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Jay Bruce Player Profile
Written by Keith Giordano

Jay Bruce Player Profile

Jay Bruce
Cincinnati Reds - No. 32
Born: April 3, 1987 (age 22), Beaumont, TX
Bats: Left    Throws: Left
Major League debut: May 27, 2008
Career Stats: .254 Ave., 21 HR, 52 RBI, 63 Runs, 3 SB.

After being drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the first round of the 2005 draft, Jay Bruce was given the nicknames "Bruce Almighty" and "The Deal" by fans.  As a rookie in 2008 Bruce made a huge splash coming out of the gate fast with 4 home runs and 15 RBI in his first 122 major league at-bats. In his first major league game he reached base all five times he appeared at the plate. He later extended that streak by one more plate appearance.  This was the longest on-base streak to begin a major league career since Ted Cox reached in his first 7 at-bats in 1977.  A scant few days later, Bruce hit his first career home run (a walk-off job) in the 10th inning off of Manny Acosta. More impressive, however, was the best shaving cream pie facial in history which he received for this feat. Click here to see it.

Bruce went to West Brook High School in Beaumont, Texas where other major leaguers Ben Broussard and Chip Ambres also attended.  During his senior year he batted over .500 and was a National High School Player of the Year candidate.  After being named the 2007 Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America, his call-up was highly anticipated by the Reds faithful.  Though he grew up in the Lone Star State, he could not have been happier to make his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds.  Doing so allowed him to share the outfield with his childhood idol, Ken Griffey Jr.  It also allowed him to escape from the thing that he disliked the most about the minor leagues.  The long bus trips.  It is doubtful he will be riding the bus again any time soon.

With his free time, Bruce likes to fish, eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and spend time with his parents and two sisters.  His father, Joe Bruce is a plumber who learned very early that his son could hit.  He used a wiffle ball to throw his first pitch to a young Jay.  The ball came flying back at Joe with great speed, denting the beer can he was holding.  Bruce is currently earning near the league minimum, but rest assured that will soon change.  He has a reputation as a heady player, but also one with a big heart.  Evidence of this was seen when he helped to organize a baseball camp to benefit a high school teammate of his who had been diagnosed with Leukemia.

Jay Bruce is sure to he a hot fantasy commodity this season.  While there is no denying the talent of this youngster, there is reason not to overpay for him in your draft or auction.  He did not hit over .260 in any month after his 19 AB May due in large part to his .190 batting average against left handed pitching.  He also needs to work on his plate discipline with a 110/33 ratio of K/BB.  If he falls to you at a reasonable slot or price, don't shy away.  Just don't count on a breakout year from a 22 year old that still has some adjustments to make at the major league level.

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