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No Wrong Answer: Bruce or Jones?

Back in the offseason of 2008, there was significant discussion abouthow the Baltimore Orioles had whittled down their potential tradepartners for starter Erik Bedard to just two teams: the CincinnatiReds and Seattle Mariners. If Bedard was traded to the Mariners, as hewas, the centerpiece of the deal all along was believed to be centerfielder Adam Jones. Jones was considered by many scouts to be alegitimate five-tool player. As we now know, Jones' skills (along withSeattle sweetening the deal by throwing in four more players,including starter Chris Tillman were too much for the O's to pass up,and they made the deal

Had they decided to go in the other direction, and consummate thetrade with the Reds, you might be surprised to find out who thecenterpiece of the deal would have been. It was still an outfielder,but one of the corner variety. The Reds, in order to acquire Bedard,were allegedly willing to part with young Jay Bruce. Bruce had beenrocketing through their farm system and was seen within theorganization as untouchable, a can't-miss-kind-of-guy.

But there was talk about that deal happening, so it got me thinking.

If I had my choice as an O's fan between the deal that got done, andthe deal that could have gotten done, which young star outfielderwould I choose?

Bruce has been in the big leagues for a couple of years, and he hasbeen solid. So far this season, and specifically in May when he was named N.L. Player of the Month, he'sbeen one of the most dangerous hitters in all of baseball. His lineduring the past month was staggering, .342/.402/.739, and he blasted12 home runs to go along with 33 RBIs. He is in line for a definiteand well-deserved All-Star game appearance and, paired with 2010 MVPJoey Votto gives the Reds the most dangerous 1-2 punch in theNational League. It’s true that he may have finally turned the corner,but would I want him on the Orioles instead of Jones?

To be perfectly honest, I would still take Jones if I hadto do over again. While Bruce is a tremendous hitter, Jones is noslouch himself. He is currently batting .296 with seven homeruns and30 RBIs. Numbers that fall short of Bruce's, but that still show hisvast potential (he's still only 25).

It's on the defensive side of the ball that this tie is broken, atleast in my opinion. Bruce is solid with the glove, no doubt. He won'tlose any games in right field and he has a strong, accurate arm. Jones,on the other hand, is the best young center fielder I've seen in 10years and when he is really on his game, reminds me a whole lot of KenGriffey Jr. You can't overvalue the importance of having someone incenter field who can just flat-out play the position. His instincts,athleticism, speed, and intelligence would make him top-five in aheartbeat, but he also features the best outfield arm in baseball. Hehas made several plays this year that have made my jaw drop, mostrecently on Wednesday, when he made this play.

So, Jones or Bruce. Who'd you rather have on your team? Tweet me @rwags614

Back in the offseason of 2008, there was significant discussion abouthow the Baltimore Orioles had whittled down their potential tradepartners for starter Erik Bedard to just two teams: the CincinnatiReds and Seattle Mariners. If Bedard was traded to the Mariners, as hewas, the centerpiece of the deal all along was believed to be centerfielder Adam Jones. Jones was considered by many scouts to be alegitimate five-tool player. As we now know, Jones' skills (along withSeattle sweetening the deal by throwing in four more players,including starter Chris Tillman were too much for the O's to pass up,and they made the deal

Had they decided to go in the other direction, and consummate thetrade with the Reds, you might be surprised to find out who thecenterpiece of the deal would have been. It was still an outfielder,but one of the corner variety. The Reds, in order to acquire Bedard,were allegedly willing to part with young Jay Bruce. Bruce had beenrocketing through their farm system and was seen within theorganization as untouchable, a can't-miss-kind-of-guy.

But there was talk about that deal happening, so it got me thinking.

If I had my choice as an O's fan between the deal that got done, andthe deal that could have gotten done, which young star outfielderwould I choose?

Bruce has been in the big leagues for a couple of years, and he hasbeen solid. So far this season, and specifically in May when he was named N.L. Player of the Month, he'sbeen one of the most dangerous hitters in all of baseball. His lineduring the past month was staggering, .342/.402/.739, and he blasted12 home runs to go along with 33 RBIs. He is in line for a definiteand well-deserved All-Star game appearance and, paired with 2010 MVPJoey Votto gives the Reds the most dangerous 1-2 punch in theNational League. It’s true that he may have finally turned the corner,but would I want him on the Orioles instead of Jones?

To be perfectly honest, I would still take Jones if I hadto do over again. While Bruce is a tremendous hitter, Jones is noslouch himself. He is currently batting .296 with seven homeruns and30 RBIs. Numbers that fall short of Bruce's, but that still show hisvast potential (he's still only 25).

It's on the defensive side of the ball that this tie is broken, atleast in my opinion. Bruce is solid with the glove, no doubt. He won'tlose any games in right field and he has a strong, accurate arm. Jones,on the other hand, is the best young center fielder I've seen in 10years and when he is really on his game, reminds me a whole lot of KenGriffey Jr. You can't overvalue the importance of having someone incenter field who can just flat-out play the position. His instincts,athleticism, speed, and intelligence would make him top-five in aheartbeat, but he also features the best outfield arm in baseball. Hehas made several plays this year that have made my jaw drop, mostrecently on Wednesday, when he made this play.

So, Jones or Bruce. Who'd you rather have on your team? Tweet me @rwags614

Baltimore Orioles, Adam Jones