Monday, June 2, 2008

Jay Bruce Will Never Slump. Ever.

Under normal circumstances, it would be my job to remind everyone that this isn't going to last forever. By "this," I mean Jay Bruce's otherworldly behavior on Planet Earth.

These are not normal circumstances.

Jay Bruce is that good.

Am I suggesting he will hit .591 this season? Obviously not. .391? Probably not. But it wouldn't shock me one bit if he threw up .355/20/80 in the 100 games or so he'll play this season.

Now, to put up those numbers, he'll have to avoid a prolonged slump - one of those 0-27 jobs Justin Upton found himself in recently.

And I know what you're thinking. You're thinking I'm an idiot, and that I'm bonging the Jay Bruce Kool-Aid to the point where it's more than a little embarrassing. While I can't argue that, it doesn't mean I'm wrong. And I can tell you one thing I know for sure: There is no rule stating Jay Bruce must struggle in the early stages of his Major League career.

In fact, Ryan Braun is in the early stages of his career and he's yet to struggle. That's actually an understatement. He's 167 games into his career and he's hit 49 HRs and driven in 139 runs. He was an '05 draftee, like Bruce, and he's done nothing but murder the ball since being called up in the final week of last May. Sound familiar? Check out his '07 and '08 game logs. Do those stats indicate in any way that Braun is still a young guy? The answer, of course, is NO.

It isn't a reach to call Ryan Braun one of the five best right-handed hitters in the game. And if Bruce does throw up a .355/20/80 by season's end, it might not be absurd to suggest he's one of the ten or fifteen best players in the game.

Bartender! Another round of Mountain Berry Punch!

-Brad Spieser (