Bruce claims second straight Silver Slugger Award
Reds star led all right fielders in homers, RBIs, doubles and extra-base hits
CINCINNATI -- In a results-oriented game, Reds right fielder Jay Bruce decided this past season not to dwell so much on his daily results and concentrated more on his approach.
Bruce's results remained strong. For the second straight year, he was named a winner of a National League Silver Slugger Award on Wednesday.
"I believe when you focus on the process and really have something that you can stand on -- no matter what -- something you can go back and touch as far as the drills you do, keeping your body in shape, getting your rest and stuff like that," Bruce said after winning the award. "Those are the things that allow you to be successful. It's something I really focused on this year."
Silver Sluggers, which are presented by Louisville Slugger, are awarded annually to the best offensive players at each position in each league. Voting was conducted by Major League managers and coaches, using batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage as key statistics. Voters could not include players from their own team on their ballots.
Bruce won a Silver Slugger Award for the first time in 2012. He was the only Reds player to receive one last year and that was the case once again this year.
"It means a ton, it really does," Bruce said. "This is my second one and it doesn't feel any less exciting, that's for sure. To have had the best offensive season in your league for your position is something I don't take lightly. Frankly, it's part of what I'm supposed to do as a right fielder. In my opinion, these are the types of seasons I'm supposed to have."
Bruce, 26, batted .262 with 30 home runs and a career-high 109 RBIs in 160 games, also the most in his career. He was tied for second in the NL in RBIs, ranked third in homers and tied for third with 43 doubles. Among all Major League right fielders, Bruce led in homers, RBIs, doubles and extra-base hits.
Not since shortstop Barry Larkin won nine from 1988-99 have the Reds had a multiple Silver Slugger Award winner. Outfielder Eric Davis was a two-time winner in 1987 and '89.
Only three Reds players have ever put together a season with at least 40 doubles, 30 homers and 100 RBIs -- Frank Robinson (1962), Dave Parker (1985) and Bruce.
Continuing to compile numbers quickly since his Reds debut as a 21-year-old in 2008, Bruce is one of only 15 players in Major League history to hit at least 20 homers in each of his first six seasons.
For the first time in his career, Bruce is heading into an offseason regime change. His only manager -- Dusty Baker -- is out and pitching coach Bryan Price was promoted to skipper of a team that won 90 games in 2013 before being eliminated from the postseason in the NL Wild Card Game by the Pirates. Price's coaching staff remains in flux as interviews are ongoing this week. There could be some holdovers, although it seems likely that hitting coach Brook Jacoby will be replaced.
"I'd be lying if I said it didn't affect me a little bit," Bruce said. "I think the transition is going to be very, very smooth when it comes to Bryan and the relationships he's already made with the players. He's done a great job with that. For me, I just make sure I handle my things in the offseason. Bryan has already reached out to me. I think it's going to be a great year, and hopefully great years to come for the Reds."
Bruce doesn't know who his hitting coach will be, but has already been in contact with video scouting manager Rob Coughlin to prepare himself for 2014.
"I want to continue to get better, physically, in the offseason," Bruce said. "I want to do more stretching. That's something I've always wanted to do more of. Stretch more and be more limber. Hopefully, that can help through a full season. As far as next season, just be better. Be more efficient. Identify the things that cause me to fail. I think there are different ways to do that.
"I believe being the best version of yourself is what's going to get the most out of your talent level. That's what I'm focusing on. I'm trying to shore up the loose ends and the things that cause me to not be the player that I think I can be up to this point. I think that I've gotten better every year and I think I'm going to continue to get better."