Mets360 2018 projections: Jay Bruce

What a difference a year makes. This time last season, there were a ton of doubts surrounding Jay Bruce and what he would deliver for the Mets. Now he’s viewed as perhaps the surest bet there is among the team’s position players. His durability is well established and seemingly no one talks about him returning to the struggles he had in 2014-15. Here’s what our panel thinks:

PA AVG OBP SLG HR RBI fWAR
Dalton Allison 520 .250 .397 .492 32 100 1.2
Joe Barbieri 592 .253 .333 .474 27 91 1.8
John Fox 570 .250 .330 .501 30 101 2.5
David Groveman 560 .241 .308 .483 29 88 2.4
Charlie Hangley 593 .262 .337 .486 27 78 2.1
Brian Joura 615 .256 .321 .520 35 101 3.0
Mike Koehler 625 .250 .325 .475 30 100 2.6
Matt Netter 585 .251 .339 .501 36 97 2.5
Jim O’Malley 580 .253 .320 .480 29 92 3.1
Rob Rogan 575 .250 .315 .500 34 95 2.3
Mike Walczak 620 .260 .320 .480 36 91 1.9

Perhaps the most interesting thing here is that while we all seem to agree on what type of AVG hitter Bruce is, there’s quite a bit of range with his forecasted OBP. David leads the bears with a .308 mark while Dalton paces the bulls, predicting a .397 mark. But if we throw out those high and low marks, we see that the OBP predicted by the rest of us falls into the same tight area that AVG does, with marks ranging from .315 to .337.

Another thing that stands out is the expected RBI total from Charlie. Despite one of the higher PA forecasts, Charlie does not see many RBIs coming from Bruce, with a prediction of 78. On the flip side, two panelists forecast 100 RBIs and two more project 101.

The wild card category is fWAR. Bruce has been all over the map here recently. From 2010 to 2013, Bruce was over 2.5 each season, with a high of 5.1 fWAR. But he posted a mark below 1.0 the following three years, including a (-0.8) mark in 2014. While Bruce’s hitting rebounded in 2016, his defense held him back, as he posted a (-8.9) UZR and a (-11) DRS. Bruce’s defense has been solid in his two partial seasons with the Mets. Our panel has no consensus on how Bruce will fare this year, with forecasts ranging from 1.2 to 3.1 in fWAR.

Here’s our official group forecast:

2017   2018
617 PA 585
.254 AVG .251
.324 OBP .325
.508 SLG .486
36 HR 31
101 RBIs 94
2.7 fWAR 2.3

Our expectation is for an offensive season a tick below last year for Bruce, with a drop in SLG accounting for nearly all of the difference. Our fWAR prediction is lower, too, which means we see him having a similar baserunning/defense season as he did in 2017. So, is that optimistic? Here’s what the computer models think:

PA AVG OBP SLG HR RBI fWAR
Marcel 567 .245 .313 .480 29 87  
Mets360 585 .251 .325 .486 31 94 2.3
Steamer 530 .239 .308 .464 26 76 0.8
ZiPS 583 .257 .321 .483 28 97 1.7

While ours in the most optimistic across the board, our offensive forecast is right in line with what both Marcel and ZiPS projects. However, Steamer doesn’t think that Bruce will fare well at all in 2018, either on offense or defense.

Check back tomorrow for the next entry in our projection series.

3 comments for “Mets360 2018 projections: Jay Bruce

  1. b
    March 6, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Bruce is a big wheel for2018

  2. Metictated
    March 6, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Whats AGon been displaying so far?. Because if we have a productive outfield, a Bruce platoon at first with Flores is a distinct possibility. Bruce said he could become more than competent at First, if necessary

    • March 6, 2018 at 4:26 pm

      Gonzalez hit a double today, bringing his AVG up to .167

      Allegedly, Bruce only plays 1B in an emergency. I wish they were more open to playing him there, especially if Lagares and/or Nimmo get hot while Conforto’s out.

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