Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gregory Smith - 2011 Fantasy Baseball Spotlight - Jay Bruce

Today the fantasy baseball spotlight is shining brightly on Cincinnati Reds OF Jay Bruce. Do you believe the hype or is this guy ready to explode?

Cincinnati's first-round pick in the 2005 draft (12th), Bruce took a huge step forward in 2010. He hit .281 with 25 homers, 70 RBI and an .846 OPS. Bruce posted the second-lowest BABIP among players with 350-plus plate appearances last season. This suggests an increase in batting average is on the horizon.

Despite his unlucky struggles at the plate last season, Bruce increased his walks and decreased his strikeouts from 2008. Both are very good signs for such a young player.  Strikeouts will continue to be an issue for Bruce and his average will most likely sit around the .260-.280 in the short term.

Bruce turns 24 in early April and it will already be his fourth season in the majors. He has the capabilities, experience and pedigree to surpass last seasons numbers and become a strong second outfielder. Draft with confidence!

What to expect in 2011: POWER POWER POWER... Bruce is slated to bat fifth or sixth in the Cincinnati's power packed lineup, and appears to be on the cusp of eclipsing the 30 HR mark. Baseball statistician Bill James predicts a lofty 38-HR total.  Bruce’s current ADP on Mock Draft Central is 77, and that number seems to be getting lower as we head into our respective drafts. Get this young stud and soon-to-be top 50 keeper before it’s too late.

Gregory's Projection: 550 at-bats, 80 runs, 33 HRs, 90 RBI, 7 stolen bases, .275 batting average

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