Wednesday, January 25, 2017


One of the bigger storylines during the MLB Hot Stove Season was the trade chatter surrounding veteran New York Mets outfielder Jay Bruce.  With the Mets having successfully re-signed Yoenis Cespedes to join Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto in the outfield for 2017, the team quickly went about offering Bruce to anyone who would listen in return for relief help or salary cap relief.  Unfortunately for the Mets, Bruce also fell into another storyline which was the utter indifference teams had to veteran outfielders like Bruce, Mark Trumbo, and Jose Bautista in free agency.  As a result, the Mets made the announcement on Tuesday that Bruce would be the team's starting rightfielder to begin 2017 which surely was a decent surprise for all involved.  So with that said, let's take a closer look at Bruce in terms of what he could provide both the Mets and his fantasy baseball owners this season.

Still young at the age of 29 as of this writing, Bruce comes off a 2016 season that looked quite solid on paper but underneath there were some concerned.  First let's take a look at the numbers:

33 HR
99 RBI
74 R
4 SB

When it comes to Bruce, his reputation as one of the better pure power hitters in fantasy baseball remains true and should stay that way for another few seasons as he continues to go through his prime years.  However Bruce is now going to be operating in a prime pitcher's park in Citi Field with the Mets for the first time in his career and needless to say, the small sample size of him playing there last season was not impressive at all.  Bruce wound up hitting a listless .219 with the Mets in his two-month stay there after coming over at the trade deadline and he was even benched for some games at the start of September as the slump got quite bad.  Still Bruce rallied to have a good last two weeks of the regular season and so here we are in gazing toward 2017.

In further digesting the numbers, Bruce is strictly an outfielder 3 in terms of fantasy baseball which is a sharp drop from knocking on the outfielder 1 realm earlier in his career.  The fact of the matter is that Bruce is a flawed overall hitter who has holes in his swing and an annually high K rate.  Yes Bruce's K/9 of 21.4 last season was his lowest since 2009 but he remains a pure slugger through and through which means expecting anything more than a .260 average is foolish.  Bruce has also stopped running after being a guy who cold net 8-12 steals earlier in his career.  That means Bruce is really just a home runs and RBI asset, while remaining neutral in runs scored.  With the upside years no longer in play here, Bruce should not be more than an outfielder 3 for 2017 fantasy baseball.

So when it comes to Bruce, your best bet is to let him go to someone else given the likely dip in home runs and RBI moving from the launching pad in Cincinnati to spacious Citi Field.  Also Bruce's average won't help you and that makes him even more of a risky pick.  Flat out, Bruce is not worth the aggravation.

2017 PROJECTION:  .257 27 95 RBI 74 R 6 SB  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.