Mets bring back Jay Bruce: Fantasy fallout

Jay Bruce is heading back to the Mets on a three-year deal. What is the fantasy fallout of the deal?

The MLB hot stove has been rather chilly, yet things have started to pick up. Jay Bruce’s time in the Queens was an interesting time the first time around when he was dealt there by the Reds in 2016. But, once seemingly settled in last season, he posted a career-best campaign for the Mets.

Can he continue that now that he is back in New York?

Jay Bruce enters 2018 in his 11th MLB season. After spending nine years with the Reds, and a brief 43 game cameo in 2017 with the Indians, Bruce will head to the Mets for his third time. He did struggle initially with the move to New York, and his name was in all kinds of trade rumors before last season.

Yet, Bruce put all that aside and reminded everyone why he was a middle of the order force for so long in Cincy. He ended 2017 with a .254/36 HR/101 RBI/.832 OPS line in 146 games. The homer output was a career high, the RBI total the highest since 2013, and his OPS the highest since 2012.

Bruce was even able to raise his BB rate to 9.2%, once again the highest since 2012. He simply had a resurgence in all aspects of his game.

Fantasy owners should also find confidence in Bruce’s batted ball data. He notched 21% LD, 33% GB, 47% FB, 48% Med and 40% Hard contact rates. What immediately jumps off the page are the Hard and Med contact numbers. Bruce has also been a FB heavy hitter, but to see those levels of hard contact, it should put to bed the idea that his power may be waning.

He still struggles versus lefties, .222/9 HR/24 RBI/.718 OPS. Yet, also continued to mash righties, .268/27 HR/77 RBI/.883 OPS. Playing at Citi Field does him no favors, and that is clear in his splits as he hit 21 HR of his 36 on the road.

The Mets have a lot of bodies in the OF, but Bruce will certainly find time in one of the corner spots. But, there is also the opening at first base, and the Mets have already said he will see more time there. Hopefully, the time at first could allow him to save his legs some and help lower the chances he struggles in the second half.

Heading into 2018, the Mets will rely on Bruce to continue to be a power source behind Yoenis Cespedes. In terms of fantasy, Brue is an underrated middle-round selection. A .250/30 HR/100 RBI line still holds a ton of value, and he will be there in the mid-rounds as most owners tend to pass over him while chasing upside options.

There is always something to be said about reliability, and Bruce still offers that.