(NOTE: This originally ran on May 18th.) Jay Bruce could be called up from the minors relatively soon. UPDATED: The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Jay Bruce will be called up before Tuesday’s game. So I figured I should give you a breakdown, but then Baron Von Vulturewins, a regular commenter in the Razzpound and an all-around good guy (actually, he could be writing in from jail, I have no idea), did a great breakdown of Jay Bruce in the comments. So without further ado — the Baron on Jay Bruce (I edited some for breadth), “Pros: Jay Bruce is the consensus top prospect in baseball. He’s most often compared to Larry Walker — i.e. big power potential with speed and high avg., i.e. tasty. He’s currently at .366 AVG, 8 HR, 33 RBIs, 7 SB, .662 SLG in Triple-A. (And he started slow, so he’s been on an absolute tear of late.) Baseball Prospectus’ notoriously gloomy PECOTA projections put him at 29 HR this year (assuming a full season in the bigs, I’m guessing.) …All the indicators are there for Jay Bruce to succeed: bad team with several trade-bait veteran OFs, a local media clamoring to get this kid to the show — he’ll be playing in one of the NL’s premiere bandboxes, i.e. Cincy.
Cons: Two years ago, Alex Gordon was the CTPiB (consensus top etc.) and, well, we’ve seen that he hasn’t turned into “Boog Powell minus eighty pounds of custard” quite yet. (Some of us have watched this more closely, and more painfully, than others.) Cincy has a long, inglorious history of carrying one too many OFs, and driving fantasy owners insane with idiotic non-platoon OF switcheroos (see: Freel, Ryan). This is all compounded by the fact that Dusty Baker also has a history of mishandling/not trusting young players, though he seems to have put his faith in Joey Votto this year, which augurs (Word of the Day) well for Bruce.
Bottom line: Bruce could well go the way of Gordon ‘07, or he could just as easily go the way of Braun ‘07. Having missed out on the latter last year through pure Yahoo!-induced phenom fatigue (they hype everyone like they’re a young Babe Ruth, so by mid-May, you’re tuning it out) I don’t plan to miss out on it this year. So my money’s on Bruce. Given what you have to invest — i.e. nothing, save a bench spot for a few weeks.” Well said, Baron. I agree, if you have a bench spot, go for Bruce. I had Ian Stewart for a week on my bench and it didn’t cost me anything. Stewart didn’t get the call, so I dropped him. UPDATED: I did grab him again in some leagues, but I think Jay Bruce is more valuable than Stewart at this time with a better chance for playing time. If you have the spot, it makes sense to take a flier as they say in the biz (which biz that is, I’m not sure).