Jay Bruce
2012 Slash Line: .252/.327/.514
2013 Projection: .265/.340/.520

2012 WAR: 2.4
2013 Best Guess WAR: 3.5
Projected Difference: +1.1
2013 Floor: 2.0
2013 Ceiling: 8.0

Jay Bruce is one tough nut to crack. He still has all that potential and, at 26, he’s still young (younger than every other member of the starting 8 unless you count Devin Mesoraco). But, you know, he’s never exactly put it together. What he has done is progress, albeit slowly.

When projecting Bruce, his fielding is the big questions. The various metrics seem to agree that he was pretty awesome in 2010 and pretty mediocre the last two years. The truth, as is typically the case with these metrics, is probably some where in between. We should figure him as an average to maybe slightly above average fielder. That’s all I’m going to say on that. You all have your own opinions on his fielding and we know defense is hard to value.

What everyone really cares about is hit bat. Jay Bruce hit ball hard. Or, at least, that’s the basic hope. My perception following the Reds last year was that he was more consistent. Oh sure, he had his streaks, but they didn’t seem to be as exaggerated as they often are. Looking at his splits seems to confirm that as he was average or better as a hitter every month in 2012. Still, it sums to pretty much who he has been for the last several years. A good, but not great player.

But there’s still that potential. His ceiling is still really high and 26 is the age when many players really break out, so there’s hope. But these posts aren’t about hope, they’re about what we can reasonably expect and in my opinion (and most of the projections agree with me). Bruce should show some modest improvement simply because he is still on the right side of the aging curve and produce 3-4 wins for the Reds. His floor is nice and high. He’d be an average player at 2 wins. His ceiling is an MVP trophy. Reality is probably in the middle.

Redleg Nation Season Preview Schedule

Joey Votto – 2/27
Brandon Phillips – 3/1
Todd Frazier – 3/4
Zack Cozart – 3/6
Ryan Ludwick – 3/8
Shin-Soo Choo – 3/11
Jay Bruce – 3/13
Ryan Hanigan & Catcher #2 – 3/15
Bench – 3/18
Johnny Cueto & Mat Latos – 3/20
Aroldis Chapman & Mike Leake – 3/22
Homer Bailey & Bronson Arroyo – 3/25
Bullpen – 3/27
Updates & Preview Wrap-Up – 3/29