2009 was a disaster for the New York Mets. It seemed that if something could go wrong, it did. 2010 wasn’t much better for the Mets, but at least David Wright (.283-87-29-103-19) and Jose Reyes (.282-83-11-54-30) rebounded. Now the question is can Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran do the same?
Jason Bay was a disappointment coming over from Boston and posting a forgettable .259-48-6-47-10 line. He was limited to 95 games due to a concussion, similar to Justin Morneau, who also coincidentally hails from Canada.  When he did play, he was mediocre at best, the only saving grace was the double-digit stolen bases.
That doesn’t mean he’s a lost cause. David Wright struggled with the long ball in his first season in CitiPark, but rebounded nicely last year. Perhaps he just has to attack the park differently.  Prior to last year Bay averaged 100.6 runs, 31 HRs, 102.8 RBI, and 11.8 SBs in the five previous seasons so I’m hopeful for a rebound. His ADP, according to Mock Draft Central, is 142 overall and 37th outfielder. He’s a pretty solid option in the 12th round of fantasy drafts.

Beltran is less of a risk based on his ADP of 223 (51st outfielder), but his knees have cost him the better part of two seasons. He hasn’t had fantasy relevance since 2008. Last year Beltran posted a .255-21-7-27-3 line in 64 games. He did end the year on a high note going 25 for 78 (.321) with 12 runs, five HRs, 13 RBI, and two SBs in 78 September at bats. His OPS of .968 was particularly encouraging.
If he can stay healthy, the power and the average could return. I’m not confident that a player with bad knees that’s turning 34 in April will terrorize the basepaths again, but if he can manage 8-10, that would be a nice contribution. His ADP puts him in the 19th round. I say why the heck not take a shot on him there.
I wouldn’t bet the farm that one or both of these former five-tool outfielders returns to form, but I would definitely say they are worth the risk. I realize that Bay could be out for a long time if he suffers another concussion and Beltran’s knees are a risk, but they are calculated risks and worth the gamble.
What are your thoughts on Bay and Beltran?

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I was very high on Jason Bay last year. I figured he would drive in a ton of runs with Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia at the top of Boston’s lineup. He did not disappoint with 36 HRs and 119 RBIs despite missing eleven games.

He’s moved on to the Mets this year, and he still figures to have plenty of opportunities hitting behind the likes of Jose Reyes and David Wright. He has reached 100+ RBIs in four of his last five years, with nearly four of those years coming in Pittsburgh, so I don’t see him having a problem reaching that figure.

He has also reached 100+ runs, 30+ HRs, and 10+ SBs in four of those five years. If you take away his down year (2007), he’s quietly been one of the best all-around outfielders in baseball.

I’m afraid he’ll have a hard time reaching two of those marks this year though. The move to CitiField will likely cost him some HRs. I’m expecting more doubles and fewer long balls this year. I’m also not confident enough in the Mets’ offense that he’ll reach 100 runs.

Despite those two question marks, I still think he makes for a #1 fantasy outfielder (click to see rankings). He should be solid in all five categories.

Prediction:  .280, 90 runs, 27 HRs, 105 RBIs, 10 SBs

Coincidentally the Rotoprofessor is covering Jason Bay today as well. Click here to see his take.

Past profiles:
Arizona Diamondbacks:  Brandon Webb
Atlanta Braves: Yunel Escobar
Baltimore Orioles:  Adam Jones
Boston Red Sox:  Clay Buchholz
Chicago Cubs:  Geovany Soto
Chicago White Sox:  Jake Peavy
Cincinnati Reds:  Joey Votto
Cleveland Indians:  Grady Sizemore
Colorado Rockies: Ubaldo Jimenez
Detroit Tigers: Miguel Cabrera
Florida Marlins: Cameron Maybin
Houston Astros: Lance Berkman
Kansas City Royals: Billy Butler
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Howie Kendrick
Los Angeles Dodgers: James Loney
Milwaukee Brewers: Corey Hart
Minnesota Twins: Joe Nathan

Jason Bay
WFAN is reporting that Jason Bay has agreed to a deal with the New York Mets. Once he passes his physical he’ll give them much-needed power in the middle of their lineup. Bay, along with a healthy Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and David Wright should give the Mets a formidable lineup.

The deal is rumored to be worth $65 million over four years.

The losers of the Jason Bay Sweepstakes will now focus on Matt Holliday. Look for the price tag to go up considerably.

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Written by Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor

Image courtesy of Icon SMI

Jason Bay has finally escaped the shackles of Pittsburgh.  With the loaded line-up of the Red Sox surrounding him, Bay enters 2009 again looking like one of the top fantasy OFers in the game, much like he was in 2005 & 2006.  The question is, can he return to those lofty standards?

Overall, his 2008 campaign was impressive:

577 At Bats
.286 Batting Average (165 Hits)
31 Home Runs
101 RBI
111 Runs
10 Stolen Bases
.373 On Base Percentage
.522 Slugging Percentage
.328 Batting Average on Balls in Play

It’s easy to point to his move to Boston, but he was playing exceptionally well prior to the trade from Pittsburgh.  In the first half of the season he hit .287 with 19 HR, 53 RBI and 64 R.  Obviously, being on the Red Sox is a boost to his value, especially if David Ortiz can remain healthy.

That isn’t the story here.  The idea of him playing in Boston is all fine and dandy, but the he has proved that he can contribute while playing in a weaker line-up.  No, the real question is if he can continue to excel or if a flashback to his 2007 disaster could be in store.

Tendonitis in his knee was credited for his down campaign.  Could it creep back into the picture again and sideline him?  Anything is possible, but I wouldn’t expect it.  Last season certainly should have eased those concerns.

Despite hitting 31 HR last season, his HR/FB was not what he has proven capable in the past.  Since 2004 he’s posted the following ratios:

  • 2004 – 21.3%
  • 2005 – 17.0%
  • 2006 – 18.8%
  • 2007 – 11.4%
  • 2008 – 15.0%

He has shown the potential to hit HR at a higher pace then he did last season, though a regression in the number of fly balls he hits could offset it.  Last season he set a career high with a 46.0% FB%, placing him fifteenth in the league.

While people want to point to his full-time move to Fenway as a positive, it certainly wasn’t last season.  In 87 AB he hit just .264 with 3 HR.  That gives me a slight cause for concern.  I know, the thoughts of him playing pepper with the Green Monster are enticing, but I don’t see them as a given considering that production last season.

Yes, he will be playing in a significantly better line-up (as we mentioned).  In Pittsburgh all he really had was Nate McLouth.  Now he’s got Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and others joining him.

That should help him repeat his RBI total, as he has exceeded the 100 mark on three occasions.  The runs, however, could be lacking depending on where hi hits in the order.  Last season they were using him in the #5 hole, and while that Red Sox line-up is deep, it’s not that deep.

He will be depending on J.D. Drew and Jason Varitek to consistently drive him in.  Is it possible?  Yeah, I guess, but it is highly unlikely.  I wouldn’t expect this to be the fourth time he crosses the century mark.

With a career 12.5% walk rate, he offers a very good eye though he still strikes out an awful lot.  Last season it was at 23.7%, below his career mark of 26.4%.  That is the biggest reason that he does not hit over .300.

His key to a good season is the walk rate.  In the three seasons where he has gone 100/100 he’s posted walk rates of:

  • 2005 – 13.7%
  • 2006 – 15.2%
  • 2008 – 12.3%

In 2004 & 2007, his walk rates were below 10%.

With all that said, let’s take a look at what I would expect from him this season:

.278 (157-565), 28 HR, 108 RBI, 85 R, 9 SB, .317 BABIP, .370 OBP, .492 SLG

Before people question the AB, I have him projected for a 12.81% walk rate (83 walks).  This projection pretty much supports more of the same from Bay, for the most part.  While he is going to have more opportunity to drive in runs, hitting lower in the line-up will likely limit his run scoring potential.

To me, that costs him from being a top #1 outfielder.  He’s more of a great #2 (I had him ranked as the #12 OFer in my rankings, which you can view by clicking here) in my book. While the fact that it is his contract year could motivate him further, I’m just not buying it.

What about you?  What do you expect from him this season?

Tuesday, August 5th
Jason Kubel
went 4 for 5 with 3 Runs, a Double, 2 HRs, and 3 RBI.  Placido Polanco went 3 for 6 with 3 Runs, a Triple, 2 HRs, 4 RBI, and a Walk.  Raul Ibanez went 3 for 5 with 2 Runs, a HR, and 5 RBI.  Fernando Tatis smacked 2 HRs and had 4 RBI.  Darin Erstad went 4 for 4.  Jason Bay, Derrek Lee, Emil BrownRyan Raburn, Carlos Quentin, and Carlos Gonzalez also had 4 Hits.  Jeremy Hermida and Chris Davis each had 4 RBI.  Richie Sexson hit a Grand Slam.  Alfonso Soriano went 3 for 5 with 2 Runs, a Double, a HR, and 4 RBI.  Mark DeRosa (3 RBI), Ryan Sweeney, Ryan Braun, Jody Gerut (3 RBI), Marlon Byrd (3 Runs), Luke Scott, Edgar Renteria, Alexei Ramirez, Jeremy Reed, Jose Lopez, Kelly Johnson (3 Runs), and Adam Kennedy each had 3 Hits.  Corey Hart, Nick Swisher, and Dioner Navarro each had 3 RBI.  Ichiro Suzuki scored 3 Runs.

Brandon Webb tossed a Complete Game allowing 1 Run to improve to 16-4 with a 2.93 ERA.  He’s the first to 16 Wins.  Chris Waters threw 8 one-hit scoreless Innings for his first career Win.  He has allowed just 2 Hits in 14 scoreless Innings to start his career.  Josh Johnson tossed 6 scoreless Innings allowing 5 Hits to improve to 2-0 with a 3.34 ERA.  Dave Bush gave up1 Run on 3 Hits in 7 Innings with 7 Ks to improve to 6-9.  Mike Pelfrey gave up 2 Runs in 6-2/3 Innings to improve to 10-7 with a 3.85 ERA.  Josh Beckett gave up 2 Runs on 4 Hits in 6-2/3 Innings with 7 Ks to improve to 10-8.  Matt Harrison gave up 2 Runs in 6-1/3 Innings to improve to 3-2.  Mike Hampton gave up 2 Runs on 4 Hits for his first Win of the year.  Greg Smith (2 Runs on 4 Hits in 6 Innings), John “Hard Day’s Night” Lannan (7 Innings, 2 Runs, 5 Hits, 8 Ks), Jorge de la Rosa (7 Innings, 2 Runs, 6 Ks), and Chris Carpenter (5 scoreless Innings, 3 Hits) all got no-decisions.  Zach Duke gave up 2 Runs on 4 Hits in 7 Innings with 6 Ks, but lost.

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