Jay Bruce is a very frustrating, enigmatic type of player. If you are a fan of the Cincinnati Reds, you know what I mean. He is so hot and cold, it will drive you crazy and thrill your soul many times over in the same season. As much as Bruce talks about trying to be more consistent and patient at the plate, he just cannot seem to translate that into action.
All of that being said, Jay Bruce is on one of his patented hot streaks right now. When he gets like this at the plate, he can and does carry the team. Here is all he has done recently. He has 4 homeruns, driven in 9 and gone 8 for 15 in the last 4 games played. If you stretch that to the last 6, he has 5 homeruns, 12 RBI and has 10 hits with a 6 game hitting streak going. At one point he accounted for the only runs produced by the Reds during a two game stretch. He is seeing the ball and putting good wood on it – right now.
If only he could do that consistently throughout the season. He will go the same number of games and at-bats and, seemingly, strikeout every other time up. Very frustrating. But you cannot go without him. He is just too dangerous to leave on the bench. Not only is he one of the two lefties in the everyday lineup, but he is rock solid in the field with a cannon for an arm.
For the season, though, Jay Bruce is putting together a resume that is starting to get him mentioned in the same sentence as MVP now. He is batting .265, with 32 HR and 93 RBI. He does have 128 strikeouts, many in the most inopportune times.
Streaky players scare me in projecting for the future. Jay Bruce is one among them. However, if he can get on a hot streak during a playoff series, I’ll take my chances anyday against any team. And who knows, maybe he will finish so strong that an MVP is there for the taking too.