- Marcus Hartman Staff Writer
June 7, 2005: The Reds select Bruce out of West Brook High School in Beaumont, Texas, with the 12th pick in the draft. He signed three days later. This was a strong draft that also included Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, Andrew McCutchen and Jacoby Elsbury.
2006: After hitting nine home runs and 11 doubles in 54 games in rookie ball in 2005, Bruce spent all of 2006 in Dayton. He hit .291 with 16 home runs and 81 RBIs for the Dragons.
2007: Bruce became a sensation as he mashed at three different levels in one year. After hitting .325 with 11 homers and 49 RBIs in high-Single A, he was even more dominant at Double-A, where he posted a 1.057 OPS. Bruce spent only 16 games in Chattanooga before being moved up to Triple-A Louisville, where he hit .305 with 11 homers and 25 RBIs in 50 games.
2008: Bruce made his major-league debut May 27, and it could hardly have gone better. He reached base all five times he came up in a 9-6 win over the Pirates, scoring two runs, driving in two runs and stealing a base. Four days later, he hit his first major-league home run, a dramatic walk-off solo shot against the Braves in the 10th inning. That left him batting .579 with three doubles, four RBIs and five walks.
2010: That first home run might have been his most famous if not for Sept. 28, 2010. That was the night Bruce earned the first Reds playoff appearance in 15 years with a blast to left-center field on the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth against the Astros. That clinched the National League Central division title.
2011: Bruce made the first of what would be three All-Star appearances as a Red. He went back to the Midsummer Classic a year later and again in 2016.
2014-15: After four straight seasons with an OPS over .800, the slugging lefty endured two down years. He hit just .217 with 18 homers in 137 games in 2014 then batted .226 with 26 homers in 157 games a year later. His OPS dipped to .654 and .729 those seasons.
RELATED: Bruce’s career in photos
2016: Bruce bounced back this season, posting a .265 average, 25 home runs and 80 RBIs in 97 games for the Reds before being traded to the Mets on Aug. 1. Bruce was leading the National League in RBIs at the time of the trade, and his .875 OPS was higher than any he has posted over a full season in the majors.