Jay Bruce has the rudimentary understanding of sabermetrics and he grasps the concept of BABIP. However, the Reds right fielder declined the opportunity to write off his .223 batting average of 2009 to a poor BABIP.
"People have told me about it but you can't use it as an excuse," Bruce said. "Your batting average is what it is. I hit .223 last season."
Bruce's BABIP was an extraordinarily low .221 in 387 plate appearances in '09. The league average is usually around .300.
"I did feel like I hit in some tough luck last year," Bruce admitted. "But I don't know if I really did or not. I don't really get caught up in statistics. Ultimately, you just have to go out and perform. I did feel I had a productive season, though, despite the low batting average. I didn't go home feeling like I had a horrible season."
Bruce hit 22 home runs and had an outstanding .246 isolated power figure as he slugged .467. It was mentioned to Bruce that players who have low BABIPs usually regress to the mean the following season, meaning more balls should fall in for him in 2010.
Bruce smiled and had a slightly understandable skeptical look on his face. Bruce carried a .146 batting average into Sunday's game against the Pirates at PNC Park and his BABIP was just .191, albeit in the small sample size of 46 plate appearances.
"I hope you're right," Bruce said with a smile. "I could use a few hits."