Someone with a name as big as Jason Bay‘s can hardly be considered a sleeper. Perhaps "bounce back candidate" is the better term. I mean, do we really believe Bay’s disintegration last season is a long-term issue?
The fact is Bay has both comeback and sleeper potential. If he had played last season in Boston, they’d have blamed his collapse on a slow start and a season-ending concussion. However, pessimists, or realists (if you prefer), would point to the impact of playing within Citi Field’s vast confines as the source of his steep decline in production.
Citi Field certainly doesn’t offer the same short porch that Bay took advantage of at Fenway Park.
Fantasy GMs and “experts” seem to have more faith in a return to fantasy prominence for Grady Sizemore than Bay, who is currently being drafted with the likes of supposed fantasy writeoffs Magglio Ordonez and Manny Ramirez.
In truth, Citi Field will likely temper Bay’s power numbers, but 20-25 dingers is not unrealistic. He should be healthy this season, and we should all remember that injuries and poor play decimated the entire Mets lineup in 2010. As the team regroups, so should Bay’s numbers.
While it’s not likely Bay will ever replicate his 2009 fantasy season, he can certainly get more in line with his career production, and 100 runs and RBI is certainly obtainable, though I’ll stick with a more conservative estimate below.
My Projected Stats for Bay’s 2011 Season:
504 AB, 88 R, 22 HR, 91 RBI, 69 BB, 134 K, 14 SB, .272 AVG