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Jay Allen Bruce (born April 3, 1987) is an American professional baseball right fielder for the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, and the Cleveland Indians. Bruce has been named an All-Star three times during his career, and has won the Silver Slugger Award twice.
Bruce with the New York Mets in 2016
|Right fielder/First baseman|
|Born: April 3, 1987|
|May 27, 2008, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2018 season)
|Runs batted in||875|
|Career highlights and awards|
Bruce was born on April 3, 1987, in Beaumont, Texas. He was the youngest of three children born to Joe, a plumber, and Martha Bruce, a schoolteacher. As a child, Bruce played both baseball and football but stopped playing the latter when, due to the risk of injury, Martha refused to sign the necessary consent forms.
Bruce attended West Brook High School in Beaumont, Texas where he was a third-team all-American. He was drafted 12th in the first round of the 2005 Major League Baseball draft. Bruce accepted a scholarship to play baseball at Tulane University before opting to turn professional out of high school.
Bruce's professional career began in 2005 in the Gulf Coast League, playing for the Reds' short-season rookie team. He hit .270 in 37 games before moving on to the Reds' rookie affiliate Billings Mustangs. There he hit for a .257 batting average with four home runs and 13 runs batted in (RBIs).
In 2006, he was promoted to the Reds' Low-A affiliate Dayton Dragons, where he excelled with a .291 average and 16 home runs, placing him on many top prospect lists. For the 2007 season, Bruce was promoted to the Reds' high-A team, the Sarasota Reds, then quickly promoted to the Reds' Double-A team, the Chattanooga Lookouts. He was selected to the 2007 All-Star Futures Game. Bruce was then promoted to the Reds' Triple-A club, the Louisville Bats, where he ended the season by winning the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year Award.
Reds General Manager Wayne Krivsky informed Bruce and the media that Bruce would not get a look in the big leagues in 2007; However, during the Reds' final game of the 2007 season, Bruce was recognized for winning the Minor League Player of the Year award.
Bruce was invited to the Reds' 2008 spring training. On March 20, he was reassigned to the team's minor league camp, and started the season at Louisville. Bruce hit .262 in his first spring training.
On May 27, 2008, Bruce got the call to join the Reds. He made his major league debut that day against right-handed pitcher Ian Snell of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bruce started in center field, batting 3-for-3 with two singles and one double. He drove in two runs, scored twice, walked twice, and stole a base.
In his second game, on May 28, 2008, also against Pittsburgh, he added a double, another stolen base, and two more walks. Bruce became the first Major League player since 1977 to reach base in his first six plate appearances.
On May 30, Bruce went 4-for-5 in a 3–2, 11-inning win over the Atlanta Braves. Bruce doubled in the tying run and scored the winning run in the 11th inning after leading off the inning with a single. On May 31, Bruce launched his first Major League home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Reds a walk-off win. One day later, on June 1, he went 2-for-3 with a home run, a single, two RBIs, and a base on balls. Bruce had a 1.000 slugging percentage after his first six games; the only major league player since 1969 to achieve a higher slugging percentage for his first six games was Mike Jacobs in 2005.
On June 2, Bruce hit the third home run of his career while going 2-for-4 in Philadelphia against the Phillies' Kyle Kendrick. In his first full week in the majors, he batted .577 (15-for-26) with three home runs, three doubles and nine singles in addition to six bases on balls. He also scored 12 runs and batted in seven more runs. The Reds had a winning percentage of .714 (5–2) during his first week. Before Bruce was called up to the majors, they had a winning percentage of .451 (23–28), and had lost five of seven games. Bruce had a 12-game hitting streak during July.
To open August, after nearly half of a month without a home run, Bruce hit a home run in back-to-back games against the Washington Nationals. Two games later, Bruce hit his 10th home run of the season and his third of the month against the Milwaukee Brewers. In the final game of the Brewers' series, Bruce hit his 11th home run of the season. Following the trades of veteran outfielders Ken Griffey, Jr. and Adam Dunn, Bruce hit his 12th home run of the season in a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. On defense, in 2008 he tied for the lead among all major league outfielders in errors, with 11.
On Monday, April 6, Bruce started his first-ever Opening Day game, going 1-for-4 with a double to give the Reds their first hit in the game off Johan Santana. Bruce also threw a runner out at home plate in the Reds 2–1 loss to the New York Mets. On April 11 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bruce threw out his second runner of the season at home plate and drove in two runs in a 1-for-4 day at the plate. Bruce hit his first home run of the season April 13 in the win over Milwaukee. After missing time due to injury, Bruce bounced back with back-to-back homers on April 21 and 22 against the Chicago Cubs. On April 26, in the 8–2 win over the Atlanta Braves, Bruce went 3-for-3 with two home runs and four RBIs. A week later, on May 4, Bruce hit his sixth home run of the season off Pittsburgh Pirates starter Jeff Karstens in a victory. Bruce homered in back-to-back home games on May 6 and 7 against the Milwaukee Brewers.
On July 11, Bruce fractured his right wrist while making a diving play in right field in the first inning of a game against the New York Mets. On September 14, Bruce made his return against the Houston Astros, pinch hitting with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. Bruce's two-run single gave the Reds a 2–1 lead that would hold up as the game-winning hit. Two nights later, on September 16, Bruce had a two-run single in the first inning that would allow Cincinnati to defeat the Houston Astros 3–2. He batted .223 for the season.
On April 18, Bruce homered twice in a 5–3 road loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. On April 25, Bruce went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI, scoring the game-winning run in 5–4 win against the San Diego Padres. This win ended the Padres' eight-game winning streak.
On June 30, Bruce hit the game-winning home run off Phillies' ace Roy Halladay. On August 27, Bruce hit three home runs – two off Tom Gorzelanny and another off Scott Maine in Maine's MLB debut- against the Chicago Cubs. On September 28, Bruce hit a bottom-of-the-ninth inning, first-pitch, walk-off home run off Astros pitcher Tim Byrdak to clinch the NL Central title for the Reds. It was the team's first trip to the postseason since 1995. The home run was the Capital One Premier Play of the Year.
Bruce was the only baserunner allowed during Halladay's no-hitter in game 1 of the 2010 NLDS. On December 9, 2010 the Reds agreed to extend Bruce to a six-year $51 million deal and it includes a $12 million option for a seventh year.
After finishing March/April hitting .237 with four home runs, 11 RBIs and striking out 27 times, Bruce came back strong in May, batting .392 with 12 home runs and 33 RBIs and earning NL Player of the Month for May. He was selected to play in the 2011 All Star Game and he was also nominated for a Gold Glove award for the first time in his career.
At age 24 years, five months and 191 days, Bruce hit his 100th career home run on September 27, becoming the third youngest Reds' player to reach 100 home runs behind Johnny Bench and Frank Robinson, who both accomplished that feat at age 23.
Bruce was named the NL Player of the Week for April 23–29. In that span, he hit .476 while leading the MLB with a 1.143 slugging percentage and 24 total bases while tying for the lead with four home runs. Bruce hit a go-ahead home run on April 29, giving the Reds a 6–5 win over the Houston Astros. On June 15, Bruce hit an inside-the-park home run to ignite the Reds to a 7–3 win over the Mets.
He was named to his second Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 1, 2012. Bruce ended the 2012 season third in the National League in home runs with 34, behind Ryan Braun and Giancarlo Stanton.
On September 17, Bruce hit his second career grand slam, this one against the Houston Astros. The home run, his 30th, meant he reached that mark for the third season in his career, and his five RBIs gave him 100 for the first time. He finished the season with 109 RBIs, his highest year-end total to date. In post-season, Bruce was a finalist nominee for the Gold Glove Award, but did not win. Bruce did win the Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award and the 2nd Annual Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award (Awarded to 1 player on each team). For the second year in the row, Bruce finished tenth in NL MVP voting.
On May 5, 2014, Bruce underwent left knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on the same day he had the surgery. On July 7, with Joey Votto out due to injury, Bruce made his professional debut at first base. He batted .217 for the season.
The Reds almost traded Bruce to the Toronto Blue Jays before the season, but the trade fell through at the time, due to injury issues with the involved players. Bruce hit his 200th career home run on August 10, 2015.
New York MetsEdit
On August 1, 2016, the Reds traded Bruce to the New York Mets for Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell. For the remainder of that season, he batted a disappointing .219 and hit 8 home runs with 19 RBIs. His next season with Mets was much more successful: He batted .256 along with hitting a team high 29 home runs, prior to his trade. After injuries to Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores, Bruce saw his first action at first base since 2014 when he started there on April 20, 2017.
After the Mets failed to trade Bruce before the trade deadline, on August 9, 2017, the Cleveland Indians picked him up off waivers and he was exchanged for minor league pitcher Ryder Ryan. He made his first start for the Indians on August 11, 2017, batting fifth against the Tampa Bay Rays. On Thursday, September 14 he hit the walk-off double to extend the Indians' win streak to 22 games.
Return to the MetsEdit
On January 16, 2018, Bruce signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Mets. For the first half of the season, Bruce struggled offensively, hitting .212 with three home runs and 17 RBIs before being placed on the disabled list on June 19 with a hip injury.
Bruce is of Scottish ancestry. On December 1, 2012 in Houston, Texas, Bruce married Hannah Eastham, who he had been dating since early in high school. The couple welcomed its first child, Carter John Bruce, on April 27, 2016 in Texas.
- 2016 – NL All-Star
- 2013 – Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award (For Cincinnati Reds)
- 2013 – Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award
- 2012 – Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award
- 2012 – NL All-Star
- 2011 – NL All-Star
- 2010 – Tommy Edwards Sportsman of the Year
- 2007 – Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year Award
- 2007 – Baseball America Minor League All-Star
- 2007 – FSL Mid-Season All-Star
- 2006 – Baseball American Minor League All-Star
- 2006 – Midwest League (MID) Post-Season All-Star
- 2006 – MID Mid-Season All-Star
- 2006 – MID All-Star Game Top Star
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