It’s been a weird season for Cincinnati Reds slugger Jay Bruce. He had an absolutely atrocious April, hitting just .252/.312/.339 with, most unusual of all, only 1 home run. Bruce is known for his power, so the 1 home run was definitely a bad sign. However, Bruce has really turned that around, bringing his numbers on the season up to .271/.318/.500 with 18 homers and 60 RBIs. According to ESPN, he has already eclipsed last year’s number for WAR (1.4) by a big margin, being worth 2.6 wins so far.
However, despite actually being on pace to finish better than the past 2 seasons, Bruce will not be an All Star for the first time in the last 3 years. However, his numbers definitely are All Star worthy. Bruce’s slugging percentage of .500 has him ranked among the top 6 outfielders in the NL. He is number 4 for NL Outfielders in home runs, third in RBIs, tied for first in doubles, and in the top 10 for OPS.
However, despite arguably having a better season than All Star starter Bryce Harper (.276 average, 12 homers, 29 RBIs) he was not selected to play for the National League in the 2013 All Star Game, neither as a starter nor as a reserve. With the crop of NL outfielders being unusually strong this season, Bruce’s omission isn’t all that surprising. However, with the numbers he has put up despite a terrible April, he deserves to be playing for the NL in the All Star game.