2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 59: Why Reds' Jay Bruce Will Hit 30 Home Runs

Nick KappelAnalyst IIIMarch 1, 2011

CINCINNATI - AUGUST 29:  Jay Bruce #32 of the Cincinnati Reds swings at a pitch during the game against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park on August 29, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

A year ago, I claimed Jay Bruce would hit 35 HRs and be a top-50 player heading into the 2011 season. Perhaps I was a tad bit enthusiastic with those predictions, but Bruce actually appears on the brink of both of those claims this season.

In 2008, Baseball America claimed “every one of Bruce’s tools is better than average.” They rated his power as high as a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale, acknowledged his ability to hit for average and even proclaimed Bruce capable of stealing 15 to 20 bases a season.

To give you an idea of Bruce’s power potential, consider this: His career AB/HR rate is 18.63, a hair below Miguel Cabrera’s AB/HR rate of 18.09.

2010 saw Bruce’s walk rate increase for the third consecutive season. While his contact rate (career 73.7 percent) is less than appealing, Bruce hinted at his ability to hit for a respectable average last season, just as scouts once predicted.

Given his second consecutive full season, Bruce should blast no less than 30 HRs this season to go along with a batting average that won’t hurt your team.

If Bruce’s 2010 second-half splits (15 HRs, 34 RBI, .306/.376/.575) are any indication, he’s in for a big season batting fourth or fifth in a potent Reds lineup.

2010 stats 573 80 25 70 5 .281
3-year average 471 63 23 60 4 .257
2011 FBI Forecast 615 90 30 100 5 .284



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