Ahhh ... we've had some fun with this, but chettt was probably looking for a bit of seriousness.
So in trying to switch to serious mode (hey, I was only half-joking
If you were going to develop a blueprint of the perfect young outfielder, Jay Bruce isn't too terribly far away from that blueprint. The guy can just flat out do almost
everything exceptionally well, and the main ingredient (hitting) he does do exceptionally well.
One of the things that Barry Larkin was held in high regard for was that he was one of the most complete players in baseball history who happened to play shortstop. Bruce isn't a shortstop like Larkin was, but he is playing a demanding position in his own right in center field. And unlike some scouting reports showing he's an eventual move to right field, I'm not buying it. I really think his actual center field defense right now is undervalued, and I do believe has a great chance to be a major defensive asset in center field.
Now I don't want to go projecting Jay Bruce to be a Hall of Famer, but Bruce at his age is showing similarities of Hall of Fame players. What I mean is, he's headed down the same path. That doesn't mean he'll stay on that path, but so far at his age he's on that path. Hall of Famers are almost always either already impact players at a very young age, or like Bruce, showing serious signs of developing into impact players at a very young age.
The only minor flaw in Bruce's game, in my eyes, is that I wish his walk rate was a tad higher. But I'm not concerned about it right now, because 1) Bruce has said he wants it to be higher (and he's proven that he is a hard worker), and 2) it's high enough that a meaningful improvement isn't unrealistic, especially since every other facet of his hitting game is off-the-charts fantastic.
So how good will Bruce be? Nobody knows, not even Bruce. But his talent mixed with his work ethic mixed with his age mixed with the path he's on now all point to amazing things.