 and his BA is .209.

I'm very hopeful about the guy, but I'm not sure he should be playing every day right now.

He seems to hit well at home, but at least on the road I would sit him against lefties.

Is it best for his development to watch his batting average approach the Mendoza line? I don't know the answer but I'm not sure this is the best way for him to reach his potential. Maybe, at age 22, Bruce needs to play a little less and watch and rest a little more.

I would start him against the righty tomorrow, but I would sit him against the lefty on Sunday.

Tony Cloninger
06-26-2009, 10:39 PM
How many hitting coaches can actually do anything about his approach in the 9th? You go swinging from the 1st pitch to a guy that has almost as many BB as strikeouts.

WVRedsFan
06-26-2009, 11:57 PM
Jay is going to go one of two ways. He's either going to correct what he's doing and become an all-world player or he's going to be a bust. Too much talent. So far, No. 2 is ahead. He has youth on his side, but I can't imagine the Reds, if they are truly wanting to contend, being too patient with him.

OnBaseMachine
06-27-2009, 01:18 AM
Question.

Why does Willy Taveras get to lead off when he struggles, or Hairston bat second when he struggles, or Hernandez fifth/sixth when he struggles, but Jay Bruce gets dropped to seventh when he struggles? I don't understand that. Bruce is never going to break out of his slump when guys like Janish and Gonzalez are protecting him. A pitcher would have to be out of his mind to throw Bruce a fastball when those two guys are behind him. I would bat Bruce second where he can see some better pitches to hit.

Anyway, I'm not concerned about Bruce. His walks are up, the K's are down and he's hitting for power. He's going to be a star, IMO.

RedsManRick
06-27-2009, 01:20 AM
Question.

Why does Willy Taveras get to lead off when he struggles, or Hairston bat second when he struggles, or Hernandez fifth/sixth when he struggles, but Jay Bruce gets dropped to seventh when he struggles? I don't understand that. Bruce is never going to break out of his slump when guys like Janish and Gonzalez are protecting him. A pitcher would have to be out of his mind to throw Bruce a fastball when those two guys are behind him. I would bat Bruce second where he can see some better pitches to hit.

Anyway, I'm not concerned about Bruce. His walks are up, the K's are down and he's hitting for power. He's going to be a star, IMO.

What are you talking about? Dusty will just bat the guy with the .380 OBP behind him....

WVRedsFan
06-27-2009, 01:31 AM
Question.

Why does Willy Taveras get to lead off when he struggles, or Hairston bat second when he struggles, or Hernandez fifth/sixth when he struggles, but Jay Bruce gets dropped to seventh when he struggles? I don't understand that. Bruce is never going to break out of his slump when guys like Janish and Gonzalez are protecting him. A pitcher would have to be out of his mind to throw Bruce a fastball when those two guys are behind him. I would bat Bruce second where he can see some better pitches to hit.

Anyway, I'm not concerned about Bruce. His walks are up, the K's are down and he's hitting for power. He's going to be a star, IMO.EXCELLENT POINT. But who is going to protect him? The roster and lineup that Walt has assembled is very anemic, so no one can protect anyone unless they bat in front of Votto. That's really a shame.

dougdirt
06-27-2009, 01:51 AM
EXCELLENT POINT. But who is going to protect him? The roster and lineup that Walt has assembled is very anemic, so no one can protect anyone unless they bat in front of Votto. That's really a shame.

Thats not really true. This team could field an average offense, if not slightly better if it were utilized correctly. Instead we are stuck with Taveras and Hairston/Gonzalez hitting 1/2 with guys like Dickerson and Hanigan consistently batting 7th/8th.

If the lineup against a righty went like this:
Dickerson CF
Hanigan C
Votto 1B
Phillips 2B
Bruce RF
Encarnacion 3B (when he gets back)
Nix LF
Janish SS
Pitcher

Or this lineup against a lefty:
Hairston CF
Hanigan C
Votto 1B
Phillips 2B
Encarnacion 3B (when he gets back)
Bruce RF
Gomes LF
Janish SS
Pitcher

You don't think those line ups provide protection for just about everyone in the lineup short of Janish and the pitcher?

Ron Madden
06-27-2009, 02:37 AM
The fact that Bruce has a low BA does not bother me(what bothers me is guys that can't find 1b with a GPS and have no power have sucked up a huge quantity of ABs). BA is a statistic that tells little about offensive performance and is highly subject to randomness in less than season's worth of ABs.


Aint that the truth.

Dusty has a horrible habit of giving his least productive hitters the most ABs.


:(

WVRedsFan
06-27-2009, 02:41 AM
Thats not really true. This team could field an average offense, if not slightly better if it were utilized correctly. Instead we are stuck with Taveras and Hairston/Gonzalez hitting 1/2 with guys like Dickerson and Hanigan consistently batting 7th/8th.

If the lineup against a righty went like this:
Dickerson CF
Hanigan C
Votto 1B
Phillips 2B
Bruce RF
Encarnacion 3B (when he gets back)
Nix LF
Janish SS
Pitcher

Or this lineup against a lefty:
Hairston CF
Hanigan C
Votto 1B
Phillips 2B
Encarnacion 3B (when he gets back)
Bruce RF
Gomes LF
Janish SS
Pitcher

You don't think those line ups provide protection for just about everyone in the lineup short of Janish and the pitcher?

Well, no. Both lineups have factors that inhibit scoring runs. In the first lineup you have Hairston in the lineup at leadoff. No matter what he did last year, he's not all that. In fact, he's an impatient over achiever on some nights. On others, he's simply horrible. We have Phillips batting ahead of Bruce and the imaginary Ecarnacion after. Both Phillps and Edwin have discipline problems at the plate (even though the early season showed lots of walks and very few hits). My guess is that Jay wouldn't see better pitches in this lineup. In the second scenario, we have Gomes behind Bruce. Gomes is not protection, he's possibly a flash in the pan. You see the trouble is there is no tested and true MLB hitters in this lineup. We have players from the trash bin of other clubs. These kind of "never was" players are what the Reds have dealt with for years. Once in awhile a kid like Votto or Dunn comes along and we surround them with marginal players and wonder why we don't score runs.

Sorry, but unless major changes are made to the roster, and we cease putting our main emphasis on signing guys like Jerry Hairston and Willy Traveras, we are doomed to being the only team that finishes ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates. We had our chance in the off season and blew it all in the name of Homer Bailey. I certainly hope Homer makes it, but he's going to have to pitch lights out ball (see Harang, Aaron and others) to win for the Reds while we covet the players no one else wants. Notice the offers Hairston got over the winter? Taveras?

Ron Madden
06-27-2009, 02:58 AM
We have Phillips batting ahead of Bruce and the imaginary Ecarnacion after. Both Phillps and Edwin have discipline problems at the plate

No.

Edwin has been one of our most discplined hitters.

We all watch or listen to these games, you have got to stop letting Marty and Jeff get into your head.

;)

WVRedsFan
06-27-2009, 03:07 AM
No.

Edwin has been one of our most discplined hitters.

We all watch or listen to these games, you have got to stop letting Marty and Jeff get into your head.

;)

Ha! Don't listen to the games anymore, and Marty and Jeff are entertainment, not baseball experts. Very few commentators are experts. Well, I don't listen very often, anyway :). Edwin is fine, but he's not here. May not be here before the middle of next month and if he is will he be able to protect anyone? We do not know. I certainly hope so and hope he comes out blazing, but that's an if and a but and if ifs and buts were candy and nuts we'd all have a Merry Christmas.

Too many ifs and buts on this team. I really expected more from Walt Jocketty. He's better than Krivsky and the record shows it, but surely to all that's right, moves will have to be made.

I want Jay to be what he can be, which is enormous, but so far, he has showcased all his weaknesses to the whole league (and even the bastard AL). Surely, someone in the FO notices this and will make the necesary changes to insure that this kid will reach his full potential.

Ron Madden
06-27-2009, 03:31 AM
Ha! Don't listen to the games anymore, and Marty and Jeff are entertainment, not baseball experts. Very few commentators are experts. Well, I don't listen very often, anyway :). Edwin is fine, but he's not here. May not be here before the middle of next month and if he is will he be able to protect anyone? We do not know. I certainly hope so and hope he comes out blazing, but that's an if and a but and if ifs and buts were candy and nuts we'd all have a Merry Christmas.

Too many ifs and buts on this team. I really expected more from Walt Jocketty. He's better than Krivsky and the record shows it, but surely to all that's right, moves will have to be made.

I want Jay to be what he can be, which is enormous, but so far, he has showcased all his weaknesses to the whole league (and even the bastard AL). Surely, someone in the FO notices this and will make the necesary changes to insure that this kid will reach his full potential.

Jay Bruce will be ok he's still very young.

He has a complete Idiot for a Manager and most of the time bunch of out machines ahead of him or directly behind him in the batting order.

Big Klu
06-27-2009, 03:34 AM
Jay is going to go one of two ways. He's either going to correct what he's doing and become an all-world player or he's going to be a bust. Too much talent. So far, No. 2 is ahead. He has youth on his side, but I can't imagine the Reds, if they are truly wanting to contend, being too patient with him.

As I mentioned earlier, I would play him Saturday vs. the righty, but I would sit him down on Sunday vs. the lefty. (I would also give Hairston and Hernandez a day off on Saturday, and start Hanigan behind the plate.)

My lineup for Saturday:

Dickerson cf
Hanigan c
Votto 1b
Phillips 2b
Nix lf
Gomes dh
Bruce rf
Janish ss
Richar 3b


And for Sunday:

Dickerson rf
Hanigan dh
Votto 1b
Phillips 2b
Gomes lf
Hernandez c
Hairston 3b
Janish ss
Taveras cf



Long term, we are simply going to have to live with Bruce's struggles this season, as I don't think a trip to Louisville will help him. He still needs to see some left-handed pitching, too, though I would sit him occasionally against some southpaws (at least until he looks a little less lost at the plate).

Kc61
06-27-2009, 08:28 AM
Question.

Why does Willy Taveras get to lead off when he struggles, or Hairston bat second when he struggles, or Hernandez fifth/sixth when he struggles, but Jay Bruce gets dropped to seventh when he struggles? I don't understand that. Bruce is never going to break out of his slump when guys like Janish and Gonzalez are protecting him. A pitcher would have to be out of his mind to throw Bruce a fastball when those two guys are behind him. I would bat Bruce second where he can see some better pitches to hit.

.

The lack of protection in the lineup is a fair point. But it's more than bad luck and batting order placement. There's more going on here.

My concern about Bruce is that he is becoming a GABP type hitter, learning to aim for the short right field, and is not developing the kind of hitting skills that would make him an all around hitter. Notice these splits, BA/OBP/SLG/OPS

Against righties -.223/.302/.531/.832
Against lefties - .177/,278/.278/.556

At GABP-.271/.368/.619/.986
Away -.157/.229/.314/.543

I'm less concerned about the lefty-righty splits. Most young lefty hitters struggle against lefty pitching, so much so that many platoon and don't face them.

But the home road splits are so severe that it leads me to believe that Bruce is forming habits at the home ballpark that aren't translating on the road.

Notice that he has far more at bats on the road, now, than at home --140 road, 118 home. Yet he has 11 homers at home and only 6 on the road. Just a guess - I don't have all the numbers - but he may be swinging for GABP type homers in road ballparks and coming up short. I'd like to see the breakdown of his outs on the road. I'd guess there are a bunch of fly ball outs to right field.

dougdirt
06-27-2009, 12:07 PM
Well, no. Both lineups have factors that inhibit scoring runs. In the first lineup you have Hairston in the lineup at leadoff. No matter what he did last year, he's not all that. In fact, he's an impatient over achiever on some nights. On others, he's simply horrible.
Well, when a lefty is on the hill, Hairston is currently sporting a .333 OBP. Given the other options to play CF are Taveras and Dickerson, one who just flat sucks and the other who doesn't hit lefties well, Hairston seems like the best bet on the team to play CF once or twice a week when we see a lefty.



We have Phillips batting ahead of Bruce and the imaginary Ecarnacion after. Both Phillps and Edwin have discipline problems at the plate (even though the early season showed lots of walks and very few hits). My guess is that Jay wouldn't see better pitches in this lineup.
Encarnacion has nothing close to a plate discipline problem. He has a career iso of .082 and solid K/BB rate. Phillips in the past had those issues, but this year he has as many walks as strikeouts. That likely leads to runners on base for Bruce.



In the second scenario, we have Gomes behind Bruce. Gomes is not protection, he's possibly a flash in the pan. Well until that flash in the pan stops slugging .600+, he is protection. The other teams watch video and Gomes has been killing the ball this year.



You see the trouble is there is no tested and true MLB hitters in this lineup. We have players from the trash bin of other clubs. These kind of "never was" players are what the Reds have dealt with for years. Once in awhile a kid like Votto or Dunn comes along and we surround them with marginal players and wonder why we don't score runs.
Tested and true only means what you want it to mean. Take advantage of guys skillsets. The Reds have a roster that if used correctly could produce quite well at the plate. We aren't using the roster close to correctly though. If guys are getting on base, they will provide protection.



Sorry, but unless major changes are made to the roster, and we cease putting our main emphasis on signing guys like Jerry Hairston and Willy Traveras, we are doomed to being the only team that finishes ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates. We had our chance in the off season and blew it all in the name of Homer Bailey. I certainly hope Homer makes it, but he's going to have to pitch lights out ball (see Harang, Aaron and others) to win for the Reds while we covet the players no one else wants. Notice the offers Hairston got over the winter? Taveras?

Hairston isn't a starter, but if he is used correctly can be a decent platoon and backup guy. The roster is filled with a bunch of those guys, but they aren't being used that way, making everyone worse for it. Use the guys that hit lefties against lefties. Use the guys who hit righties against righties. Bat high OBP guys in front of Votto and Phillips. Its really, really simple. We just have a manager that simply can't get it done.

dougdirt
06-28-2009, 01:27 AM
By my count so far, Bruce has been robbed of 7 hits in June alone (not counting tonights game, which I didn't watch).

OnBaseMachine
06-28-2009, 01:34 AM
By my count so far, Bruce has been robbed of 7 hits in June alone (not counting tonights game, which I didn't watch).

He wasn't robbed of any hits tonight but he did hit a line drive right at Choo in his fourth plate appearance. Overall, he looked good tonight. He worked the count well in his first PA and then homered. He also hit a sac fly and drew a walk vs a lefty.

Big Klu
06-28-2009, 02:16 AM
He wasn't robbed of any hits tonight but he did hit a line drive right at Choo in his fourth plate appearance. Overall, he looked good tonight. He worked the count well in his first PA and then homered. He also hit a sac fly and drew a walk vs a lefty.

I would still give him a day off against the lefty on Sunday, though.

Dickerson rf
Hanigan dh
Votto 1b
Phillips 2b
Gomes lf
Hernandez c
Hairston 3b
Janish ss
Taveras cf


Though I understand that a more realistic version would be:

Taveras cf
Hairston 3b
Phillips 2b
Votto 1b
Gomes lf
Hernandez c
Hanigan dh
Janish ss
Dickerson rf

Homer Bailey
06-29-2009, 12:20 PM
I started this thread in mid-May when Bruce's BABIP was .206. It is now .204. It's almost comical how long this has gone on. His LD rate is still hovering around 13%-14%, but to have this low of a BABIP this late in the season is almost unprecedented. I'm not sure how to check the "standings" on lowest BABIP, but I'm guessing that Bruce has to be last.

dougdirt
06-29-2009, 12:23 PM
I started this thread in mid-May when Bruce's BABIP was .206. It is now .204. It's almost comical how long this has gone on. His LD rate is still hovering around 13%-14%, but to have this low of a BABIP this late in the season is almost unprecedented. I'm not sure how to check the "standings" on lowest BABIP, but I'm guessing that Bruce has to be last.

From TheHardballTimes.com


Year Last First Tm BABIP
2009 Bruce Jay A CIN .203
2009 Giles Brian SD .212
2009 Rollins Jimmy PHI .217
2009 Giambi Jason OAK .222
2009 Blalock Hank TEX .233
2009 Uggla Dan C FLA .234
2009 Johnson Kelly A ATL .238
2009 Atkins Garrett COL .242
2009 Hardy J.J. MIL .242
2009 Young Chris B ARI .245

Homer Bailey
06-29-2009, 12:32 PM
The worst part is trying to explain BABIP to someone that really doesn't get it at all, and they see the .214 average, and rip on how much Bruce sucks.

pedro
06-29-2009, 01:05 PM
The worst part is trying to explain BABIP to someone that really doesn't get it at all, and they see the .214 average, and rip on how much Bruce sucks.


OTOH, there are legitimate reasons why his BABIP is so low.. namely the fact that he hits so few line drives.

Homer Bailey
06-29-2009, 01:12 PM
OTOH, there are legitimate reasons why his BABIP is so low.. namely the fact that he hits so few line drives.

However, even the line drives he hits have been incredibly unlucky. Typically about 75% of LD's turn into hits, while Bruce's LD's are only producing hits at about a 55% clip.

mth123
06-29-2009, 01:22 PM
OTOH, there are legitimate reasons why his BABIP is so low.. namely the fact that he hits so few line drives.

Exactly, He's trying to pull everything out of the park and it results in lots of lazy fly balls. With an OF sans Griffey, those are the easiest types of batted balls to turn into outs.

There is an "at 'em" element to Bruce struggles, but its not all luck by any means.

dougdirt
06-29-2009, 01:24 PM
OTOH, there are legitimate reasons why his BABIP is so low.. namely the fact that he hits so few line drives.
Top 6 Lowest LD% in the NL.


Year Last First LD% BABIP GB% IF/F HR HR/F
2009 Bruce Jay A 13.30% .203 38.10% 7.80% 18 16.20%
2009 Reynolds Mark 14.40% .344 42.50% 5.30% 21 26.20%
2009 Hardy J.J. 14.70% .242 44.60% 7.20% 7 8.40%
2009 Pence Hunter 14.90% .344 53.10% 12.30% 10 13.00%
2009 Pujols Albert 15.00% .277 36.80% 11.50% 28 26.40%
2009 Fielder Prince 15.00% .326 38.30% 6.20% 19 19.60%
Check the other rates.... I don't think his low # of LD's is completely the issue.

pedro
06-29-2009, 01:28 PM
Top 6 Lowest LD% in the NL.


Year Last First LD% BABIP GB% IF/F HR HR/F
2009 Bruce Jay A 13.30% .203 38.10% 7.80% 18 16.20%
2009 Reynolds Mark 14.40% .344 42.50% 5.30% 21 26.20%
2009 Hardy J.J. 14.70% .242 44.60% 7.20% 7 8.40%
2009 Pence Hunter 14.90% .344 53.10% 12.30% 10 13.00%
2009 Pujols Albert 15.00% .277 36.80% 11.50% 28 26.40%
2009 Fielder Prince 15.00% .326 38.30% 6.20% 19 19.60%
Check the other rates.... I don't think his low # of LD's is completely the issue.

No but it's part of it. I'm not saying he hasn't been unlucky, i'm just saying that when you pop the ball up as much as he does then you aren't going to have a high BABIP, no matter how lucky you are.

dougdirt
06-29-2009, 01:43 PM
No but it's part of it. I'm not saying he hasn't been unlucky, i'm just saying that when you pop the ball up as much as he does then you aren't going to have a high BABIP, no matter how lucky you are.

Part of it yes. His BABIP should be under .300. But it shouldn't be under .250, much less under .205.

bucksfan2
06-29-2009, 02:02 PM
Part of it yes. His BABIP should be under .300. But it shouldn't be under .250, much less under .205.

Do LD, GB, Fly Ball % just take trajectory into consideration? Do they take into consideration how well a ball is hit?

A high LD% is considered good but there are times when payers hit weak line drives that are easy outs and other times when they smash a ground ball that goes for a base hit. It just seems that if only trajectory is taken into consideration a lot of useful evidence gets lost in translation.

Brutus
06-29-2009, 02:35 PM
Based on Bruce's LD%, compared to a league-average LD rate, his BABIP should be around .265 (based on line drives falling for hits around 75% of the time), which translates his average to somewhere roughly around .250-.260.

Homer Bailey
06-29-2009, 02:49 PM
Do LD, GB, Fly Ball % just take trajectory into consideration? Do they take into consideration how well a ball is hit?

A high LD% is considered good but there are times when payers hit weak line drives that are easy outs and other times when they smash a ground ball that goes for a base hit. It just seems that if only trajectory is taken into consideration a lot of useful evidence gets lost in translation.

It is my understanding that they only account for the trajectory. But I don't think Bruce's line drives fall into the "weakly hit" category. That is just from eye sight. I don't have numbers on this.

Superdude
06-29-2009, 02:53 PM
Doesn't live drive rate tend to fluctuate a lot in a players career? Seems like I read something a while back that said LD% wasn't a hard predictable stat. Bruce had a 21% linedrive rate last year. Has he changed as a hitter, or could the 7% drop in 2009 be somewhat random as well?

RedsManRick
06-29-2009, 10:31 PM
Doesn't live drive rate tend to fluctuate a lot in a players career? Seems like I read something a while back that said LD% wasn't a hard predictable stat. Bruce had a 21% linedrive rate last year. Has he changed as a hitter, or could the 7% drop in 2009 be somewhat random as well?

The short answer is yes, it is highly unlikely that Bruce's skill level is such that we should expect a 13% LD% moving forward. But we should be careful about the use of the word random. Random doesn't mean that it's not "real" -- Bruce really has hit liners only 13% of the time this year. It's random in the sense that if you consider each PA an event whose outcome is determined based on an underlying set of probabilities (such as 18% chance of a line drive), then his 13% LD% is due to "random" variance from that mean.

We should keep in mind that we should not expect Bruce to go on some hot streak to balance out his "unlucky" season. Rather, we should expect him to hit at his true talent level moving forward - a LD% somewhere in the 17-23 range with a corresponding BABIP in the .300 range. His final season numbers will still stink. Sure, he could be much better than that or he could keep up his struggles. But unless you think he's regressed BIG TIME as a hitter, it's not reasonable to believe that his current level of performance should be expected to continue.

Ultimately, we'd be well off to keep digging -- looking at the actions he takes which result in line drives. Is he swinging at pitches he can drive? Is he making contact on those pitches when he does swing? Why is his LD% so low?

Ron Madden
06-30-2009, 03:03 AM
A high LD% is a good thing for ALL Hitters. ( IMHO)

The Old School says these things have a way of evening out.

I'm not real sure but I believe things are about to get interesting.

I have seen hitters that have a Great orTerrible seasons and fall or bounce back to their carrer norms. My gut feeling is Jay Bruce will do just fine.

:)

OnBaseMachine
07-02-2009, 05:29 PM
I know that Jay Bruce is struggling at the plate right now, but man, his defense has been unbelievable. If the season ended today, he would be worthy of a Gold Glove, IMO. I still think a couple years from now he's going to be one of the best all-around players in baseball.

bucksfan2
07-03-2009, 08:44 AM
I know that Jay Bruce is struggling at the plate right now, but man, his defense has been unbelievable. If the season ended today, he would be worthy of a Gold Glove, IMO. I still think a couple years from now he's going to be one of the best all-around players in baseball.

Its a very good thing he hasn't taken his offensive struggles to the outfield. Defense doesn't slump and in reality Bruce is an every day player right now because he can play great D.

11larkin11
07-03-2009, 06:41 PM
I thought it was funny, on the FSN Ohio pregame, on the gameshow "So you think you're a Reds fan?", the contestants tapped the Jay Bruce bobblehead "for luck" haha.

OnBaseMachine
07-08-2009, 01:18 PM
The case of Jay Bruce
Posted by JohnFay at 7/8/2009 12:02 PM EDT on Cincinnati.com

With little else to complain after about last night's 4-3 Reds win, posters turned Jay Bruce into a topic. Some suggested time in the minors for Bruce. To which I say: Come on!

His batting average stinks. He looked bad last night, two strikeouts, a double play. But you've got to look beyond his average.

Here's a look at the numbers for three NL Central right fielders:

Hunter Pence. .301/.369/.488 with 44 runs, 11 homers and 35 RBI

Corey Hart. . . .256/.325/.424 with 46 runs, 9 homers and 35 RBI

Jay Bruce. . . . .212/.288/.451 with 38 runs, 18 homers and 41 RBI

Pence is going to the All-Star Game this year. Hart went last year. If you look beyond the batting average, Bruce has been about as productive as the other two. Bruce has the best arm of the three -- 10 assists.

Batting average would be a great stat if a single were equal to home run. Who do you want on your team? Brandon Phillips (.270)? Or Freddy Sanchez (.316)?

The other side of it is Bruce hit .364 in Triple-A last year and .305 the year before. There's not a lot for him to learn there.

I think Bruce will get his batting up. I also think he should sit more often against tough left-handers. But if you want the best chance to win now and develop for the future, you live with him as your every day right fielder.

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%3ad5b5138c-f9cb-4576-87e6-dfc7340a75c2&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

I agree 100% with Fay. Some Reds fans are ridiculous. They ran Adam Dunn out of town because he wasn't Albert Pujols. Now they're ready to send Jay Bruce to the minors because he's not a superstar yet at age 22. What's next? Send Cueto to the minors because of two or three bad starts?

Brutus
07-08-2009, 01:29 PM
The case of Jay Bruce
Posted by JohnFay at 7/8/2009 12:02 PM EDT on Cincinnati.com

With little else to complain after about last night's 4-3 Reds win, posters turned Jay Bruce into a topic. Some suggested time in the minors for Bruce. To which I say: Come on!

His batting average stinks. He looked bad last night, two strikeouts, a double play. But you've got to look beyond his average.

Here's a look at the numbers for three NL Central right fielders:

Hunter Pence. .301/.369/.488 with 44 runs, 11 homers and 35 RBI

Corey Hart. . . .256/.325/.424 with 46 runs, 9 homers and 35 RBI

Jay Bruce. . . . .212/.288/.451 with 38 runs, 18 homers and 41 RBI

Pence is going to the All-Star Game this year. Hart went last year. If you look beyond the batting average, Bruce has been about as productive as the other two. Bruce has the best arm of the three -- 10 assists.

Batting average would be a great stat if a single were equal to home run. Who do you want on your team? Brandon Phillips (.270)? Or Freddy Sanchez (.316)?

The other side of it is Bruce hit .364 in Triple-A last year and .305 the year before. There's not a lot for him to learn there.

I think Bruce will get his batting up. I also think he should sit more often against tough left-handers. But if you want the best chance to win now and develop for the future, you live with him as your every day right fielder.

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%3ad5b5138c-f9cb-4576-87e6-dfc7340a75c2&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

I agree 100% with Fay. Some Reds fans are ridiculous. They ran Adam Dunn out of town because he wasn't Albert Pujols. Now they're ready to send Jay Bruce to the minors because he's not a superstar yet at age 22. What's next? Send Cueto to the minors because of two or three bad starts?

I don't agree with sending him down, but to be fair to both sides, Jay Bruce, luck or not, is an out machine right now. He's making outs in 72 percent of his plate appearances.

Again, luck or not, that's atrocious. You realize for all the crap Willy Taveras gets here (and it's been deserved) that he and Bruce have identical on-base percentages?

Sometimes you have to create your own luck. While Bruce has certainly had some fair share of unlucky balls put into play, his discipline has been atrocious, he's trying to yank everything out of the park instead of going with the pitch and his line drive percentage has actually fallen back to 12.9% - well below league average.

Sorry, but while I'm in no way advocating sending him down to AAA, the criticism is a bit warranted to at least some extent.

bucksfan2
07-08-2009, 01:33 PM
I agree 100% with Fay. Some Reds fans are ridiculous. They ran Adam Dunn out of town because he wasn't Albert Pujols. Now they're ready to send Jay Bruce to the minors because he's not a superstar yet at age 22. What's next? Send Cueto to the minors because of two or three bad starts?

Spin it however you want it, Bruce needs to start hitting. Last night he was 0-4 with 2K's and two weak outs. No one is running him out of town, people are just suggesting that he needs to get straightened out. For the Reds to do anything in the second half they need Bruce to put up a better line than what he currently is doing. An OPB of .288 is awful, especially for someone with Bruce's talents.

OnBaseMachine
07-08-2009, 01:34 PM
Again, luck or not, that's atrocious. You realize for all the crap Willy Taveras gets here (and it's been deserved) that he and Bruce have identical on-base percentages?


Jay Bruce has 18 homers, Taveras one. Bruce has a .451 SLG, Taveras .300. Taveras bats leadoff, Bruce bats 6/7th with light hitters protecting him. If I'm a pitcher, I would never throw Bruce a fastball. If I walk him, oh well, look who's behind him.

Homer Bailey
07-08-2009, 01:42 PM
Bruce needs to bat 2nd. Last year he hit .344/.432/.516/.948 in 64 at bats. He does much better with good hitters behind him. If only he could play SS.

Brutus
07-08-2009, 01:43 PM
Jay Bruce has 18 homers, Taveras one. Bruce has a .451 SLG, Taveras .300. Taveras bats leadoff, Bruce bats 6/7th with light hitters protecting him. If I'm a pitcher, I would never throw Bruce a fastball. If I walk him, oh well, look who's behind him.

I am not saying they're producing equally, but they are most certainly making outs at the same rate. Even Taveras, who is hitting almost nothing hard, has a 4% better LD% than does Bruce.

Reds fans want to complain about the ineptitude of this offense. That's justifiable. Yet Jay Bruce right now is 1b as a leading culprit of making outs right there with Taveras. Yes, at least Bruce does hit for power, but the mantra on here (as it should be) is 'avoid outs.' Bruce is not doing that so he should not get a pass when everyone else gets criticized to no end.

If he wants to create some of his own luck, cut down on the swing, go with the pitch and stop trying to crank home runs all the time. If/when he does that, he's going to be one of the most feared (and best) hitters in the league. But right now, no one is trying to run him out of town. He's simply being held to the same standard as everyone else - stop making outs.

VR
07-08-2009, 01:45 PM
Jay had absolutely no pitch recognition last night, striking out the 1st two times up with only 1 strike being thrown.
I like the Babip & LD stats, a lot. But until Jay starts hitting balls inside the strike zone for those balls in play, he'll continue to have lousy #'s.

Someone on RZ did a fantastic piece on batting averages based on pitch location....and it was evident that sustained success in hitting poor pitches is impossible.

Pitch recognition.

membengal
07-08-2009, 01:47 PM
Certinaly nothing wrong with giving him some days off against tough lefties at this point. I thought he should have sat Monday and last night, and then worked back in tonight and played against the lefty Moyer tomorrow. The Reds could do a little more to help him through this than they are doing.

OnBaseMachine
07-08-2009, 01:47 PM
Bruce needs to bat 2nd. Last year he hit .344/.432/.516/.948 in 64 at bats. He does much better with good hitters behind him. If only he could play SS.

I agree.

When Taveras or Hairston slump, they bat first or second. When Jay Bruce slumps, he bat seventh. I don't get it.

bucksfan2
07-08-2009, 01:52 PM
Jay Bruce has 18 homers, Taveras one. Bruce has a .451 SLG, Taveras .300. Taveras bats leadoff, Bruce bats 6/7th with light hitters protecting him. If I'm a pitcher, I would never throw Bruce a fastball. If I walk him, oh well, look who's behind him.

The problem is they aren't throwing him good pitches but he is making outs. The are throwing bad balls out of the zone that Bruce is swinging at. In essence they are giving him nothing to hit but he is trying to hit and making outs.

Homer Bailey
07-08-2009, 01:54 PM
If Bruce has a somewhat normal BABIP of .270, his line looks something like this:

.259/.335/.498/.832

And that is if he only hits singles.

75% of line drives in the MLB are typically hits
65% of Bruce's line drives have been hits

15% of fly balls are usually hits
4% of Bruce's fly balls have been hits

24% of ground balls are typically hits
21% of Bruce's ground balls have been hits



Yes, there are obviously some major flaws with his swing right now, but even with some somewhat normal luck, his numbers wouldn't be anything to rag on at all. He is still OPS'ing over .800 against RHP despite his terrible luck. Lefties, he is struggling, but show me a 22 year old who wouldn't?

Kc61
07-08-2009, 01:54 PM
Jay Bruce has 18 homers, Taveras one. Bruce has a .451 SLG, Taveras .300. Taveras bats leadoff, Bruce bats 6/7th with light hitters protecting him. If I'm a pitcher, I would never throw Bruce a fastball. If I walk him, oh well, look who's behind him.


I think the point is, OBP, that there is a double standard in analyzing players around here.

The title of this thread is a prime example. Bad luck? The guy's OBP is shrinking to nothing. He has the lowest LD rate, I believe, of any regular in the league. His numbers against lefties and on the road are off the chart low. Etc.

I know fans love the good Reds prospects. But Bruce needs improvement, big time.

I think he'll get there. I'm comforted by the fact that he makes a lot of contact, he just needs to avoid popping so many pitches up. It will take an adjustment. I think he can make it and will eventually be terrific.

I'm certainly not comparing him to Taveras. But the threads about Bruce have been one excuse after the other. Let's say it. He's young, he's been subpar, he needs work, but he's likely to get there.

REDSEER
07-08-2009, 01:54 PM
I posted something along these lines last night in the game thread, and I'll repeat here:

It really, really looks like Jay is thinking WAY too much at the plate. As a hitter, there is not enough time to think in the split second that the ball travels. It is all reaction. I went through a smaller slump earlier this year in which I kept thinking in terms of situations:

1st pitch: mostly fastballs
0-1: offspeed
2-0: fastball
(and etc.)

I found myself being fooled more often than I was correct, and then on the pitches that I did guess right, I would try to yank them to right a la Jay. Thinking also caused me to look at pitches that I would normally swing at and swing at fastballs high and out of the zone that I thought were offspeed.

If you go back and watch Jay's first two AB's last night, Happ had him all mixed up, swinging at some pitches way out of the zone and looking at some that he should've hacked at. Seems like he is making it really hard on himself by overanalyzing the game instead of just letting it come to him.

bucksfan2
07-08-2009, 02:06 PM
If Bruce has a somewhat normal BABIP of .270, his line looks something like this:

.259/.335/.498/.832

And that is if he only hits singles.

75% of line drives in the MLB are typically hits
65% of Bruce's line drives have been hits

15% of fly balls are usually hits
4% of Bruce's fly balls have been hits

24% of ground balls are typically hits
21% of Bruce's ground balls have been hits



Yes, there are obviously some major flaws with his swing right now, but even with some somewhat normal luck, his numbers wouldn't be anything to rag on at all. He is still OPS'ing over .800 against RHP despite his terrible luck. Lefties, he is struggling, but show me a 22 year old who wouldn't?

Besides just bad luck there is a reason why his BABIP is so low. Last night he went 0-2 BABIP on two balls that would have been caught in beer league softball.

Bruce is constantly behind in the count. He is swinging at bad pitches and has poor pitch recognition. He is making outs in hitters counts, and isn't getting good pitches to square up. There are very few hitters who hit well when behind in the count. That may lead to a poor BABIP.

As a fan I want Bruce to snap out of it as soon as possible. The problem is he has been in a skid for a long time now. Sending him up to the plate over matched and confused isn't a recipe for success in the majors.

Homer Bailey
07-08-2009, 02:10 PM
Besides just bad luck there is a reason why his BABIP is so low. Last night he went 0-2 BABIP on two balls that would have been caught in beer league softball.

Bruce is constantly behind in the count. He is swinging at bad pitches and has poor pitch recognition. He is making outs in hitters counts, and isn't getting good pitches to square up. There are very few hitters who hit well when behind in the count. That may lead to a poor BABIP.

As a fan I want Bruce to snap out of it as soon as possible. The problem is he has been in a skid for a long time now. Sending him up to the plate over matched and confused isn't a recipe for success in the majors.

And how many times has he hosed balls right at people this year? How many warning track fly balls has he hit? Sure he's looked terrible at times, and most of his outs weren't luck related, but he's also had "hot streaks" where he was ripping theball only to have it caught by a diving right fielder or a centerfielder crashing into the wall or making an over the shoulder catch (all of which have happened in the last month). And after all of this, he's still slugging .527 against RHP with an OPS of .820. He certainly has flaws to work out. The biggest key for him, IMO, is to start hitting the ball to left like he did in the beginning of last year, but he has shown no willingness to do so.

kaldaniels
07-08-2009, 02:12 PM
I agree.

When Taveras or Hairston slump, they bat first or second. When Jay Bruce slumps, he bat seventh. I don't get it.

I do like this idea. I see a lot of pitchers just throwing slop up there at Jay, let them think about putting him on 1st with Votto coming up.

edabbs44
07-08-2009, 02:14 PM
Bruce needs to bat 2nd. Last year he hit .344/.432/.516/.948 in 64 at bats. He does much better with good hitters behind him. If only he could play SS.

That was then, this is now. Those 64 at-bats have nothing to do with 2009.

edabbs44
07-08-2009, 02:15 PM
I agree.

When Taveras or Hairston slump, they bat first or second. When Jay Bruce slumps, he bat seventh. I don't get it.

So you want to put the guy with the .280 OBP in front of the best hitter on the team?

Brutus
07-08-2009, 02:16 PM
If Bruce has a somewhat normal BABIP of .270, his line looks something like this:

.259/.335/.498/.832

And that is if he only hits singles.

75% of line drives in the MLB are typically hits
65% of Bruce's line drives have been hits

15% of fly balls are usually hits
4% of Bruce's fly balls have been hits

24% of ground balls are typically hits
21% of Bruce's ground balls have been hits



Yes, there are obviously some major flaws with his swing right now, but even with some somewhat normal luck, his numbers wouldn't be anything to rag on at all. He is still OPS'ing over .800 against RHP despite his terrible luck. Lefties, he is struggling, but show me a 22 year old who wouldn't?

It's really simple physics. With an uppercut swing, he's getting a lot of loft under his fly balls. Normally, players get a percentage of bloop or texas-league flies that fall for hits on a normal, level swing because the bat is level and not driving the ball higher in the air. With Bruce, when you have an upward swing, simply because of the bat trajectory, the ball will get a lot more air under it and give outfielders a much easier time of camping under the ball for an easy out.

This explains the large discrepancy between the rate in which Bruce's fly balls are falling for hits and what a league average player is getting.

The BABIP is influenced heavily by the extreme lack of line drives he's hitting and by comparison, the large number of fly balls he's hitting (and fewer of those are falling because of his uppercut).

Sure, there's still an element of luck here (like for instance not getting hits as much on his line drives). But largely, he's responsible for some of the rest of it it. Realistically, his BABIP probably should be in the .250 range. That would certainly normalize his line a little bit. Even then though, not as much of this is bad luck as we would like to dismiss it as.

edabbs44
07-08-2009, 02:19 PM
I do like this idea. I see a lot of pitchers just throwing slop up there at Jay, let them think about putting him on 1st with Votto coming up.

Jay needs to learn to lay off the "slop", then I'd think about moving him.

Homer Bailey
07-08-2009, 02:22 PM
That was then, this is now. Those 64 at-bats have nothing to do with 2009.


So you want to put the guy with the .280 OBP in front of the best hitter on the team?

It will allow him to see more fastballs, and make his walks actually a bit worthwhile, instead of bringing up Paul Janish. He can focus less on driving in runs and more on getting on base. Those 64 at bats are the only stint in his career where he's had any sort of success. It might be your opinion that those numbers don't matter, but he's proven he can be a very productive hitter when there are hitters behind him. Why not give him that opportunity?

TheNext44
07-08-2009, 02:25 PM
Maybe fay has been reading Redszone?

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%3ad5b5138c-f9cb-4576-87e6-dfc7340a75c2&plckCommentSortOrder=TimeStampAscending&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

He doesn't completely get it, but this is more understanding of stats than I have come to expect from Fay.

Patrick Bateman
07-08-2009, 02:27 PM
Besides just bad luck there is a reason why his BABIP is so low. Last night he went 0-2 BABIP on two balls that would have been caught in beer league softball.

Bruce is constantly behind in the count. He is swinging at bad pitches and has poor pitch recognition. He is making outs in hitters counts, and isn't getting good pitches to square up. There are very few hitters who hit well when behind in the count. That may lead to a poor BABIP.

As a fan I want Bruce to snap out of it as soon as possible. The problem is he has been in a skid for a long time now. Sending him up to the plate over matched and confused isn't a recipe for success in the majors.

A few points to consider:

1. If being behind in the count was hugely indicative of BAPIP, then good pitchers, and first pitch strike throwers would have consistently low BAPIP's. They don't, and that's why BAPIP works for what it is.

The main premise behind BAPIP is that in the event that a player does put that ball into play, he likely hasn't changed his swing so much that he's going to be hitting more low percentage type of hits. The problem with getting behind in the count is that your not going to have the luxury of waiting for 'your' pitch, leading to lots if ill advised swings causing Ks, and a smaller power numbers.

2. The other premise behind BAPIP that I think is relevent here, is that there's such a small difference between hitting a line drive, and just getting 'under it' for a routine pop up, that hitting line drives in itself can be somewhat random, meaning that even in those balls that Bruce is hititng routiniely, it could be argued that if he hits enough balls in play that he should actually be hitting more line drives.

I think it's pretty clear that Bruce is having trouble squaring up and hitting the ball hard, and instead hitting flyballs.... but not to the degree that his BAPIP would indicate. So I do think that my 2nd point doesn't apply in this particular situation, but very well could in others, but that his main problem is that he's been unlucky on the amount of line drives falling in.

Doug has shown that is completely and utterly unprecedented for a guy with Bruce's numbers to have the BAPIP that he does have. Does that mean that he deserves a league average BAPIP around .300? Absolutely not, but there are degrees of luck at stake, and Bruce does not appear to be as bad as his numbers appear, which to me fits with what I've been seeing on the field. His approach needs work, but it's not unlike a number of other high K low BB young hitters that aren't toiling with a low .200's average.

VR
07-08-2009, 02:27 PM
The BABIP is influenced heavily by the extreme lack of line drives he's hitting and by comparison, the large number of fly balls he's hitting (and fewer of those are falling because of his uppercut).

Sure, there's still an element of luck here (like for instance not getting hits as much on his line drives). But largely, he's responsible for some of the rest of it it. Realistically, his BABIP probably should be in the .250 range. That would certainly normalize his line a little bit. Even then though, not as much of this is bad luck as we would like to dismiss it as.

BTP....your points are accurate. Jay's swing needs a bit of tweaking....but again, if he would quit hitting balls out of the strikezone alone, those #'s would jump significantly.

Kc61
07-08-2009, 02:29 PM
It will allow him to see more fastballs, and make his walks actually a bit worthwhile, instead of bringing up Paul Janish. He can focus less on driving in runs and more on getting on base. Those 64 at bats are the only stint in his career where he's had any sort of success. It might be your opinion that those numbers don't matter, but he's proven he can be a very productive hitter when there are hitters behind him. Why not give him that opportunity?

Bruce recently batted fifth against a right hander. I believe that this will happen more and more. One reason is that I think Dusty intends to use Dickerson against righties (instead of Nix) and Dickerson will hit lower in the order. Bruce has been hitting seventh against lefties, which is appropriate.

I agree that when EE is hitting, the foursome of Votto, Phillips, Bruce, and EE in that order should help Bruce out somewhat. And against righties I think it will happen.

But we kid ourselves if we avoid the fact that, wherever Bruce hits in the lineup, managers and coaches will still instruct pitchers to avoid fastballs and to throw Bruce a lot of balls, he'll go after them. And to throw off-speed.

BRM
07-08-2009, 02:29 PM
So you want to put the guy with the .280 OBP in front of the best hitter on the team?

I'd rather see Dickerson/Bruce in front of him than Taveras/Hairston.

edabbs44
07-08-2009, 02:33 PM
It will allow him to see more fastballs, and make his walks actually a bit worthwhile, instead of bringing up Paul Janish. He can focus less on driving in runs and more on getting on base. Those 64 at bats are the only stint in his career where he's had any sort of success. It might be your opinion that those numbers don't matter, but he's proven he can be a very productive hitter when there are hitters behind him. Why not give him that opportunity?

He hasn't proven anything in the big leagues so far. 64 ABs is nothing.

Lineup protection is pretty overrated. If Bruce can show that he can lay off the junk, then moving him up would make more sense. But right now he is a fiasco at the plate. No excuses.

I'm not sure why everyone is so quick to make excuses for Bruce. He is supremely talented but is struggling, which can be expected. Nothing to be ashamed about there. He's young and has a great career ahead of him. But there isn't any reason why everyone has to bend over backwards to make excuses for the guy.

edabbs44
07-08-2009, 02:33 PM
I'd rather see Dickerson/Bruce in front of him than Taveras/Hairston.

Bruce is a fiasco at the plate right now. He needs to fix his approach before you put him up there.

Homer Bailey
07-08-2009, 02:36 PM
A few points to consider:

1. If being behind in the count was hugely indicative of BAPIP, then good pitchers, and first pitch strike throwers would have consistently low BAPIP's. They don't, and that's why BAPIP works for what it is.

The main premise behind BAPIP is that in the event that a player does put that ball into play, he likely hasn't changed his swing so much that he's going to be hitting more low percentage type of hits. The problem with getting behind in the count is that your not going to have the luxury of waiting for 'your' pitch, leading to lots if ill advised swings causing Ks, and a smaller power numbers.

2. The other premise behind BAPIP that I think is relevent here, is that there's such a small difference between hitting a line drive, and just getting 'under it' for a routine pop up, that hitting line drives in itself can be somewhat random, meaning that even in those balls that Bruce is hititng routiniely, it could be argued that if he hits enough balls in play that he should actually be hitting more line drives.

I think it's pretty clear that Bruce is having trouble squaring up and hitting the ball hard, and instead hitting flyballs.... but not to the degree that his BAPIP would indicate. So I do think that my 2nd point doesn't apply in this particular situation, but very well could in others, but that his main problem is that he's been unlucky on the amount of line drives falling in.

Doug has shown that is completely and utterly unprecedented for a guy with Bruce's numbers to have the BAPIP that he does have. Does that mean that he deserves a league average BAPIP around .300? Absolutely not, but there are degrees of luck at stake, and Bruce does not appear to be as bad as his numbers appear, which to me fits with what I've been seeing on the field. His approach needs work, but it's not unlike a number of other high K low BB young hitters that aren't toiling with a low .200's average.

Great post!

Homer Bailey
07-08-2009, 02:43 PM
He hasn't proven anything in the big leagues so far. 64 ABs is nothing.

Lineup protection is pretty overrated. If Bruce can show that he can lay off the junk, then moving him up would make more sense. But right now he is a fiasco at the plate. No excuses.

I'm not sure why everyone is so quick to make excuses for Bruce. He is supremely talented but is struggling, which can be expected. Nothing to be ashamed about there. He's young and has a great career ahead of him. But there isn't any reason why everyone has to bend over backwards to make excuses for the guy.


That's just not true. His walk rate is up, and his K rate is the lowest it has been in his entire career, including the minor leagues.

There is no way to tell if moving him up in the order would help, other than trying it. He was successful there. There is no arguing that. He can't be worse than Hairston is there.

The root of all of his problems is the fact that he can't hit lefties. He's still OPS'ing over .800 against righties! Despite all of his problems! That's better than Phillips, Hairston, Taveras, Dickerson, EdE, Hernandez, etc. etc.

edabbs44
07-08-2009, 02:50 PM
The root of all of his problems is the fact that he can't hit lefties. He's still OPS'ing over .800 against righties! Despite all of his problems! That's better than Phillips, Hairston, Taveras, Dickerson, EdE, Hernandez, etc. etc.

His OPS is plummeting month by month. .868 in April, .763 in May, .677 in June and .478 so far in July.

Lefties aren't his only problem.

bucksfan2
07-08-2009, 02:54 PM
A few points to consider:

1. If being behind in the count was hugely indicative of BAPIP, then good pitchers, and first pitch strike throwers would have consistently low BAPIP's. They don't, and that's why BAPIP works for what it is.

The main premise behind BAPIP is that in the event that a player does put that ball into play, he likely hasn't changed his swing so much that he's going to be hitting more low percentage type of hits. The problem with getting behind in the count is that your not going to have the luxury of waiting for 'your' pitch, leading to lots if ill advised swings causing Ks, and a smaller power numbers.

2. The other premise behind BAPIP that I think is relevent here, is that there's such a small difference between hitting a line drive, and just getting 'under it' for a routine pop up, that hitting line drives in itself can be somewhat random, meaning that even in those balls that Bruce is hititng routiniely, it could be argued that if he hits enough balls in play that he should actually be hitting more line drives.

I think it's pretty clear that Bruce is having trouble squaring up and hitting the ball hard, and instead hitting flyballs.... but not to the degree that his BAPIP would indicate. So I do think that my 2nd point doesn't apply in this particular situation, but very well could in others, but that his main problem is that he's been unlucky on the amount of line drives falling in.

Doug has shown that is completely and utterly unprecedented for a guy with Bruce's numbers to have the BAPIP that he does have. Does that mean that he deserves a league average BAPIP around .300? Absolutely not, but there are degrees of luck at stake, and Bruce does not appear to be as bad as his numbers appear, which to me fits with what I've been seeing on the field. His approach needs work, but it's not unlike a number of other high K low BB young hitters that aren't toiling with a low .200's average.

1. I agree with the point. But at the same time Bruce finds himself down early and often. When you are behind in the count you may change your swing a little or change your approach. I don't necessarily think being behind 0-1 is that big of a deal. The problem arises when you are constantly behind in the count 0-2, 1-2. It may be perception but Bruce finds himself in those counts quite often. You won't get many pitches to drive in those situations and if you aren't looking to take the ball opposite field (Votto has a great 2 strike swing) then you aren't going to have much success.

2. The difference between a fly out and a line drive is very small, but it makes up all the difference in the world. Its why being a millimeter off in many sports can mean the difference between winning and losing. He may be "just" off, but in baseball that is the difference between a line drive and a fly ball. That is the difference between AAA and the majors. That is the difference between a starter and a utility player. In the best, realistic case scenario what is Bruce, a .320 OBP this year?


What I see when I have been watching Bruce lately is someone who doesn't have a good plate approach. He hasn't been walking much as of late, doesn't have a walk in the month of July, and he hasn't been having good at bats. It is very hard to square up pitches when you are expanding the plate zone to protect against strike three. There may be a minor tweak in his swing or he may just not be seeing the ball good. He needs to play every day, against RHP and LHP, but I just don't know if he can get his confidence back at the rate he is going right now.

OnBaseMachine
07-08-2009, 02:55 PM
So you want to put the guy with the .280 OBP in front of the best hitter on the team?

How is that any different than Taveras/Hairston batting 1-2? Bruce should get more fastballs to hit with Votto behind him.

Homer Bailey
07-08-2009, 02:56 PM
His OPS is plummeting month by month. .868 in April, .763 in May, .677 in June and .478 so far in July.

Lefties aren't his only problem.

Overall, his numbers against RHP's and at home are very good.

OnBaseMachine
07-08-2009, 02:56 PM
Bruce is a fiasco at the plate right now. He needs to fix his approach before you put him up there.

But it's OK to bat Taveras and Hairston 1-2, but not Bruce.

Roy Tucker
07-08-2009, 03:01 PM
He's a young guy, so he's going to be frustrating to watch.

He shows flashes of understanding how pitchers work him and then its like he loses his mind for a while. I've seen him have great ABs and then some really dumb ones. If I see him swing and miss a breaking pitch in on his fists (and off the plate), I think I'll scream.

But he seems to be keeping his cool and keeps plugging away and does show some promising signs, so I'd just keep him where he is and let him play. He'll get better. His potential is great and I don't see a lot of better options around.

RichRed
07-08-2009, 03:02 PM
There is no way to tell if moving him up in the order would help, other than trying it. He was successful there. There is no arguing that. He can't be worse than Hairston is there.


And besides, the current lineup configurations aren't exactly piling up the runs. Let's try something new. I doubt it could hurt.

edabbs44
07-08-2009, 03:12 PM
But it's OK to bat Taveras and Hairston 1-2, but not Bruce.

Never said that.

Kc61
07-08-2009, 03:44 PM
So I do think that my 2nd point doesn't apply in this particular situation, but very well could in others, but that his main problem is that he's been unlucky on the amount of line drives falling in.
.


As I read the stats, and someone can check this because I could be misreading, as of today Bruce has a 12.9 percent line drive rate, the lowest of any regular hitter in MLB.

If that is right, then I don't know how you can say his problem is that line drives aren't falling. The problem, based on my reading of the stats, is that he hits fewer line drives than any other regular hitter right now.

dougdirt
07-08-2009, 03:46 PM
As I read the stats, and someone can check this because I could be misreading, as of today Bruce has a 12.9 percent line drive rate, the lowest of any regular hitter in MLB.

If that is right, then I don't know how you can say his problem is that line drives aren't falling. The problem is that he hits fewer line drives than any other regular hitter right now.
You actually can say it because while his line drive rate is lower than others, so is the rate in which his line drives actually go for hits. Yeah, he has a lower number of line drive hits because he isn't hitting many line drives, but the rate at which his line drives do go for hits is lower than just about everyone else in baseball as well.

Kc61
07-08-2009, 03:50 PM
You actually can say it because while his line drive rate is lower than others, so is the rate in which his line drives actually go for hits. Yeah, he has a lower number of line drive hits because he isn't hitting many line drives, but the rate at which his line drives do go for hits is lower than just about everyone else in baseball as well.

Is there a stat showing percentage of line drives falling for hits?

I know that as a percentage of batted balls, he gets fewer hits, but that could be because of all the pop flies.

But is there a stat showing that fewer of Bruce's line drives are falling for hits?

Or fewer of his ground balls are going for hits?

If so, I'd love to see the numbers. Thanks.

Homer Bailey
07-08-2009, 03:55 PM
If Bruce has a somewhat normal BABIP of .270, his line looks something like this:

.259/.335/.498/.832

And that is if he only hits singles.

75% of line drives in the MLB are typically hits
65% of Bruce's line drives have been hits

15% of fly balls are usually hits
4% of Bruce's fly balls have been hits

24% of ground balls are typically hits
21% of Bruce's ground balls have been hits



Yes, there are obviously some major flaws with his swing right now, but even with some somewhat normal luck, his numbers wouldn't be anything to rag on at all. He is still OPS'ing over .800 against RHP despite his terrible luck. Lefties, he is struggling, but show me a 22 year old who wouldn't?


Is there a stat showing percentage of line drives falling for hits?

I know that as a percentage of batted balls, he gets fewer hits, but that could be because of all the pop flies.

But is there a stat showing that fewer of Bruce's line drives are falling for hits?

Or fewer of his ground balls are going for hits?

If so, I'd love to see the numbers. Thanks.

Right there.

Kc61
07-08-2009, 04:29 PM
Right there.

Ok, let's agree that Bruce's liners fall in 10 percent less often than the norm.

This year, he's hit line drives 12.9 percent of his batted balls.

By my math he has 231 batted balls this year. 12.9 percent of 231 is 30 line drives.

If the math is correct, his bad luck on line drives has cost him 3 hits.

I think his line drive rate itself is the bigger issue.

His ground ball luck is near the norm, very small difference there.

His fly ball luck seems bad, but keep one thing in mind. Major home run hitters get a lot of fly balls -- many of which go out of the park. Adam Dunn has a high fly ball rate, but also a higher home run/fly ball ratio.

Homer Bailey
07-08-2009, 04:34 PM
Ok, let's agree that Bruce's liners fall in 10 percent less often than the norm.

This year, he's hit line drives 12.9 percent of his batted balls.

By my math he has 231 batted balls this year. 12.9 percent of 231 is 30 line drives.

If the math is correct, his bad luck on line drives has cost him 3 hits.

I think his line drive rate itself is the bigger issue.

That sounds about right. It's the fly balls that is the most interesting to me. Bruce is getting hits on 4% of his fly balls, while Votto is getting hits on 29% (edit)! I know they are very different players, and have different approaches, but luck has to have a HUGE factor in the difference in those two amounts.

bucksfan2
07-08-2009, 04:36 PM
75% of line drives in the MLB are typically hits
65% of Bruce's line drives have been hits

Isn't 10% of an already low 12% a very small figure?

Could Bruce's lower LD success rate be due in fact so such a small sample size?

The way I see it Bruce has put 266 balls into play (AB-K). He has a 12.9% LD percentage which would mean approx 34 balls put into play have been line drives. If he is successful at 65% of the time that would mean 22 hits vs. 26 hits at 75%. We are talking 4 balls over the course of half a season. Is it luck? Chance? Would an extra 4 hits do much to his overall line?

Kc61
07-08-2009, 04:42 PM
That sounds about right. It's the fly balls that is the most interesting to me. Bruce is getting hits on 4% of his fly balls, while Votto is getting hits on 42%! I know they are very different players, and have different approaches, but luck has to have a HUGE factor in the difference in those two amounts.

I'm not sure it's luck. A fly ball off the wall is different from a fly ball to short center field. I just don't know how that figures in.

But, for example, Votto has 14 doubles while Bruce has 12. Yet Bruce has way more at bats, 293 to 184. So Votto's fly balls are likely more often resulting in doubles than Bruce's. Luck? Or different kind of fly ball. I just don't know.

Also, Adam Dunn, for example, has a higher percentage of home runs to fly balls than does Bruce, by almost 7 percent. So while Bruce hits many fly balls, Dunn's more often leave the stadium. That's relevant too.

I agree that the fly ball numbers are the most interesting, but I'm not sure that we have sufficient data to conclude it is luck.

Homer Bailey
07-08-2009, 04:50 PM
I'm not sure it's luck. A fly ball off the wall is different from a fly ball to short center field. I just don't know how that figures in.

But, for example, Votto has 14 doubles while Bruce has 12. Yet Bruce has way more at bats, 293 to 184. So Votto's fly balls are likely more often resulting in doubles than Bruce's. Luck? Or different kind of fly ball. I just don't know.

Also, Adam Dunn, for example, has a higher percentage of home runs to fly balls than does Bruce, by almost 7 percent. So while Bruce hits many fly balls, his home run numbers don't compensate for this as well as a guy like Dunn.

I agree that the fly ball numbers are the most interesting, but I'm not sure that we have sufficient data to conclude it is luck.

I messed up Votto's percentage, but I edited it. It is interesting. If Bruce has a .150 average on fly balls, and a .750 average on line drives, he'd be hitting .260. How much luck is involved and how much failure is involved is impossible to determine by looking at the numbers, but I think we can agree there is a mixture of both going on here.

Brutus
07-08-2009, 04:51 PM
You actually can say it because while his line drive rate is lower than others, so is the rate in which his line drives actually go for hits. Yeah, he has a lower number of line drive hits because he isn't hitting many line drives, but the rate at which his line drives do go for hits is lower than just about everyone else in baseball as well.

It was posted earlier that he's had 10% fewer line drives fall for hits than most hitters (average 75%). However, Bruce to this point, has a 12.9% line drive rate. He's had 214 balls in play. At that rate, he's hit approximately 28 line drives. That means he's only been shorted three hits (10%) because of bad luck with line drives falling.

Three hits.

That's enough to raise his average a total of 10 points to .222.

He's not getting short-changed all that much folks.

VR
07-08-2009, 05:00 PM
What differentiates a fly ball and a line drive? Subjective?

dougdirt
07-08-2009, 05:02 PM
It was posted earlier that he's had 10% fewer line drives fall for hits than most hitters (average 75%). However, Bruce to this point, has a 12.9% line drive rate. He's had 214 balls in play. At that rate, he's hit approximately 28 line drives. That means he's only been shorted three hits (10%) because of bad luck with line drives falling.

Three hits.

That's enough to raise his average a total of 10 points to .222.

He's not getting short-changed all that much folks.
Sure, three hits on his line drives. What about his fly balls? What about his ground balls? In total, using fangraphs totals for his batted ball type and Homer Bailey's numbers from here (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1915177#post1915177), this is what is going on so far.



LD GB FB Total
BIP 30 86 116 232
Should 22.5 20.64 17.4 60.5
Actual 19.5 18.06 4.64 42.2


That suggests 16-18 hits have been taken away from Jay Bruce this season simply based on his BIP versus league average (Non HR).

Brutus
07-08-2009, 05:02 PM
What differentiates a fly ball and a line drive? Subjective?

There's a subjective nature to it, but trajectory is not a terribly hard thing to distinguish. If the ball goes straight out off the bat with only a slight incline and only makes a gradual incline, it's a line drive. If the ball goes more up than out, it's a fly ball.

There's absolutely some wiggle room for debate, but usually I think it's a fairly easy thing to distinguish.

Homer Bailey
07-08-2009, 05:05 PM
Sure, three hits on his line drives. What about his fly balls? What about his ground balls? In total, using fangraphs totals for his batted ball type and Homer Bailey's numbers from here (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1915177#post1915177), this is what is going on so far.



LD GB FB Total
BIP 30 86 116 232
Should 22.5 20.64 17.4 60.5
Actual 19.5 18.06 4.64 42.2


That suggests 16-18 hits have been taken away from Jay Bruce this season simply based on his BIP versus league average (Non HR).

Thanks doug. If all of those are singles, here is his line:

.273/.349/.512/.861

Brutus
07-08-2009, 05:05 PM
Sure, three hits on his line drives. What about his fly balls? What about his ground balls? In total, using fangraphs totals for his batted ball type and Homer Bailey's numbers from here (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1915177#post1915177), this is what is going on so far.



LD GB FB Total
BIP 30 86 116 232
Should 22.5 20.64 17.4 60.5
Actual 19.5 18.06 4.64 42.2


I made the point earlier in the thread that I do not consider there to be much bad luck going on with his flyball rate.

My rationale is that he's got such an upper-cut swing, he SHOULD be making more outs on fly balls because he'll get more air under the balls he hits. If you have a level swing, you will get many more soft bloopers that fall for hits than if you swing up on the ball. That will naturally cause the trajectory of the ball to go further up in the air - thus giving outfielders more time to get under it.

As far as I'm concerned, his rate of getting fly balls to fall for a hit is no accident. His swing is causing a lot more high, lazy fly balls than other hitters.

Yes, you could argue he's been shortchanged on a few additional hits via groundballs. But even with those and the three hits I mentioned because of line drives, his average should actually only be in the .230 range based on normal rates for LD and GB.

Edit: Also Doug, you did not take out home runs from balls in play.

dsmith421
07-08-2009, 10:24 PM
Does anyone have a forceps or perhaps a clamp with which we could remove Jay's head from his fundament?

Kc61
07-09-2009, 12:17 AM
On the road, Bruce's OPS is .545. That's against all kinds of pitching and more than half the team's games. Taveras' road OPS is .543.

WVRedsFan
07-09-2009, 12:56 AM
On the road, Bruce's OPS is .545. That's against all kinds of pitching and more than half the team's games. Taveras' road OPS is .543.
Ouch!

Playing the kid night after night until his average and other important stats go to hades is not the right way. He needs help and the majors is not the place to get it. Regardless of how great you think he's going to be, this is going to ruin him. Send him down.

Big Klu
07-09-2009, 01:01 AM
I disagree with sending him down to Louisville (he has nothing left to prove there), but I would send him to the bench until after the All-Star break. Under no circumstances would he start another game until July 16. Let him clear his mind, and refocus for the second half.

mth123
07-09-2009, 01:48 AM
I made the point earlier in the thread that I do not consider there to be much bad luck going on with his flyball rate.

My rationale is that he's got such an upper-cut swing, he SHOULD be making more outs on fly balls because he'll get more air under the balls he hits. If you have a level swing, you will get many more soft bloopers that fall for hits than if you swing up on the ball. That will naturally cause the trajectory of the ball to go further up in the air - thus giving outfielders more time to get under it.

As far as I'm concerned, his rate of getting fly balls to fall for a hit is no accident. His swing is causing a lot more high, lazy fly balls than other hitters.

Yes, you could argue he's been shortchanged on a few additional hits via groundballs. But even with those and the three hits I mentioned because of line drives, his average should actually only be in the .230 range based on normal rates for LD and GB.

Edit: Also Doug, you did not take out home runs from balls in play.

I agree with this. Not all fly balls are created equal. Bruce hits high, routine fly balls that are easy to catch. Votto hits rockets that split the defenders. Hence, Votto has a higher BABIP than Bruce.

I'm in the send him down camp. Its not to punish him or because I don't like him, but to get him going. It doesn't always work, but if he goes down and starts hitting, the light may come on with him. Sometimes success breeds success. There may not be much for him to learn in AAA, but he doesn't seem to be learning in the big leagues. If it works it will have been worth it. If it doesn't work but he hits in AAA, then he comes back up in a couple weeks and resumes flailing away. I don't think going down for a couple weeks negatively impacts his development in any way. If he goes down and doesn't hit in AAA, then sending him down will have been the right decision. I don't see a downside.

lollipopcurve
07-09-2009, 08:44 AM
In my opinion, Bruce needs to retool his swing. Tighten it up, basically. I also wonder whether he needs to quiet down his stance. Quite a bit of movement going on there.

I've always been highly suspicious of Bruce's idea that he needs to "stick with what got me here." I've heard him say it a couple times, and I really wonder if he's clinging to what he knows in the face of feeling overwhelmed by near constant failure.

Tough call for the Reds. If he slips below .200, will his confidence take another hit? I don't have a strong feeling about how they should handle it. But I do feel that the assumed trajectory for Bruce -- All Star corner OF -- should no longer be assumed.

Somebody's got some coaching to do.

bucksfan2
07-09-2009, 09:08 AM
In my opinion, Bruce needs to retool his swing. Tighten it up, basically. I also wonder whether he needs to quiet down his stance. Quite a bit of movement going on there.

I've always been highly suspicious of Bruce's idea that he needs to "stick with what got me here." I've heard him say it a couple times, and I really wonder if he's clinging to what he knows in the face of feeling overwhelmed by near constant failure.

Tough call for the Reds. If he slips below .200, will his confidence take another hit? I don't have a strong feeling about how they should handle it. But I do feel that the assumed trajectory for Bruce -- All Star corner OF -- should no longer be assumed.

Somebody's got some coaching to do.

I don't really agree. What got him here is what got him here. He isn't going to change his overall swing and if he does it will likely be an off season move to change it slightly.

I do think he needs to be shorter to the ball right now. I don't know if that means he chokes up a little on the bat. If that means he looks to drive it to LC more. Im sure there is something that Bruce has done through the course of his career when he is slumping. It is what any athlete does when they are struggling. Bruce needs to go to that slump busting swing to the extreme right now.