Sarris: Reds slugger Jay Bruce on hitting

From SABR member Eno Sarris at FanGraphs on July 2, 2014:

Before a game against the Padres, I sat down with Reds outfielder Jay Bruce to talk about his frustrating season so far, divorcing process from results, the value of routine, and his hitting approach in general. The player was so eloquent that it seemed best to leave his words alone.

Eno Sarris: I read a great piece you did with Trent Rosecrans recently. I thought it was very heartfelt and honest. When you said that in the past you felt what it feels like to be lost, and that you don’t really feel that this year, and about divorcing results from process. I wonder if you could talk a little bit more about the lost feeling — how did you feel that was so different then?

 Jay Bruce: My whole life, I had not really had a fall back on routine. I just kinda played baseball and was really good at it, but everyone here is really good at baseball. Up until I got to the major leagues in 2009, I had never struggled anywhere. I mean I hit .270 in the GCL…

And you still hit for power. [.230 ISO]

Yeah. There was never really any reason to question what I was doing or why I was doing it or why I wasn’t doing it. I just always played. Just played baseball and the results came to what I thought they should have been and what the standard I had set for myself based on performances in the past. 2009 was the first time I wasn’t performing to the level I had expected and I didn’t have something to fall back on. What now? What do I do now?

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Originally published: July 2, 2014. Last Updated: July 2, 2014.