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Thread: So when is Bruce going to start hitting?

  1. #346
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: So when is Bruce going to start hitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Heyward Nope
    Pujols 3 times
    Griffey 2 times
    M Cabrera 2 times
    ARod 3 times
    Mauer 2 times (followed by an .808)
    Chipper Nope
    Berkman Nope
    Manny 1 time
    Vlad 1 time
    Wright 2 times
    Hanley 1 time
    Teixeira Nope
    Prince 1 time

    Plus quite a few followed with worse seasons (Wright, Mauer)
    By "by age 24", I meant including their age 24 season, where Jay is now. But even taking it in this way, it doesn't seem like it is such an odd event.

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  3. #347
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: So when is Bruce going to start hitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    But even taking it in this way, it doesn't seem like it is such an odd event.
    Of course if you didn't pull only stars it doesn't.

    But keep focusing on small samples (seasons, months, ab's)

    Since 1876 532 players have compiled 1000 PAs before the age of 24

    Just looking at the division era 1969 until 2010 we see that 185 players have had 1000 PAs by age 24

    How big a slice of the total pie is this group of 23 year olds (and younger)? Lets look at the base, how many players in the history of the game have had 1000 PAs?

    At the end of 2010, 3411 players had at least 1000 PAs in their MLB career; the percentage of players under the age of 24 (532)who had 1000 PAs is 15.2% of the 3411.

    In that 15.2%, we find Jay Bruce; in essence, he is at the top of his class, and from what we have seen on the field hes hes delivering sooner than many of the other players. Of course, getting to the plate is one thing, producing is another. To enhance this exercise more, well look at the runs created per every 27 outs, and well see that 55.4% of the under 24 crowd had a RC/27 vs. the league that was average or above average. One of these players is Bruce.

    To get a sense of the weight of this list we can look at the top players and there well see that the list is top-heavy with the best hitters in the history of the game. Most of course have ridiculous numbers, 3 are from the 19th century, and Ted Williams and Joe Jackson sit at top like the kings they were.
    Code:
    RUNS CREATED/GAME          DIFF   PLAYER   LEAGUE     PA
    Ted Williams               8.07    13.38     5.31     2613
    Joe Jackson                6.96    11.72     4.76     2044
    Pete Browning              5.82    11.41     5.59     1157
    Stan Musial                5.01     9.47     4.45     1953
    Bob Caruthers              4.61    10.78     6.17     1146
    Ty Cobb                    4.54     8.45     3.91     3081
    Albert Pujols              4.25     9.39     5.15     2036
    Arky Vaughan               3.96     8.93     4.97     2480
    Jimmie Foxx                3.94     9.42     5.48     2567
    Joe Kelley                 3.91    11.11     7.20     2145
    Meanwhile lets see where Bruce is. Number 243 out of the 532 Jay Bruce is in pretty good company too:

    Positions 237-248

    Code:
    RUNS CREATED/GAME          DIFF   PLAYER   LEAGUE     PA
    Travis Fryman              0.30     4.70     4.40     1584
    Dave Winfield              0.30     4.78     4.48     1289
    Billy Butler               0.26     5.28     5.02     1510
    Ray Chapman                0.25     4.42     4.17     1178
    Milt May                   0.24     4.65     4.40     1068
    Les Mann                   0.24     4.42     4.18     2305
    Jay Bruce                  0.21     5.16     4.95     1412 
    Clyde Milan                0.20     4.04     3.84     1822
    Andre Dawson               0.20     4.79     4.59     1318
    Derek Jeter                0.20     5.51     5.32     1453
    Pie Traynor                0.18     5.42     5.24     1352
    Garry Templeton            0.18     4.78     4.60     2240
    To clarify this I looked at the total number of Reds players who have had 1000 PAs prior to their 24th birthday. Just focusing on players who started after 1969, we can find only three, a small number for a franchise that has been producing hitters consistently for over 40 years.

    Code:
    PLATE APPEARANCES   	 PA      RC/G
    Adam Dunn             	1431     1.53
    Jay Bruce             	1412     0.21
    Dan Driessen          	1166     0.63

  4. #348
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: So when is Bruce going to start hitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Of course if you didn't pull only stars it doesn't.

    But keep focusing on small samples (seasons, months, ab's)
    Jay Bruce's target is star level. The guy was minor league POY, #1 prospect in all of baseball. Why would I look to compare how he fared versus the league average? He should be compared versus the guys in his class.

  5. #349
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: So when is Bruce going to start hitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    I think a flaw (if you want to call it that) of OPS is that it gives a lot of weight to the HR ball. Because of that Jay Bruce will always have a high OPS. He has some serious raw power that will enable him to hit 30+ HR's a season. This isn't a bad thing but I think it will mask some of his issues when you look at the complete hitter.
    That's why you should prefer wOBA instead of OPS. wOBA puts the HR in proper balance with the other events. But to your broader point, sure, an aggregate stat isn't going to tell you who is well-rounded expect at the very extreme (where the only way to be that good is to be good at everything). If you want a more in-depth view, feel free to consult his FanGraphs player page to look at plate discipline, batted ball types, etc. -- just don't turn back around and focus on batting average or RBI as if it told you something particularly meaningful.

    The most troubling thing I see with Bruce is there is no development. Its been 3 years now and when he struggles its the same thing. And his struggles aren't limited to a handful of games, they fester for weeks. Stop me of you have heard this before of have seen this before. Jay Bruce's right shoulder is flying open too early and he is trying to pull everything. He needs to stay with the pitch and try to drive it into left center field. He also had a difficult time with identifying the breaking ball and often swings wildly over the pitch.

    The problem I have with Jay is there had been little development. Look at the evolution of Votto or Phillips and the strides they have made each season. You can see the holes they have filled in their game and how the production increases. If you want to continue to compare him to Gomes that is fine but the reality is he is being expected to be an all star level player.
    I agree to an extent. I'd like to see him taking bigger, more frequent steps. But you also have to realize it's not just major league experience that determines how quickly a guy should be developing. This sort of early plateau isn't at all uncommon for guys who make it to the majors quickly. Especially if you consider that different skills progress on different curves. Plate discipline can take a while. Anybody who thought Bruce was going to hit .300 was ignoring the fact that he's never been a great contact hitter.

    And I hate to harp on the age thing, but Votto had just 87 major league PA coming in to his age 24 season. Phillips spent his age 24 season in Buffalo, the 4th year he spent time in AAA. And which strides has Phillips made each season?
    Code:
    Age	AVG	OBP	SLG	OPS	wOBA
    25	.276	.324	.427	.751	.331
    26	.288	.331	.485	.816	.354
    27	.261	.312	.442	.754	.324
    28	.276	.329	.447	.776	.337
    29	.275	.332	.430	.762	.332
    To me that looks like a guy who has been frighteningly consistent and displayed essentially no skill growth whatsoever. His age 26 "breakout" seems like a blip where he somehow traded some walks for homers and hasn't replicated since. We should note, of course, that Phillips' age 26 breakout season was inferior (at the plate) to what Bruce just did at age 23 (.281/.353/.493, .846, .363). By the way, Bruce was a 5 win player last year. That's solid all-star territory. If he hit like people seem to expect him to he'd be an MVP candidate, not just an all-star.

    I hope you're not focusing on Phillips' and Bruce's ~100 PA this season as evidence of a trend of continually improvement? Focusing on 100 PA at the expense of the trend from the prior 1500 is losing the forest for the trees. But even looking at this season alone, Bruce is hitting .238/.314/.410. Give him 1 lousy ducksnort a week (4 singles) and he's at .276/.350/.447. Make 1 of them a homer instead of a single and he's slugging .476. It's still VERY early. 2 great games and he's on track. When 2 games can completely change your perspective, it's probably too early to be drawing any conclusions.

    And I recognize this has a scouting component too. He has seemed to struggle to put together consecutive good plate appearances. He lunges at something off the plate one pitch and takes a perfectly good strike the next. But scouting observations are suspect to small sample biases as well. Just because we can see it and it feels "more real" doesn't make it necessarily more meaningful. He's struggled at times this year. That's reflected in both the stats and the scouting report. But it could change VERY quickly. And his age and the progress we saw last year suggests we shouldn't getting our panties in a bunch.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 05-04-2011 at 09:51 PM.
    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.

  6. #350
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: So when is Bruce going to start hitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Bailey View Post
    Yes, it is completely unreasonable for someone to expect a player to have incredible success in the league before he turns 24 years old.
    Except, I think that Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker expect it. Hence no additions during the off-season.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

  7. #351
    I'm gettin paper Homer Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: So when is Bruce going to start hitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    Except, I think that Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker expect it. Hence no additions during the off-season.
    I'd say that had a lot more to do with money than it did their expectations of one player.

  8. #352
    The Future is Now Ghosts of 1990's Avatar
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    Re: So when is Bruce going to start hitting?

    Timely hit today. Not an indicator of anything more than a single at-bat but a big, big hit today for the Reds and Bruce.
    2009 Attendance Record: 3-5 2010 Attendance Record: 2-9
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  9. #353
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: So when is Bruce going to start hitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Of course if you didn't pull only stars it doesn't...
    Nice post.

    High five!
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

  10. #354
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: So when is Bruce going to start hitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    That's why you should prefer wOBA instead of OPS. wOBA puts the HR in proper balance with the other events. But to your broader point, sure, an aggregate stat isn't going to tell you who is well-rounded expect at the very extreme (where the only way to be that good is to be good at everything). If you want a more in-depth view, feel free to consult his FanGraphs player page to look at plate discipline, batted ball types, etc. -- just don't turn back around and focus on batting average or RBI as if it told you something particularly meaningful.
    Hold on a second here, you mean RBI and BA aren't good indicators? I will have to check out wOBA. I have come around to OPS and like to use it because its easy and it makes sense. But I do see some flaws in it and will check out wOBA.


    I agree to an extent. I'd like to see him taking bigger, more frequent steps. But you also have to realize it's not just major league experience that determines how quickly a guy should be developing. This sort of early plateau isn't at all uncommon for guys who make it to the majors quickly. Especially if you consider that different skills progress on different curves. Plate discipline can take a while. Anybody who thought Bruce was going to hit .300 was ignoring the fact that he's never been a great contact hitter.

    And I hate to harp on the age thing, but Votto had just 87 major league PA coming in to his age 24 season. Phillips spent his age 24 season in Buffalo, the 4th year he spent time in AAA. And which strides has Phillips made each season?
    Code:
    Age	AVG	OBP	SLG	OPS	wOBA
    25	.276	.324	.427	.751	.331
    26	.288	.331	.485	.816	.354
    27	.261	.312	.442	.754	.324
    28	.276	.329	.447	.776	.337
    29	.275	.332	.430	.762	.332
    To me that looks like a guy who has been frighteningly consistent and displayed essentially no skill growth whatsoever. His age 26 "breakout" seems like a blip where he somehow traded some walks for homers and hasn't replicated since. We should note, of course, that Phillips' age 26 breakout season was inferior (at the plate) to what Bruce just did at age 23 (.281/.353/.493, .846, .363). By the way, Bruce was a 5 win player last year. That's solid all-star territory. If he hit like people seem to expect him to he'd be an MVP candidate, not just an all-star.
    Well lets be honest here there were quite a few people who predicted Jay Bruce to do well in the MVP voting this season. I also don't especially like WAR because of its reliance on a faulty defensive metric. I am not doubting that Bruce is a very good defender, just its skewed quite a bit in that way.

    Before the Reds called Bruce up when he still was a prospect they wanted the difference between BA and OBP to be .100. I still think that is very applicable to him right now. I never have thought that he would be a good or great average hitter, but thought his power should allow him to be a very good obp guy. It shouldn't be all that far fetched to see Bruce go .270/.370 but he has yet to show that ability. That is one of my biggest problems with Bruce, he just hasn't shown the patience at the plate in order to be a good hitter yet. Until he harnessing that ability I don't think he will become the hitter many want him to be. And to couple that if he continues to hit along the lines he is now why would any pitcher throw him a pitch that is straight? I would pound him over and over again with breaking balls.

    The consistent part is somewhat troubling to me. He hasn't shown that ability to find first base at a high rate. He hasn't shown the ability to be a more consistent hitter. He isn't a bad player, but right now he isn't the type of hitter I would want to invest in long term. Maybe strike while his value is low, but most people expect him improve but right now it appears as if his improvement from year to year has been flat.

    I hope you're not focusing on Phillips' and Bruce's ~100 PA this season as evidence of a trend of continually improvement? Focusing on 100 PA at the expense of the trend from the prior 1500 is losing the forest for the trees. But even looking at this season alone, Bruce is hitting .238/.314/.410. Give him 1 lousy ducksnort a week (4 singles) and he's at .276/.350/.447. Make 1 of them a homer instead of a single and he's slugging .476. It's still VERY early. 2 great games and he's on track. When 2 games can completely change your perspective, it's probably too early to be drawing any conclusions.

    And I recognize this has a scouting component too. He has seemed to struggle to put together consecutive good plate appearances. He lunges at something off the plate one pitch and takes a perfectly good strike the next. But scouting observations are suspect to small sample biases as well. Just because we can see it and it feels "more real" doesn't make it necessarily more meaningful. He's struggled at times this year. That's reflected in both the stats and the scouting report. But it could change VERY quickly. And his age and the progress we saw last year suggests we shouldn't getting our panties in a bunch.
    Isn't there some kind of line in a movie that one extra cheap hit a week is the difference between a minor league player and a major league player? A ducksnort or Derrick Jeter swinging bunt all count the same. But over the course of a season those tend to average out. But if you don't put the ball in player your not going to get a ducksnort, a swing bunt, an infield hit, etc.

    Development is the key issue. And I am the first to recognize that Jay Bruce still is very young for major league standards. But at the same time this will be his 3rd full season in the majors. At some point we have to toss age aside and begin to look at major league experience. 3 years of MLB experience should equal 3 years of MLB experience regardless of age. Jay Bruce went from high school to the majors. You would expect an 18 year old Jay to be a little further advanced than a 18 year old college freshman. I have seen comparisons to Votto but you also have to consider that Votto grew up in Canada whose baseball season is much shorter. His development would have been behind someone who grew up playing year round in Texas.

    And no I am not comparing Bruce to BP or Votto after ~100 AB's. Its been a couple of year thing to watch the adjustments that both BP and Votto have made. Heck Votto just won the MVP yet continues to make strides at the plate.

  11. #355
    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: So when is Bruce going to start hitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    Isn't there some kind of line in a movie that one extra cheap hit a week is the difference between a minor league player and a major league player?
    Bull Durham.

    Know what the difference between hitting .250 and .300 is? It's 25 hits. 25 hits in 500 at bats is 50 points, okay? There's 6 months in a season, that's about 25 weeks. That means if you get just one extra flare a week - just one - a gorp... you get a groundball, you get a groundball with eyes... you get a dying quail, just one more dying quail a week... and you're in Yankee Stadium.
    -- Crash Davis

  12. #356
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: So when is Bruce going to start hitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    Its been a couple of year thing to watch the adjustments that both BP and Votto have made. Heck Votto just won the MVP yet continues to make strides at the plate.
    It would be great if we could pound that square peg of Jay Bruce into a round hole.

    Not everybody can make those adjustments. We've just watched Jeremy Hermida (11th pick of 2002 draft), a prospect once just as big as Jay Bruce (12th pick of 2005 draft), look like a rank amateur against MLB pitching.

  13. #357
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: So when is Bruce going to start hitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Always Red View Post
    It would be great if we could pound that square peg of Jay Bruce into a round hole.

    Not everybody can make those adjustments. We've just watched Jeremy Hermida (11th pick of 2002 draft), a prospect once just as big as Jay Bruce (12th pick of 2005 draft), look like a rank amateur against MLB pitching.
    There's no such thing as "for sure". That's the only sure thing I do know.

  14. #358
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: So when is Bruce going to start hitting?

    We saw the same kinds of attitudes develop with Adam Dunn (I hesitated to mention his name on this thread).

    Baseball is a cruel sport. If you have a weakness, it will get exposed.

    Pay attention to the open sky

  15. #359
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: So when is Bruce going to start hitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker View Post
    Baseball is a cruel sport. If you have a weakness, it will get exposed.
    Yep, once the other guys have a book on you, everything changes.

  16. #360
    Member Nasty_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: So when is Bruce going to start hitting?

    Bruce is now 3-4 today with another HR... Maybe we can just start in May next year? That or wait more than two weeks before we start these threads about any player... Either way its been a nice couple of days for Mr Bruce.
    I know a lot of people are talking about his on-base percentage (.308 in 2008), but I like to think more in terms of him his in-scoring position percentage. - Our Beloved Manager


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