Is Jason Bay CitiField’s Next Victim?

It’s been a roller coaster ride for Jason Bay and fantasy owners over the past few years.  In 2007 it seemed like his days as a stud fantasy outfielder appeared were over (.247, 21 HR, 84 RBI), but a year and a half spent in Boston has clearly reinvigorated his value.

You don’t have to look further than his 2009 campaign for proof:

531 At Bats
.267 Batting Average (142 Hits)
36 Home Runs
119 RBI
103 Runs
13 Stolen Bases
.384 On Base Percentage
.537 Slugging Percentage
.318 Batting Average on Balls in Play

That 2007 season clearly appears to be the anomaly:

  • He’s had 31 or more home runs in four of the last five seasons
  • He’s had 101 or more RBI in four of the last five seasons
  • He’s scored 101 or more runs in four of the last five seasons
  • He’s had double-digit stolen bases in four of the last five seasons

The exception for all of the above four statements?  2007…  Each and every one of them.

So, there’s no doubting his talents, but as he heads to CitiField you have to wonder if he should still be valued as a second round draft choice (his current ADP is around 27 and he’s the 25th player overall).  That’s the seventh outfielder coming off the board, close enough to the eighth ranking that I gave him (he’s being selected before Grady Sizemore).

The Mets may say that Bay’s swing is conducive to CitiField, but fantasy owners cannot be so sure.  Just look at the teams offense last season as a prime example.  While there were injuries and other things at work, the ball clearly did not fly out of CitiField as much as other ballparks in the game.  It yielded 1.60 HR/game, more than just a handful of ballparks:

  • AT&T Park – 1.59
  • Busch Stadium – 1.48
  • Dodger Stadium – 1.57
  • PETCO Park – 1.59
  • Turner Field – 1.52

Just as further proof that the stadium will be an impact, notice that the five parks CitiField outperformed were in the NL.  While he may come close, drafting him expecting 30+ home runs would be a mistake.

How about the RBI and Runs?  The Mets offense can’t be as bad as it was last season, though the injury to Carlos Beltran already throws a wrench into the Mets plans.  Still, hitting in the middle of the lineup should allow him to come extremely close to 100 RBI, especially with a healthy Jose Reyes hitting in front of him.

The runs could be a different story, but given his history we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.  He walks a lot (career 12.6% walk rate), meaning he should be on base enough to score some runs.

While he hit .306 once (in 2005), that’s not the type of hitter he is.  He’s proven that he’s more of a .280ish hitter and that’s what we should expect.

Let’s take a look at my projection for him in 2010:

.273 (150-550), 29 HR, 100 RBI, 95 R, 12 SB, .316 BABIP, .378 OBP, .502 SLG

Those are still good numbers and ones any fantasy owner would like, but is it second round good?  I just don’t think so, not when Sizemore, Upton, Greinke, Felix Hernandez and Roy Halladay are all going immediately after him.  Those are all players I’d draft before Bay.  I have him more as a late third/early fourth round draft choice, so it’s not likely that I end up with him on any of my teams.

What about you?  Is Bay someone you’d take in the second round?  What are you expecting from him in ’10?

If you would like to see a free preview of the Rotoprofessor 2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide (available for just $5), click here.

Make sure to check out some of our 2010 projections, including:

3 comments

  1. Aaron says:

    I like your evaluation but has anyone said he was a 2nd rounder? I drafted him in the 4th or 5th round the last two years and was very happy with his production from that spot. Thinking he could even drop to the 5th or 6th because of the citifield worries and lower average last year.

  2. If his ADP is 27 then there are people taking him in the second round.

    I like RP’s projections and I see him as a #1 OF that I’d love in the 4th round.

  3. TY says:

    i’ve done over 30 mocks and haven’t seen bay go in the second round ever.

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