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Thread: Fangraphs: Bruce...A Work in Progress at the Plate

  1. #1
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Fangraphs: Bruce...A Work in Progress at the Plate

    Check it out.

    As a 23-year-old with a wide array of skills, Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jay Bruce is one of the most valuable long-term talents in the game. The twelfth overall pick in the 2005 draft reached the majors by the age of 21, raking to the tune of .308/.366/.551 on the farm and ranking as the best prospect in the game by Baseball America prior to 2008.

    Bruce has done a number of things well at the big league level. His swift outfield defense (+8.6 career UZR/150 in RF) belies his 6-foot-3, 225 pound frame. Also, his plate discipline has improved since his rookie season. And at times, Bruce’s feats of strength give credence to the 70 power grade that Baseball America gave him in its 2008 Prospect Handbook. But at the plate, Bruce has yet to put it all together and bust out as a true offensive force.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    Member NJReds's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs: Bruce...A Work in Progress at the Plate

    Good article, thanks for posting it.
    "The players make the manager, it's never the other way." - Sparky Anderson

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    The Future is Now Ghosts of 1990's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs: Bruce...A Work in Progress at the Plate

    Yeah, it's a good article. Feels like I've been reading these for 3 seasons now and the only thing that changes is his age.

    While it's a good article that digs into good stats that point out this and that, anyone else tired of waiting already? Bruce is a singles hitter right now with no power and a great glove.

    Even Doug has stopped jumping to his defense--a sign that things remain uncertain for our young RF.
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    Something clever pahster's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs: Bruce...A Work in Progress at the Plate

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghosts of 1990 View Post
    Yeah, it's a good article. Feels like I've been reading these for 3 seasons now and the only thing that changes is his age.

    While it's a good article that digs into good stats that point out this and that, anyone else tired of waiting already? Bruce is a singles hitter right now with no power and a great glove.

    Even Doug has stopped jumping to his defense--a sign that things remain uncertain for our young RF.
    If you set realistic expectations for Bruce, you won't be crushingly disappointed by his performance. His age really is an important factor. If he's still hitting like this in five years, then yeah, his bat would be a disappointment (though keep in mind he'd still be a valuable player because of his superior defense). We're not there yet, though. Not even close.

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    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs: Bruce...A Work in Progress at the Plate

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghosts of 1990 View Post
    Yeah, it's a good article. Feels like I've been reading these for 3 seasons now and the only thing that changes is his age.

    While it's a good article that digs into good stats that point out this and that, anyone else tired of waiting already?
    No.

    Bruce is a singles hitter right now with no power and a great glove.

    Even Doug has stopped jumping to his defense--a sign that things remain uncertain for our young RF.
    To me, this argument makes no sense.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs: Bruce...A Work in Progress at the Plate

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghosts of 1990 View Post
    Yeah, it's a good article. Feels like I've been reading these for 3 seasons now and the only thing that changes is his age.

    While it's a good article that digs into good stats that point out this and that, anyone else tired of waiting already? Bruce is a singles hitter right now with no power and a great glove.

    Even Doug has stopped jumping to his defense--a sign that things remain uncertain for our young RF.
    I won't stop jumping to his defense. It's only a matter of time. I believe alot of his issues are simply a matter of swing mechanics or to put it simply this is what I see. Jay Bruce is just too eager, it's reflected in his swing and the results are what they are in large part because of it. When he stays back he gets good results, he swings at less breaking pitches, he makes better contact with all pitches, he gets better loft and trajectory he's a different guy. When he gets out in front even just a little it takes away some of his power, he gets under the pitches, he swings at pitches before they break etc. It's not as pronounced as last season when he was way out in front all the time, at least until his injury when he came back he was better. I think the injury is the difference in his power #'s but his mechanics are contributing to the lack of ideally batted balls.

    Bottom line it's just patience for him and for the fan base in fact they might both prove to be part of the problem. Hopefully it won't take both for the solution because I doubt he will ever get the latter of those.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

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    Re: Fangraphs: Bruce...A Work in Progress at the Plate

    Another piece from Fangraphs on Jay Bruce:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index...ball-distance/
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Fangraphs: Bruce...A Work in Progress at the Plate

    Just a thought for discussion...

    Look at Jay's spray charts...look at all the outs he makes between 1st and 2nd. Go back to last nights debacle...where did he hit all those balls...

    I'm in the Jay Bruce camp, but he's gotta make an adjustment...lately it seems everyball off his bat is headed in the same direction.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs: Bruce...A Work in Progress at the Plate

    Bruce has, at various times, displayed all of the skills needed to be an offensive force. Not too many guys his age can say that. Sure, we'd all like him to put it all together at once -- nobody wants an Austin Kearns 2.0 situation. But I'm not sure what people mean when the say they are getting impatient. Even in his current form he's a solid contributor. Are you going to trade him? Bench him? Send him to AAA?

    Until his salary starts to exceed his production, you let him play and hope it all comes together. In the meantime, just consider him a solid producer with a lot of upside.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Re: Fangraphs: Bruce...A Work in Progress at the Plate

    George Foster...

    Age 22 514 PA .681 OPS
    Age 23-25 509 PA .701 OPS

    Age 26 511 PA .875 OPS and a major force for the next 6 years.

    Sometimes it just takes a while. Hopefully that's the case with Bruce.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

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    Re: Fangraphs: Bruce...A Work in Progress at the Plate

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghosts of 1990 View Post
    Yeah, it's a good article. Feels like I've been reading these for 3 seasons now and the only thing that changes is his age.

    While it's a good article that digs into good stats that point out this and that, anyone else tired of waiting already? Bruce is a singles hitter right now with no power and a great glove.

    Even Doug has stopped jumping to his defense--a sign that things remain uncertain for our young RF.
    I know what I'm getting tired of and it's not waiting.

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    Re: Fangraphs: Bruce...A Work in Progress at the Plate

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Bruce has, at various times, displayed all of the skills needed to be an offensive force. Not too many guys his age can say that. Sure, we'd all like him to put it all together at once -- nobody wants an Austin Kearns 2.0 situation. But I'm not sure what people mean when the say they are getting impatient. Even in his current form he's a solid contributor. Are you going to trade him? Bench him? Send him to AAA?

    Until his salary starts to exceed his production, you let him play and hope it all comes together. In the meantime, just consider him a solid producer with a lot of upside.
    Are we talking about Jay Bruce or Edwin Encarnacion?

    I know the defense is a huge differentiator, but the offensive issues -- and the waiting game -- are familiar. The Reds were burned three times when they counted on EE to be a productive middle-of-the-order bat. Those are seasons wasted, expecting better production that never came.

    You're not wrong that the best path for Bruce is to be patient. The problem is the Reds are the kind of team that needs to be able to count on certain things. Offensively, they can count on Votto, Phillips and Rolen when he's healthy. Beyond that, they have a lot of maybes. Most of those maybes, even if they max out, are lineup fillers -- guys filling the gaps between the reliable contributors. Bruce is the guy they keep expecting to be one of those reliable contributors. They need him to be, because they can't expect it from anyone else.

    Is that fair to Bruce? No. He can only develop as fast as he can develop. But it's not fair to the Reds to spend three years in on-the-job training. This is just the wrong kind of team for these kinds of extended learning curves. Failure to live up to expectations can cripple an entire season.
    Last edited by osuceltic; 08-18-2010 at 04:50 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs: Bruce...A Work in Progress at the Plate

    I know everybody is clamoring to lock up Votto long term, but at this point, I'm not sure we'll get much of a discount there. However, I think Bruce is a prime candidate for us to buy out his arbitration. He has the potential to explode and leave us with a $10M arb value one of these years. I'd love to get some cost certainty around him -- something like: $1M, $2.5, $5.0, $8.5. Considering that he'll be entering FA in his prime and has plenty of opportunity to bag a huge contract, it could be real nice for him to get $17M guaranteed.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs: Bruce...A Work in Progress at the Plate

    Quote Originally Posted by osuceltic View Post
    Are we talking about Jay Bruce or Edwin Encarnacion?

    I know the defense is a huge differentiator, but the offensive issues -- and the waiting game -- are familiar. The Reds were burned three times when they counted on EE to be a productive middle-of-the-order bat. Those are seasons wasted, expecting better production that never came.
    This is a fair critique and possibility. However, EE is minus glove at 3B whereas Bruce is a plus glove in RF. Unless EE really hits, he doesn't have much value. Bruce can continue to hit as he has and still be a league average player. It certainly gives you room for more patience.

    I would also offer than EE and Bruce are on different planes when it comes to makeup. I have no idea just how important makeup is in a guy's ability to reach his potential. But if it were a skill on the 20-80 scale, Bruce would be like a 70 to EE's 40.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Fangraphs: Bruce...A Work in Progress at the Plate

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I know everybody is clamoring to lock up Votto long term, but at this point, I'm not sure we'll get much of a discount there. However, I think Bruce is a prime candidate for us to buy out his arbitration. He has the potential to explode and leave us with a $10M arb value one of these years. I'd love to get some cost certainty around him -- something like: $1M, $2.5, $5.0, $8.5. Considering that he'll be entering FA in his prime and has plenty of opportunity to bag a huge contract, it could be real nice for him to get $17M guaranteed.
    Indeed. My magic number to gamble on Bruce right now is 30 million dollars...5 years perhaps, or am I being greedy? Face it, he ain't a sure thing.


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