Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/29/14
As I’ve said in pieces past, I like to write on topics the audience is talking about. So when I was presented with the name Paul O’Neill, I couldn’t back down. I saw this as an opportunity to touch on a player some may have forgotten about, after his disagreement with then team manager Lou Piniella, and trade to the New York Yankees, as well as a way to brush up on my Reds facts, stats and history. For some of the unfamiliar Reds fans, here’s some background. O’Neill spent five seasons as a starter for the Reds, including being a part of the 1990 World Series squad. O’Neill was drafted in the fourth round of the 1981 Amateur Draft. However, he did not debut until September of 1985, and became a starter in 1988. He spent the next seven years, after ’85, with the Cincinnati Reds, including the ever-famous 1990 World Series team. While with the Redlegs, O’Neill hit 96 home runs, 411 RBIs and achieved a .270 batting average. Jay Bruce, a more recent light within the red and white uniforms, has been with the team for six years now. Bruce was drafted in the 2005 Amateur Draft as the no. 12 overall pick. He made his major league debut in 2008 and has been with the Reds ever since. In his tenure, he has clocked 34 balls out of the park, 14 of them being in the 2013 season and owns a .277 batting average. Bruce’s 14 home runs is enough to take over the home run lead for the Reds this season, claiming that stat from Joey Votto, who leads the team in three other categories (batting average, on-base percentage and hits). So, simply, who is/was better? Right now, Bruce is hitting .304/.338/.580 in the month of June. He’s clubbed a home run in four of his past six games and has stolen multiple game changing home runs from opponents, including notable ones from the latest Cardinals and the Pirates. O’Neill checked out of his final season with the Reds in 1992 (statistically, his best season) with only 16 home runs and a batting average of .246. Bruce’s seasonal average: .278. Bruce is playing with some modern day (Reds) greats. The team has Votto, Phillips, a decent pitching rotation and guys that get on base. In fact, the Reds are No. 5 in Major League Baseball in terms of OBP (.330). And Bruce is helping them get there. My final count: Bruce has just got the edge on O’Neill. Playing with legends, such as Barry Larkin, Ken Griffy Sr., and Eric Davis, O’Neill was right up there with some of them. But with Bruce on track for somewhere around 32-36 home runs, an average of .275 and maybe even another postseason appearance, I’d have to go with Bruce to put on my roster. Note: While I was writing this piece, Bruce hit his 14th home run of the season in the ninth inning last night, and then Brandon Phillips won the game in 13 innings in walk-off fashion. If you missed it, take a look.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Shanahan interested in coaching next season

Report: Michigan has its eye on several NFL coaches

Report: Titans, Jay Cutler have mutual interest in trade

Phillies GM told Ryan Howard team is better off without him

Report: Browns interested in drafting Marcus Mariota

Chargers keep playoff hopes alive with comeback win

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Robin Lopez responds to Khloe Kardashian dating rumors

Report: Jermaine O'Neal 'intrigued' about joining Mavs

Report: Robert Griffin III likely to return to Redskins

Izzo criticizes coaches, players after embarrassing loss

Report: Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

Is Rampage Jackson heading back to the UFC?

WATCH: Johnny Manziel leaves with injury after taking big hit

NHL has warned 22 players about diving

Nick Mangold wears NYDP hat to honor fallen officers

Five things we learned from the first day of bowl games

WATCH: South Alabama coach bloodied after kick to the face

Dan Mullen wears funny 'Christmas Vacation' sweater

WATCH: Redskins FB gets in Eagles fan's face after TD

WATCH: Utah runs trick play on first offensive play of game

Mick Cronin misses game with unruptured aneurysm

Steve Alford: Kentucky is best team I've coached against

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell ejected for throwing punch

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.