Reds outfielder Jay Bruce keeps himself informed on what’s going on around the game. And not just his 2005 draft class, either. The 20-year-old outfielder for Triple-A Louisville stopped by the Q-Shack Sunday, a Baseball America favorite in the lunchtime rotation, for a long chat. We’ll have more on Bruce in the coming weeks, but here are some nuggets on his thoughts about certain players he’s faced or seen this season:
On Tigers outfielder Cameron Maybin’s first major league hit and home run Saturday, both off Roger Clemens at Yankee Stadium: “I was watching in the clubhouse and just started going nuts when he hit the home run. You knew that third time (when Clemens plunked Maybin in the wrist), [Clemens] wasn’t going to allow him to get comfortable. Maybin can do it all and it’s awesome to see. He completely deserves it, and I couldn’t be happier for the guy.”
On Yankees righthander Joba Chamberlain: “When I met him at the Futures Game, I just knew he was something different. He’s so loose; just his presence is great for any team. As a starter, the stuff is nasty. He’ll show you 95, 96 and then he’s got that slider. I don’t think I’d want to face him out of the pen, where he’s so locked in. 95 or 96 becomes 100 easy, and the movement and velocity on his slider just get that much better. He’s just a great addition to any team and any clubhouse.”
On Devil Rays righthander Mitch Talbot, who Triple-A Louisville has faced three times in the last two weeks: “It’s weird. The first time we faced him he was 93-94 with a cutter. The second time he was 85-86 with a cutter and then this last time he was 90-91 with a cutter. He’s hard to get a read on. But he’s got an outstanding changeup to go along with all those other pitches. He can be really tough.”
On Devil Rays third baseman Evan Longoria: “Talk about a presence. He knows he’s good, he knows he’s talented without being cocky about it. Just the way he carries himself it’s like you’re talking about a major league veteran. He’s got such a great approach about the way he goes about it, it’s something a lot of younger guys can learn from.”
On Pirates first baseman Steven Pearce, whom Bruce is currently in a head-to-head battle with for the most extra base hits in the minors: “He’s a great hitter who doesn’t strike out much at all. He’s patient, and even though he’s got that all-or-nothing swing, he never, ever misses his pitch and he always gets it on the barrel. He’s having a ridiculous year and is just a lot of fun to watch.”
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