2011 Fantasy Baseball Profile: Last Year Joey Votto, This Year Jay Bruce?
The Reds are blessed with two of the best young hitters in the game in Joey Votto (27) and Jay Bruce (24 in April). Votto made the jump from above-average fantasy first basemen to MVP. I’m not saying that Jay Bruce can become MVP material, but he has the ability to become an elite power-hitting outfielder.
Bruce topped 20 home runs for the third straight season, setting a career high with 25. He also set career highs in runs (80), RBI (70), and OPS (.846). Perhaps most importantly, he hit .281. Considering he hit .254 and .223 respectively in his first two seasons, last year’s jump in average was monumental.
It wasn’t that way for the whole season though. Through July he was hitting just .261 with ten HRs in 376 at bats. That average was higher than his career average entering the season (.240), but it was far from spectacular. He made up for it by 53 runs and driving in another 41.
Then Bruce took off. As the Reds found themselves in a heated race for the NL Central title, Bruce took off. He hit .338 from August through October with 27 runs, 15 HRs, and 29 RBI in 133 at bats.
He hit just .250 in the playoffs, but the Reds were shutout twice in a three-game sweep by the Phillies. It was a Bruce walk that kept Roy Halladay from throwing a Perfect Game.
My feeling is that Bruce grew up during that stretch run. With that experience, he has a good chance to become one of the best power hitters in the game. I’m expecting at least 30 HRs from Bruce this year.
What’s your take? Do you think Bruce will blow up in 2011 or blow up in his owners’ faces?
Also check out:
- 2011 Fantasy Baseball Profiles
- 2011 Fantasy First Basemen Rankings
- 2011 Fantasy Second Basemen Rankings
- 2011 Fantasy Third Basemen Rankings
- 2011 Fantasy Shortstop Rankings
- 2011 Fantasy Catcher Rankings
- 2011 Fantasy Outfielder Rankings
- 2011 Fantasy Starting Pitcher Rankings
- 2011 Fantasy Closer Rankings