The First 500: Part Two

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On May 31st I wrote a blog post talking about the first 500 games that a player plays telling a story about where that player is going.  In the article I compared a number of Reds Hall of Fame players to members of the current roster to gain perspective on their relative impact disregarding differences in era.  Well Jay Bruce has now crossed that threshold and has reached 500 games.  He is as inconsistent as ever but when he is hot he is one of the most amazing players in the game of baseball.  The question is, does he measure up to the standards of his predecessors or are we asking/expecting too much from him?  I guess we will just have to see!

First, to review, here are the stats of selected Reds luminaries as they crested the 500 game mark:

As you might suspect when perusing the statistical performance of a group of Hall of Famers, these guys were good.

The next group are the Reds players on the roster who are comfortably over 500 games and have played the game with success.  I added in new data here concerning Miguel Cairo, Ramon Hernandez and Edgar Renteria.

Next comes Jay Bruce who hit the 99th home run in his blossoming career last night in what was his 502nd game.  When you consider that only Frank Robinson and Eric Davis broke 100 HRs in 500 games and further realize only Robinson was younger you begin to grasp the magnitude of his accomplishment.  Jay Bruce is a lot better than many Reds fans give him credit for.  His wild stretches of hot and cold seem to convince a few disgruntled people he isn’t that good but if he continues to work on hitting breaking pitches he could blossom into a hitter of legendary proportions.

My estimation back in May proved to be quite accurate in predicting Jay’s performance so let’s look at 3 more members of the Reds roster who have more than 250 games under their belt to provide a decent sample from which to base an estimation on.

Ryan Hanigan looks set to be an excellent backup to Devin Mesoraco next season so the number of games he catches is left to interpretation and if Zack Cozart returns healthy in spring training he will certainly be the heir apparent at short as Paul Janish‘s numbers are not worthy of a playoff run.

Finally we have Drew Stubbs; a player with such promise if he can learn to discipline his swing and cut down his strikeout rate.  He will be the next player to reach the 500 game plateau on this roster and like Bruce he could be on the brink of greatness but it will take a diligent effort this off season.  He is trying to adjust in my opinion and this season the result has been less power without reducing total strikeouts.  I am hopeful he will come full circle next season and regain a little power while striking out 50 less times.  What a difference that would make!

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