For the New York Mets to get past the Washington Nationals in the National League East, they’re going to need some powerful hitting to go along with their timely pitching. That’s why they traded for right-fielder Jay Bruce last summer before the MLB trade deadline. Bruce and the Mets will host the Nationals Saturday, April 22 on FS1.
Bruce is enjoying his first full season with the Mets, who have made the MLB playoffs each of the past two seasons. After losing to the Kansas City Royals in the 2015 World Series, the Mets finished eight games behind the Nationals in the NL East last season and bowed to the San Francisco Giants in the Wild Card game.
For Bruce, last season was his fourth trip to the playoffs. He came into the Majors with the Cincinnati Reds during the 2008 season and quickly established himself as their starting right-fielder. His strong arm and power from the left side of the plate were welcome commodities to a team that was becoming an established contender at the time. Bruce was a big part of the Reds teams that under manager Dusty Baker (who currently manages the Nationals) enjoyed playoff runs in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
But the Reds’ small-market woes caught up to them and they quickly regressed after letting Baker go in 2013. They’ve since dealt a plethora of quality players, including Bruce, to other teams. In New York, Bruce has a chance to flourish in a market that can afford to pull some strings, including financially, to be a winner.
Full Name: Jay Allen Bruce
Born: April 3, 1987
Birthplace: Beaumont, Texas
Height/Weight: 6 foot 3 inches/224 pounds
Position: Right Field
Teams: New York Mets, 2016 – present; Cincinnati Reds, 2008 – 2016
Honors and Achievements: NL All-Star, 2011 – 2012, 2016; Silver Slugger Award, 2012, 2013