Jay Bruce: 1,000 RBI and 1,500 hits
Phillies outfielder Jay Bruce is approaching two major career milestones this season: 1,000 RBI and 1,500 hits. He’s 66 RBI away from the first milestone and 68 hits away from 1,500 going into his 13th big league season.
A lot will depend on whether Bruce will play enough games to reach those marks. After appearing in at least 100 games in his first 10 big league seasons Bruce has transitioned into a valuable bench player and platoon outfielder. His bat is what keeps him in the big leagues and the potential for a designated hitter in the National League could prolong his career.
Last year Bruce had 67 hits in 98 games between Seattle and Philadelphia. He missed time due to injuries and went from having a bigger role in Seattle to coming off the bench in Philadelphia.
He also had 59 RBI last year, so he’s going to be tight on hitting both of those numbers this year.
I think it’s more likely Bruce has 68 hits than 66 RBI; he’s had at least 67 hits in every season of his career but has had six seasons with less than 70 RBI.
Baseball Reference projects Bruce to finish with 85 hits and 59 RBI, which would fit into our projection that he’ll just miss the RBI mark.
Andrew McCutchen’s injury could lead to more playing time for Bruce, which means he’s more likely to get those illustrious numbers.