Jay Bruce: I want to be the best hitter in baseball

GOODYEAR, Ariz. - Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jay Bruce has made it as a big leaguer, making the All-Star Game twice already in his young career.

So what's next for the 25-year-old slugger?

"I want to be the best hitter in the game," Bruce told 9 On Your Side from Spring Training in Goodyear, Arizona Thursday.

Already with five years at the major league level under his belt, Bruce has every ability to break some records throughout his career, but he says he knows he needs to cut down on the strikeouts and avoid the prolonged slumps.

"It was hard for me last year to be upset at the end of the year... because I ended up with a Silver Slugger," Bruce said. "And that speaks volumes, but I expect so much more."

Bruce won that award in 2012 with 35 doubles, 34 home runs, 99 RBIs (all career-highs), all on a .252 batting average and .514 slugging percentage.

Bruce also strives to be the best in the field, and has even volunteered to play center if the experiment with acquisition Shin-Soo Choo doesn't work out.

But his real focus is with the bat.

"I think the big thing that I'm missing is consistency, and I've been saying that for four years now," Bruce said. "It's something I'm going to continue to work on. You can't force it, you can't rush it, but I expect to get better and to reach my goals."

A lofty goal at that to be among the ranks of Josh Hamilton and Miguel Cabrera, but with so much time left in his career, becoming the best is not out of reach.

 

9 On Your Side sports director John Popovich contributed to this report.

9 On Your Side will continue to post more stories from Goodyear, Arizona all week. For more on Reds Spring Training, go to http://live.wcpo.com/Event/Reds_Spring_Training_coverage .

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