Cincinnati fans have been hearing about Jay Bruce since the day he was drafted 12th overall in 2005. He has absolutely demolished pitchers at every level of the minors, and he continues to do so this season. The question I ask myself, and every Reds fan does as well, is this: when will Jay Bruce be in the majors?
As of Wednesday, Bruce was hitting .368 with eight home runs and 33 runs batted in for Class AAA Louisville. He went 3-for-3 in his game Wednesday, pushing his hitting streak to five games. During his last 10 games, Bruce is batting a mind-boggling .611.
What more does this 21-year-old hitting machine need to accomplish in the minors before getting his big league call-up?
Last season, in 133 combined minor league games, Bruce hit .319 with 26 home runs and 89 runs batted in. In addition to the home runs, Bruce added 46 doubles and eight triples, proving that his power may translate to even more home runs as he develops. Furthermore, Bruce stole eight bases and scored 87 runs, as well as playing phenomenal defense in center field. This cements his five-tool status.
The problem for Bruce in Cincy is that he is stuck in an organization with a logjam of outfielders. Ryan Freel and Corey Patterson are battling for the everyday center field spot, while Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. are manning the corners.
Apparently, the Reds are content to ride Freel and Patterson and see how they progress, letting Bruce smolder another season in the minors.
The only thing that would open up a path to the majors for Bruce would be if Cincy decided to move one of their big bats, Adam Dunn or Ken Griffey Jr.. Speculations that Griffey would accept a trade to either Chicago team or Seattle have been heard recently, but Reds management denies any talks about Griffey.
Jay Bruce could hold down center field in Cincinnati for the next 10 years. He's a five-tool talent with a smooth left-handed stroke. He has hit at every stop and has proven he has what it takes to be a stud at the major league level. How much longer do Cincy fans have to wait to see their saving grace?
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