Posted by Thomas Brennan at 10:00 AM
Tom Brennan - BRUCE VS. CONFORTO
Jay Bruce is an established slugger – and we Metsies are gunning for a pennant and World Series in 2017 – so should we REALLY be moving Bruce to save his $13 million in money due? Would his bat serve us better if it stays in Queens?
Would it weaken our team to have Michael Conforto pick up a ton of his at bats, if/when Bruce is traded?
I fall on the side of NO, it would not weaken the team.
Bruce hit about .240 in his first 2 years in the bigs, and overall, over a 162 game schedule, he has in his career averaged 593 at bats, 31 doubles, 31 homers, 94 RBIs, 158 Ks, and a line of .248/.318/.467.
Conforto has only 478 career at bats so far – in those, he has a very similar stat line (.238/.319/.448) despite a horrendous soph slump and a larger home park than Bruce's past Cincy home park to hit in.
Projected over 593 at bats, to match Bruce’s 162 game average, Conforto’s numbers work out to 43 doubles, 26 homers, 84 RBIs, and yes, the same 158 Ks.
Bruce started his MLB career slightly younger than Conforto, but not significantly so, therefore I ignore age differential as an impactful factor.
Bruce hit just .223 as a soph, but in his 3rd year, Bruce hit a career best .283 with a .353 OBP and a .493 slug %. Maybe Conforto can replicate that Bruce pattern in his third year - we'd all gladly take that.
If one assumes that the .422/.483/.722 that Conforto hit in Vegas in a bit over 140 plate appearances after his horrific 2016 slump and demotion is a sign that the dude just had a bad stretch in the bigs that was abnormal to his true level of talent, and which he will overcome, and that Juan Lagares can take at bats vs. lefties instead of the lefty-challenged Conforto, I feel good about moving Bruce.
What do you think, folks?