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Thursday, February 25, 2016

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT BUST: JAY BRUCE OUTFIELDER CINCINNATI REDS (OR TBDT)

There has been a ton of chatter surrounding Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce over the last 48 hours as it appeared he was on the verge of being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in a three-team deal.  However talks soon broke down as Bruce remained in limbo as the Reds made it clear they were not interested in retaining him for 2016.  With that said, let's dig in a bit more on the overrated Bruce who came up with immense hype but who has turned into a player who excels in some categories but is a major liability in others. 

It seems like just yesterday when Bruce's promotion by the Reds was deemed one of those big-time events in fantasy baseball where everyone took notice.  That is how much ability Bruce was said to have as he was considered to be the next great five-tool player who could run and hit for big power.  Well the fact of the matter is that Bruce never turned into a five category player and instead at the age of 29 in April, is more of a power specialist than anything.  Now flat in his prime years, we are in that mode of Bruce being who he is in terms of his numbers which again show some good things and others that are not so good. 

On the positive side, Bruce is one of the better pure power hitters in baseball as he has hit 30 ore more home runs three different times in his career to go along with three seasons or 90-plus RBI.  Operating in a power park in Cincinnati certainly helped but Bruce has the type of strength that plays anywhere.  Outside of his contributions in home runs and RBI, Bruce has struggled to be a help in the other three standard categories.  He has scored 80 or more runs three times but not once has Bruce gone for 90-plus and the last two seasons have seen him come in at the low 70's which is a very shaky number.  In addition, Bruce has never gotten the hang of stealing bases as his career success rate is abysmal and only once has he stolen double-digit bags.  Finally and most pronounced, Bruce is a major liability in the average department as his sky-high K rates have really hurt him there.  In fact things have only gotten worse as he has gone along in his Major League career.  When he first arrived in Cincy, Bruce was typically in the .260 range with his average which is not great but not awful either.  However Bruce has become more of a pure hacker as he has moved toward 30 and as a result, his average has sank to .217 and .226 the last two years which are awful numbers.  Bruce has now struck out in 22 percent of more of his at-bats in each of the six seasons and things figure to only get worse there as he ages.  Thus the positives Bruce provides in home runs and RBI are dulled a bit by the hurt he puts onto your average category. 

When you put it all together, Jay Bruce is nothing but an outfielder 3 in fantasy baseball when so much more was expected of him when he first arrived.  No matter where he ends up, this label of Bruce won't change.  We always try to tell you all to avoid average-liabilities like Bruce due to the work needed to cover for him there elsewhere on your roster and that remains quite true today. 

2016 PROJECTION:  .234 26 HR 88 RBI 74 R 7 SB 



 

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