by Kyle Smego
Published: March 26, 2007, 7:40 pm
"Future Playmakers" is a weekly column that deals with minor-league and on-the-rise youngsters in fantasy baseball. Primarily geared toward fantasy baseball dynasty league and keeper league owners, our goal is to familiarize you with players who may have future impact in the fantasy baseball world.
By now, Jay Bruce is on most dynasty owner’s radars. After being drafted 12th overall in the 2005 First Year Player Draft, Bruce cruised through the Midwest League and has cracked MLB.com’s Top 50 Prospect List (#8) and Baseball Prospectus Top 100 (#9). He is a five-tool player with eye-popping power, above average base path speed and has been called the “best pure hitter in the minor leagues”. If it wasn’t for a nagging injury in August his stat line for 2006 would likely look even more impressive. His OPS by month in 2006 (April/.805, May/.894, June/1.060, July/.928, August/.514). 49% of his hits in 2006 were XBH (68 singles, 42 doubles, 5 triples, 16 HR).
What’s to like: All around, above-average tools. MLB scouts have called him the “complete package”. Size and athleticism
Needs to improve: Hitting LHP (.236 BA, 36 K in 123 AB), Cut down strikeouts (106 K in 444 AB)
2007 Fantasy Impact: None. Bruce will start 2007 in A and will likely move to Double-AA as the season progresses. A late season call-up is possible although we will most likely see him in the majors in 2008.
Long-term Impact: It’s hard to project a player based on only one full season of low-A ball, but he has the physical make-up and tools to be an All-Star at the major league level. Only time will tell if he can continue to mature and develop his skills as he climbs levels. In dynasty leagues that allow you to stash minor leaguers on your bench, Bruce would be a fantastic addition. For all other leagues, keep your eye on his progress in 2007, but consider him a top prospect that owners will be drooling over in next year’s drafts.
MLB Player Comparisons: Jim Edmonds, often compared to Larry Walker
Accolades: 2006 Baseball America Minor League All-Star
2006 Baseball America Class A All-Star
2006 Midwest League All-Star (Star of the Stars Award/MVP)
ETA: Late 2008
Note: Please do not hotlink the images
Next week: Scott Elbert, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers