Keith Law wrote a nice article at ESPN Insider about the value of the top young players in baseball. Since it is the season of giving and a simple Google search turns up a lot more out of the article, I’ll let you read what he says about Jay Bruce at the number 22 ranking.
22.) Jay Bruce-RF-24-Analysis: Bruce has substantial power, shows patience, and plays an above-average right field, so for him, the difference between being an above-average player and a star will come down to his contact rates and his batting average on balls in play.
He’s very strong in both his upper and lower halves and gets good hip rotation, producing power to all fields, but his swing is so ferocious that the cost of his power is more swings and misses. Bruce has improved against left-handed pitchers but is still much weaker than he is against right-handers, which may limit his ceiling slightly. Still, he’s a threat to hit 40 homers a year at his peak with enough walks to keep his OBP up even in the years when he hits .260.
Justin Upton, Mike Stanton, and Andrew Mccutchen rank as the top three and then the pay wall takes over. If you are dying to see other Reds in the top 50 like I was, or see if Law lists Jason Heyward ahead of guys like our Bruce; you’re going to need to get ESPN Insider.
And for what it’s worth, I still think Keith Law is one of the best guys who writes baseball on the internet.