Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce is coming off a 2012 season that saw him win a Silver Slugger Award, be named to the National League All-Star team and finish tenth in the MVP voting.
Bruce is also coming off a year where he set career-highs in home runs (34), RBIs (99) and slugging percentage (.514). So with all those statistics that qualify him as being a tremendous hitter to go along with endless range in the outfield, I am assuming many are asking, “How can Bruce get better?” The answer is simple–consistency at the plate.
As some may recall, Bruce came out guns blazing in the month of April, hitting an average of .296 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs and winning the NL Player of the Month. But then May came along and Bruce fell off the face of the earth, hitting just a mere .229 with only four home runs and 15 RBIs.
This trend continued throughout the season as Bruce got hot and cold, then hot again, cold again, so on and so forth. This unreliability is something that he needs to figure out during the 2013 season.
The Reds cannot afford to have one of their best power hitters get really hot one month, then disappear the next. With a line-up that offers up more spray-the-ball-over-the-field type of hitters, it would be a definite plus if Jay Bruce could figure out a model of consistency. Guys in front of him are without a doubt going to get on base in front of him. If he figured out any sort of consistency, the Reds are looking at a guy who could have a 30+ home run season (again) and have well over 100+ RBIs.
I’m not saying Bruce isn’t going to put up those numbers if he doesn’t become more consistent at the plate. I’m saying if he does, the Reds are looking at deadly one-two punch with Joey Votto and Bruce from the left side–something the Reds definitely need on that side.
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