It'll be all high fives in 2011 for Bay.
Jason Bay is a 32-year-old hitter with four 30/100 seasons in his last six years who regularly steals 10-plus bases. It’s unusual to find someone of this caliber under a heading with the words “Fantasy Sleeper” (well, unless the heading is “Not a Fantasy Sleeper”), but that’s exactly where we find Bay.
According to Mock Draft Central, Bay is the 177th player drafted on average, putting him behind outfielders such as Magglio Ordonez, Adam Jones and Ryan Ludwick. Would you really draft those guys ahead of Bay? Ordonez missed half of 2010 with an injury and was pretty terrible the year before. Jones steals as many bases as Bay does and hasn’t topped 19 homers or 70 RBI in three full seasons. Ludwick now plays in spacious San Diego and is still riding the wave generated by his monster 2008 season.
Bay had one bad year; can anyone claim that he's not a good hitter? Please.
I don’t care how many homers Citi Field takes away from Bay. He is not as bad as his 5.1 percent HR/FB rate suggests. He’d only once before had a HR/FB rate below 15.0 percent and he still managed 21 homers that year (2007 with Pittsburgh). With a full season of at-bats and a little regression toward the mean, we can expect Bay to become that 20-30 homer hitter we know he is.
And if you’re worried about those knees, he did steal 10 bases in just 95 games last year. Plus, his LD% was the highest it had been since 2005 so we can see he was actually making good contact, and the Mets lineup is still pretty good.
Who would you rather draft?
.275 | 92 R | 27 HR | 105 RBI | 15 SB
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