Jay Allen Bruce
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 3", Weight 195-205 lb.
- High School West Brook High School
- Debut May 27, 2008
Outfielder Jay Bruce was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the first round of the 2005 amateur draft and signed by scout Brian Wilson. He made his pro debut that summer with the GCL Reds, where he hit .270 with 5 home runs in 37 games before being promoted to the Billings Mustangs, where he hit .257 with 4 homers in 17 games. He spent the entire 2006 season with the Dayton Dragons, hitting .291 with 16 home runs and 81 RBIs.
2007 was a remarkable year for Jay Bruce. After beginning the year at class A (Sarasota) (where he hit .325 and slugged .586), Jay was promoted to class AA (Chattanooga) where he proceeded to bat .333 and slugged .652. Still only 20 years old, Bruce was promoted once again, this time to class AAA Louisville where he batted .305 /.358 /.567. He was named the 2007 Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America.
Bruce hit .364/.393/.630 with 34 runs and 37 RBI in 49 games for Louisville to open 2008 and was called up to The Show. His major league debut was stunning as he reached base in all five plate appearances. Hitting second and playing center field in a game against Pittsburgh, Bruce drew a walk from Ian Snell in his first big-league plate appearance, then stole second. In the third, he singled against Snell. He drew another walk in the 5th and scored on an Adam Dunn homer. In the 6th, he singled off of Damaso Marte to score Paul Bako. The next inning, Bruce doubled against Marino Salas to drive home Bako once more. He drew another walk in his first plate appearance in his next game, before his streak of reaching base safely ended at six. It was the longest such streak to begin a career since Ted Cox reached base in the first seven plate appearances of his career in 1977.
On June 17, 2015, Bruce had five hits in a game against the Detroit Tigers, becoming the first Reds player to collect that many since Willy Taveras back in 2009. With his name featuring in a number of trade rumors in late July of 2016, he hit a home run in five straight games from July 23-27. He had been selected to the All-Star team for the third time earlier that month. He was leading the National League with 79 RBIs at that point. He was in fact traded on August 1st, heading to the New York Mets in return for Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell. In his first game for the Mets, he went 0 for 4 playing right field and batting third in a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on August 2nd. His first heroics came on August 4th, when he launched a three-run homer for his first hit in his new uniform after starting 0-for-10; the blast came against Nathan Eovaldi of the Yankees and helped the Mets to a 4-1 win. However, he hit only .219 in 50 games for his new team and earned some boos from the CitiField faithful as a result, although he did hit 8 homers and drive in 19 runs. Combined with his excellent start, that gave him for the year 33 homers and 99 RBIs to go along with a .250 average, he then went 0 for 3 as the Mets lost the Wild Card Game to the San Francisco Giants. There was some question about whether the Mets would retain him for 2017, but they did keep him on board, even though they also re-signed Yoennis Cespedes. He headed into the season as the projected right-fielder, and as an insurance policy at first base were Lucas Duda not to be fully recovered from the injury that cost him most of the previous season.
- 2007 Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year, Sarasota Reds, Chattanooga Lookouts and Louisville Bats
- 2008 Topps All-Star Rookie Team
- 3-time NL All-Star (2011, 2012 & 2016)
- 2-time NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (2012 & 2013)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 8 (2008-2013, 2015 & 2016)
- 30-Home Run Seasons: 4 (2011-2013 & 2016)
- 100 RBI Seasons: 1 (2013)
- Bob Nightengale: "Mets glad they hung on to Jay Bruce, who's ready to take bite out of Big Apple", mlb.com, USA Today Sports, March 2, 2017. 
- Mark Sheldon: "Bruce puts focus on field, not trade speculation; Two-time All-Star: Reds organization is 'much more to me than just a baseball team'", mlb.com, February 21, 2016.