Anyone living in Cincinnati can tell you the 1970s were a long time ago. Gone are the days of the Big Red Machine and Pete “Please Let Me in the Hall of Fame” Rose. Because of this people living and working in Cincinnati have had a long time to stew over the drought of success. Well, my friends, the times are about to change. The Cincinnati Reds are on the verge of taking over the NL Central. They’re loaded with talent, and thanks to the lapse in judgment by two of the premier clubs in the division, Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder have defected to the American League, leaving the door wide open for the “Baby Reds” to capture the Central crown.
The new hero of Cincinnati is none other than Jay Allen Bruce. There are three letters that can be attributed to Jay Bruce. The first one is “M”, which stands for Medical. Bruce is going to play every day. He stays healthy, and a healthy Bruce is a very productive Bruce. When he arrived at spring training this year he had slimmed down 15 pounds. Since I doubt he has plans of stealing more bases this year, the real benefit of his weight lost is health gained.
The second letter pinned to Bruce’s pinstriped vest is “V”, which means Value. If you ask most baseball fans who they think of when they think of the modern day Reds, Joey Votto is most likely the first name to escape their lips. This only adds to Bruce’s value. He’s a huge source of power that can be plucked after the fourth round. Outfield is very deep this year, so why take Mike Stanton early in the draft when you can take your sweet time and nab Bruce three rounds later?
The last and most important letter is “P”, which stands for Potential. I know, it’s the dreaded P-word. Previous owners of young players are tired of hearing about potential. They’re tired of being heartbroken. But Bruce, who is going to turn 25 early in the 2012 season, has already hit the 100 career HR mark, and over the course of four seasons his HR, RBI, and BB totals have all risen. Take into account that he will be playing half his games in a tiny ball park, with Votto hitting in front of him, and his numbers could jump over 40 HR and 110 RBI.
Bruce could be a fantasy MVP this season.