When Jay Bruce came up from Louisville in 2008 he showed shades of brilliance. He reminded me in a small way of Mickey Mantle. He certainly had the strikeouts down pat.
After settling down, he showed no further signs of greatness last season.
In 2009 his power revealed itself on the major league level. He had 15 home runs before Memorial Day and looked like he was set for a 40/HR year.
His average bottomed and we see now a true .240 hitter with excellent power.
He had three games of multiple homers, the highlight of the season for him coming on Sept. 29 in a home game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Bruce hit two round-trippers and knocked in five runs.
He was on the Disabled List from July 11 until Sept. 14 with a broken wrist.
Bruce is a better-than-average outfielder, with range enough to play center field in a pinch. He possesses a very strong throwing arm, throwing out 11 runners.
His base running is nothing spectacular, and can be made to look foolish when swinging at bad pitches.
Here are his 2009 statistics:
Jay only appeared in 101 games in 2009, just seven less than the year before. With short seasons it is hard to get a good read on what he can really do.
He blends in well with this young team and should be a force to reckon with in years to come. This season, however, I have to hand him a C-, the home runs being the only thing keeping him from a D.
Cliff Eastham is a B/R Featured Columnist for the Cincinnati Reds
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