Sunday, August 5, 2012

Most overrated baseball player?

Being powerless to express ones opinions is amongst the most frustrating things an intelligent and passionate man can endure. I was in the fore mentioned position this weekend; during a perilous drive from Chillicothe to Dayton left this man to nothing but his Ford pickup and 700 WLW talk radio. I was an hour away from getting into the Reds pregame talks and found myself listening to a man who shall go unnamed. The closing topic orbited around the most overrated and underrated Cincinnati Reds player. Callers were dialing in and offering their input, however the host made it feverishly clear that his undisputed overrated player of this winning club was one Jay Bruce. Initially I couldn't help but agree. Bruce is a bright star on the roster and just hasn't had the year we were hoping for. However, as the show was winding down, the host continued to stress Bruce's inabilities to provide the numbers that we are “paying him for”. At one moment the host compared him to Adam Dunn with a better glove. Discussing Bruce further, they focused on Bruce absence from the roster Friday against Wandy Rodriguez. The point being made was that Bruce is paid handsomely to be a star player and shouldn't be benched because he can't hit a specific pitcher. I can tell you, I wholeheartedly disagree with what the sports annalist and writer was broadcasting over the airwaves, with all due respect...

It won't be hard to crack his case wide open, give me a few words to make a case for Jay Bruce. Jay Bruce has consistently hit for average in his young career, though not a .300 hitter, people place the expectation over him for that which he has never done. Bruce is a career .255 hitter with one stellar year in 2010, when the Reds last made the playoffs, where he hit .281. Bruce has however notched 20 or more home runs in every major league season he has under his belt. The last Red to accomplish such a feat was Frank Robinson, and I don't have to tell you that this is impressive company. Though Jay Bruce hasn't broken into the 100 RBI club, he is surely on the cusp and inching closer year by year. Jay Bruce will most likely never be a .300 hitter and I'm not exactly sure how he has been held to this expectation. In response the the Adam Dunn comparison? I don't have to regurgitate stats to show you this isn't true; a baseball fan with any sense can agree that they are too very different ball players seeing as Dunn struggles to hit the Mendoza line. Bruce has proven to be potent with speed, with 7 stolen bases this season, and arguably the greatest arm in the NL as a right fielder; and yes, Bruce probably has the greatest glove in his respective position which clearly nudged him into the 2011 and 2012 All-Star games. As far as sitting Bruce against pitchers he has poor records against? Well, we do pay Jay Bruce to play the game and play it well, but we pay him to be one of nine who collectively win a game. Sometimes it requires a player to take a seat for the greater good of the team. At the end of the season the only thing that matters is the teams record. I think I speak for everyone when I say I would rather see a 102-60 record than Jay Bruce with a .316 batting average and 120 rib eye steaks. So who is my most overrated player on this Cincinnati Reds team? No one, because the team is winning and everyone is doing their part.

1 comment:

  1. I like Jay Bruce - I don't think he is overrated - I think baseball is going back to the 1970s and 1980s in stats and he looks good compared to everyone else playing today.