Posts Tagged ‘Jay Bruce’

Breaking News: Jay Bruce Is Good At Baseball

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee. – Samuel L. Jackson, Pulp Fiction (1994)

Yes, I realize that Jay Bruce has played but six games at the major league level.  Yes, I realize that the only players with higher or equal slugging percentages over their first six career games are Mike Jacobs, Craig Wilson, Sam Horn, and Mitchell Page.  Yes, I realize that he will not hit .591 for the entire season.

But hot damn, The Deal is off to quite the start, isn’t he? 

I first thought about writing this post the other day, following Bruce’s hot start in the first two games of the year.  Then I looked closer at the stats and thought to myself, “An 0-3 in his third game?  No homeruns?  Not as impressive as I thought.

Apparently, and I of course did not know this at the time, Jay Bruce can read minds, and my thoughts displeased him.  He responded by hitting his first major league homerun a day or two later – not just any homerun, either, but a walkoff that beat the Braves in the tenth inning – and added another four-bagger on Sunday in a 6-2 Reds win.

This is why we nicknamed this kid The Deal (although at the rate he’s going, he might have three or four more by the time he’s done).

(Oh, and what’s the deal with that Pulp Fiction quote up top?  Tell me it’s not fun to imagine Bruce saying that to the catcher every time he comes up to bat.)

The Z-Meter: 5/29/2008 – Chasing Headley

The Z-meter tracks the story arcs of 25 top prospects (or players we just like) on their way to the bigs. It is named after current Washington Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman, who made the transition from anchoring the University of Virginia to starring in MLB in one year.

Promoted:

Evan Longoria, 3B, Durham (AAA) to Tampa Bay Rays (MLB)
Luke Hochevar, RHP, Omaha (AAA) to Kansas City Royals (MLB)

Max Scherzer, RHP, Tucson (AAA) to Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)

Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Jacksonville (AA) to Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB)
Jay Bruce, OF, Louisville (AAA) to Cincinnati Reds (MLB)

Justin Masterson, RHP, Portland (AA) to Pawtucket (AAA)

Antonio Bastardo, LHP, Clearwater (A) to Reading (AA)

Travis Snider, OF, Dunedin (A-Advanced) to New Hampshire (AA)

Josh Vitters, 3B, Boise (Short A) to Peoria (A)

Oh glorious day, caloo, callay! (Sorry, I have a five-year-old, must be too much Dr. Seuss) Both Jay Bruce and Clayton Kershaw cashed in their golden tickets this week, so we’re sending up the Z-meter a couple days early in celebration. Time to find someone new to fixate on – I plan to obsess over Ian Stewart now, personally.

I’m adding a couple of statistical marvels from the minor-league ranks to take the place of our two stalwarts who have gone on to their reward. Nelson Cruz has a ridiculous .705 slugging average for Oklahoma Redhawks (Rangers), and Jhoulys Chacin is mowing down batters for the Asheville Tourists (Rockies), with eight wins and just one loss (check out his ridiculous strikeout numbers below). Welcome, fellas.

UPDATE: Reader Will, a minor-league road tripper extraordinaire, has been lobbying for the inclusion of Chase Headley, and he’s right, the Beav needs to be here. Added.

Let’s see who else is hot this week:


The top level. These prospects are in AAA in the prime of their youth, and ready for the call that will change their lives.

Chase Headley, LF – Portland Beavers (San Diego): .301 – 38R – 9HR – 27RBI – 0SB – 19BB – .524 SLG – .888 OPS

Homer Bailey, RHP – Louisville Bats (Reds): 11GS – 4W – 4L – 4.05 ERA – 29BB – 54K

Andrew McCutchen, CF – Indianapolis Indians (Pirates): .304 – 35R – 7HR – 24RBI – 17SB – .480 SLG – .869 OPS

Carlos Gonzalez, RF – Sacramento River Cats (Athletics): .292 – 20R – 4HR – 24RBI – 1SB – .435 SLG – .778 OPS

Ian Stewart, 3B (Reserve List) – Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies): .281 – 43R – 12HR – 43RBI – 6SB – .614 SLG – .988 OPS

Joe Koshansky, 1B – Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies): .298 – 33R – 10HR – 44RBI – 0SB – .569 SLG – .948 OPS

Colby Rasmus, LF – Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals): .197 – 31R – 7HR – 19RBI – 6SB – .332 SLG – .629 OPS

Nelson Cruz, RF – Oklahoma Redhawks (Rangers): .338 – 42R – 14HR – 40RBI – 14SB – .688 SLG – 1.142 OPS


These guys also have the potential to skip straight to the majors, but are more likely to get promoted to the top of this meter first.

Justin Masterson, RHP – Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox): 8GS – 1W – 3L – 4.23 ERA – 16BB – 37K

Fernando Martinez, CF (injured) – Binghamton Mets (Mets): .280 – 19R – 3HR – 16RBI – 3SB – .408 SLG – .721 OPS

Jacob McGee, LHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 10GS – 5W – 2L – 3.59 ERA – 23BB – 51K

Cameron Maybin, CF – Carolina Mudcats (Marlins): .247 – 34R – 7HR – 17RBI – 13SB – .416 SLG – .775 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 11GS – 5W – 3L – 3.17 ERA – 25BB – 48K

Elvis Andrus, SS – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .268 – 31R – 0HR – 19RBI – 12BB – 19SB – .316 SLG – .638 OPS

Jeff Samardzija, P – Tennessee Smokies (Cubs): 11GS – 3W – 5L – 5.76 ERA – 33BB – 32K

Luke Montz, C – Harrisburg Senators (Nationals): .347 – 19R – 9HR – 37RBI – 16BB – 0SB – .636 SLG – 1.055 OPS

Travis Snider, RF – New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays): .248 – 21R – 8HR – 29RBI – 0SB – .473 SLG – .830 OPS

Antonio Bastardo, LHP – Reading Phillies (Phillies): 6GS – 2W – 2L – 4.09 ERA – 19BB – 26K

Matt LaPorta, CF – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .285 – 39R – 13HR – 46RBI – 1SB – .575 SLG – .967 OPS

Mat Gamel, 3B – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .383 – 49R – 11HR – 44RBI – 3SB – .659 SLG – 1.102 OPS


These guys have vast potential but need to work out some kinks in A-ball before they can advance.

Ian Gac, 1B – Clinton LumberKings (Rangers): .329 – 36R – 14HR – 40RBI – 29BB – 1SB – .677 SLG – 1.131 OPS

Lars Anderson, 1B (injured) – Lancaster JetHawks (Red Sox): .277 – 28R – 7HR – 23RBI – 0SB – .484 SLG – .867 OPS

Rick Porcello, RHP – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit): 11GS – 3W – 5L – 2.48 ERA – 14BB – 35K

Matt Wieters, C – Frederick Keys (Orioles): .346 – 35R – 12HR – 32RBI – 25BB – 1SB – .615 SLG – 1.051 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Burlington Bees (Royals): .254 – 21R – 7HR – 24RBI – 3SB – .429 SLG – .732 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Asheville Tourists (Rockies): 11 GS – 8W – 1L – 1.64 ERA – 21BB – 73K


Prospects chosen from Diamond Cutter’s Top 25, Baseball America, and my own irrational sense of whimsy.

He Was There: Friend of the Blog Sees Jay Bruce’s Debut in Cincy

Jay Bruce courtesy of Diamond Hoggers

Wow, quite a week for our friend NaturalMevs over at Diamond Hoggers. First he wins the Jay Bruce nickname contest, then he gets to see The Deal’s first official at-bat as a major leaguer. Since we’re in full-on worship mode, we’d be remiss if we didn’t direct you to this excellent recounting of the big event:

The last thing in the world I ever expected to see was Bruce, before the biggest game of his life; signing one autograph after the other. But it just goes to show that is what this guy is. There’s no Hollywood involved with ‘The Deal’. He is a down to earth country boy who can simply hit a baseball much better than you or I. That is all.

[Diamond Hoggers]

That’s just an excerpt. I highly recommend reading the entire post, as it includes candid photos and video of The Deal. Sounds like he had a pretty darn good debut, walking twice in addition to two singles and a double, ending up with 2 runs, 2 RBIs, and a stolen base.

That’s right, the kid is literally batting 1.000 right now. Good times.

(photo courtesy of diamondhoggers.com)

Now Batting For The Cincinnati Reds…

Jay Bruce!

True, I already wrote about Bruce’s long expected call-up last night.  The problem was, I chose to go with a witty title in lieu of the standard “Now Batting For…”, leading Extra P to email me this morning to say, “Looks like it’s time for the “Now batting…” that we’ve all been waiting for.”  And he’s absolutely correct.  Because, as I replied, if Jay Bruce doesn’t get a “Now Batting For…”, then what’s the point of doing it for anyone?

So here it is, folks: the official Jay Bruce “Now Batting For…”.  Enjoy it.  Cherish it.  Love it.

I’m Happy…No, I’m Sad…No, I’m Happy…No, I’m –

In two weeks, I was planning to make the two hour trip down to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to see the Red Sox take on the Louisville Bats.  Though I’m a Red Sox fan and would welcome the chance to see youngsters like Clay Buchholz and Justin Masterson for a far more reasonable price than a trip to Fenway, this trip wasn’t about them.  This trip was to be my best chance to see The Deal, Jay Bruce, the number one baseball playing prospect in the world, in action.

Alas, the Reds were not on my side.  The team announced today that Bruce will be recalled from Louisville in time for Tuesday’s game against the Pirates.  He had been crushing International League pitching, posting a .364 batting average, 10 homeruns and 37 runs batted in this season. 

Where Bruce will play when he arrives in Cincinnati is still up in the air.  I always thought he projected as a centerfielder in the majors, but apparently the good folks in the Reds front office do not share that assessment and see him as a long term solution at one of the corner outfield slots.  Problem is, those positions are currently occupied by Ken Griffey, Jr., who won’t be going anywhere at least until he hits his 600th career homerun (and probably not even then – he would need to approve any trade), and Adam Dunn, who is working on a fifth consecutive 40-homer season.  So, if The Deal is gonna see any playing time, any at all, it will probably be in center…provided he can unseat the Hall of Fame-bound duo of Corey Patterson and Ryan Freel.

I hadn’t realized this previously, but the Reds have some serious potential in the next couple of years.  A lineup featuring Bruce, Dunn, Joey Votto, and Brandon Phillips?  A rotation featuring Aaron Harang, Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, and Homer Bailey?  Careful, Reds fans – brighter days might be on the horizon.

And you know what?  All is not lost – Clay Buchholz is still on a rehab assignment in Pawtucket…

Jay Bruce is The Deal

The internet is a fickle place.

As of this posting, our request for a new nickname for superstud Jay Bruce has been our most popular entry to date, snagging over 3,000 views. Of those, the post garnered 42 comments (at least eight of those came from me or OMDQ) and about 12 proposed nicknames. We narrowed that down to five finalists and put up a poll, which has picked up…. 9 votes in three days. The returns be diminishing, and rapidly.

So, we’re calling it.

Fellow blogger TheNaturalMevs from Diamond Hoggers wins the Revised & Edited Baseball Field Guide for his inspired choice “The Deal”. We’re all convinced that Jay is the realest deal we’re going to see this season, so we can’t wait to see him in the majors.

Congratulations, Mevs! Thanks to everyone who participated. We’ll figure out a way to do this again sometime soon.

Now get out there and take in a little baseball with your Memorial Day festivities!

The Z-Meter: 5/22/2008

The Z-meter tracks the story arcs of 25 top prospects (or players we just like) on their way to the bigs. It is named after current Washington Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman, who made the transition from anchoring the University of Virginia to starring in MLB in one year.

Promoted:

Evan Longoria, 3B, Durham (AAA) to Tampa Bay Rays (MLB)
Luke Hochevar, RHP, Omaha (AAA) to Kansas City Royals (MLB)

Max Scherzer, RHP, Tucson (AAA) to Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)

Justin Masterson, RHP, Portland (AA) to Pawtucket (AAA)

Antonio Bastardo, LHP, Clearwater (A) to Reading (AA)

Travis Snider, OF, Dunedin (A-Advanced) to New Hampshire (AA)

Josh Vitters, 3B, Boise (Short A) to Peoria (A)

What the hell does a guy have to do to get called up around here? Since last week’s Z-meter, our hero Jay Bruce has improved upon his already stellar triple-A stats, hitting three more homers, raising his averages by double-digits, and putting runs on the board any way he can. The kid is as good as we think he is. Call him up, Cincy!

And, not to be lost in our Bruce-worship, Ian Stewart is doing roughly the same thing in Colorado, throwing gasoline on the fire that he’s been stoking since the season began. Play him or Trade him, Rocks!

Lars Anderson of the Lancaster Jethawks (Boston) went through a rough ofer stretch early in May, but has rebounded in a big way, hitting .550 over his last four games. Ian Gac is doing the reverse, getting donuts in his last two games, which has not had much effect on his mountain of numbers… yet.

UPDATE – Travis Snider is heating up fast. He hit two dingers for 3 RBI and 3 runs since I posted this morning. I’d say he’s adjusting to AA ball pretty well. Get out there and see him, OMDQ!

Let’s see who else is hot this week:


The top level. These prospects are in AAA in the prime of their youth, and ready for the call that will change their lives.

Jay Bruce, CF – Louisville Bats (Reds): .366 – 32R – 10HR – 37RBI – 8SB – .665 SLG – 1.059 OPS

Homer Bailey, RHP – Louisville Bats (Reds): 9GS – 4W – 4L – 3.88 ERA – 20BB – 44K

Andrew McCutchen, CF – Indianapolis Indians (Pirates): .283 – 29R – 6HR – 21RBI – 14SB – .451 SLG – .828 OPS

Carlos Gonzalez, RF – Sacramento River Cats (Athletics): .295 – 16R – 3HR – 15RBI – 1SB – .434 SLG – .783 OPS

Ian Stewart, 3B – Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies): .283 – 43R – 12HR – 43RBI – 6SB – .635 SLG – 1.014 OPS

Joe Koshansky, 1B – Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies): .280 – 26R – 7HR – 34RBI – 0SB – .520 SLG – .885 OPS

Colby Rasmus, LF – Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals): .182 – 23R – 6HR – 16RBI – 5SB – .309 SLG – .579 OPS

Justin Masterson, RHP – Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox): 8GS – 1W – 3L – 4.23 ERA – 16BB – 37K


These guys also have the potential to skip straight to the majors, but are more likely to get promoted to the top of this meter first.

Clayton Kershaw, LHP – Jacksonville Suns (Dodgers): 9GS – 0W – 3L – 2.34 ERA – 15BB – 45K

Fernando Martinez, CF (injured) – Binghamton Mets (Mets): .280 – 19R – 3HR – 16RBI – 3SB – .408 SLG – .721 OPS

Jacob McGee, LHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 8GS – 3W – 2L – 4.20 ERA – 17BB – 39K

Cameron Maybin, CF – Carolina Mudcats (Marlins): .247 – 26R – 6HR – 13RBI – 10SB – .416 SLG – .789 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 9GS – 4W – 2L – 3.23 ERA – 21BB – 39K

Elvis Andrus, SS – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .271 – 23R – 0HR – 19RBI – 10BB – 14SB – .322 SLG – .640 OPS

Jeff Samardzija, P – Tennessee Smokies (Cubs): 10GS – 3W – 4L – 6.14 ERA – 32BB – 28K

Luke Montz, C – Harrisburg Senators (Nationals): .330 – 16R – 8HR – 33RBI – 10BB – 0SB – .659 SLG – 1.049 OPS

Travis Snider, RF – New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays): .228 – 17R – 7HR – 22RBI – 0SB – .465 SLG – .815 OPS

Antonio Bastardo, LHP – Reading Phillies (Phillies): 4GS – 2W – 1L – 2.66 ERA – 8BB – 20K

Matt LaPorta, CF – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .304 – 35R – 11HR – 39 RBI – 0SB – .602 SLG – 1.018 OPS

Mat Gamel, 3B – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .372 – 41R – 10HR – 38RBI – 2SB – .661 SLG – 1.097 OPS


These guys have vast potential but need to work out some kinks in A-ball before they can advance.

Ian Gac, 1B – Clinton LumberKings (Rangers): .346 – 35R – 14HR – 40RBI – 22BB – 1SB – .738 SLG – 1.198 OPS

Lars Anderson, 1B – Lancaster JetHawks (Red Sox): .277 – 28R – 7HR – 23RBI – 0SB – .484 SLG – .867 OPS

Rick Porcello, RHP – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit): 9GS – 3W – 4L – 1.72 ERA – 14BB – 28K

Matt Wieters, C – Frederick Keys (Orioles): .345 – 31R – 11HR – 29RBI – 21BB – 1SB – .619 SLG – 1.049 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Burlington Bees (Royals): .244 – 14R – 4HR – 16RBI – 3SB – .372 SLG – .672 OPS


Prospects chosen from Diamond Cutter’s Top 25, Baseball America, and my own irrational sense of whimsy.