Phillies outfielder Jay Bruce has changed representation and is now a client of Excel Sports Management, tweets Robert Murray. He’d previously been repped by Sosnick, Cobbe and Karon but sought new representation after his agent, Matt Sosnick, left the company following an arrest on charges of domestic violence. The agency has since rebranded as Apex Baseball.
Apex still retains a number of notable high-end clients (Pete Alonso, Blake Snell, Max Kepler, Blake Treinen, Mitch Haniger and Brendan McKay among them). Right-hander Chad Bettis also departed prior to the rebrand, hiring CAA Baseball to represent him moving forward.
The 32-year-old Bruce had a bizarre 2019 season, ranking ninth in the Majors (min. 300 plate appearances) with a career-high .306 isolated power mark (slugging minus batting average). But despite being one of baseball’s most powerful hitters in 2019, Bruce’s .261 OBP ranked 270th of 273 hitters with that same 300-PA minimum.
One might think that Bruce suddenly became extremely prone to strikeouts or infield flies to drive down his average and OBP, but that wasn’t the case. His 24.6 percent strikeout rate wasn’t outlandish by today’s standards, nor were the eight infield flies he registered. He batted just .121 on grounders, though, suggesting that he was particularly prone to outs via the shift. Even still, his .200 average on balls in play seems ripe for positive regression in 2020.
Bruce is signed through the 2020 season under the three-year, $39MM contract he inked with the Mets prior to the 2018 campaign and will be a free agent for the second time in his career next offseason. He’ll join Didi Gregorius, Michael Brantley, Joc Pederson and Jake Odorizzi among notable Excel free agents next winter.
The change in representation for Bruce has been updated in MLBTR’s Agency Database, which contains agency info on more than 2,500 players in both the big leagues and the minors. If you see any errors or omissions, please let us know via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.