(pictured from top to bottom: Pedro Alvarez and Jay Bruce) (photos by: http://www.usatoday.com)
Pedro Alvarez and Jay Bruce are two National League power hitters that are slowly but surely becoming stars. Ironically, both of these superb hitters are 26 years old and seem to be doing similar things out on the diamond. Another similarity between Alvarez and Bruce is that they both play on teams in the NL West. Alvarez plays third baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Jay Bruce is positioned out in right field for the Cincinnati Reds. The consistent play of Alvarez and Bruce has aided the Reds(44-32, 3.5 GB) and Pirates(45-30, 2 GB) in trying to catch up to the first place St.Louis Cardinals(47-28). It took Bruce and Alvarez some time to reach such heights in their career but they seem to have found their niches in the majors.
Bruce is in his sixth year in the MLB and was always regarded as a guy with some pop in his bat. In 2008, at the age of 21, Bruce had an impressive rookie season in which he blasted 21 home runs and drove in 52 runs. His numbers increased every year and now Bruce has gone from an expected 20-homer, 50 RBI guy to a 25-30 home run and 90 RBI guy. It is hard for some players to get better every year because of the pressure to live up to standards but pressure obviously has made Bruce one of the most deadly hitters in the MLB. Bruce is fifth in the NL in home runs(18) and RBI(54). He is having a monster 2013 campaign thus far. At 6’3″ and 215 pounds, Bruce is a guy who punishes opposing pitchers!
On the other hand, Pedro Alvarez is a 6’3″, 235 pound slugger, who is becoming a star right before our eyes. You know those hitters from the Dominican Republic who come around every so often and can change the game with one swing of the bat? Well…Alvarez is that type of guy! He played his college ball at Vanderbilt but is from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Alvarez made his debut in 2010 and ended his rookie year with 16 HR and 64 RBI. His stats took a major plunge in 2011 but in 2012, Alvarez hit 30 long balls and had 85 RBI. Now in his fourth year, Alvarez is tied for second in the NL in home runs with 19 and has driven in 51 runs. Alvarez can flat out tear the cover off of the ball!
Bruce and Alvarez are becoming some of the most promising hitters in the MLB. They are still young and have a ton of home runs to hit. Dating back to one year ago from this very day, Alvarez’s 35 home runs and Bruce’s 36 home runs are the most of any other players in the NL during that time period. That stat right there just shows how much these two 26-year-olds are ready to blow up. Both of them are ready to take it up a notch. Jay Bruce and Pedro Alvarez are kicking in the door of stardom!