Many of you would have preferred to have the “taco burns” than to have owned Jason Bay last year. He flailed at every inside pitch he was thrown, desperately trying to get something going. He managed to make people envious of Xavier Nady’s numbers.
People have long predicted Bay was nothing but a skinnier Bobby Higginson. If you look at Higginson’s career stats, he was also very useful early in his career. Now Higginson’s age 29 season is particularly interesting (the same one Bay will be entering), Higgy just came off an egregious season (just like Bay did) and he bounced back for a very productive season. So the same might be expected of Bay. But this is misinterpreting the facts. The facts:
His lineup is not getting better in 2008. In this off-season, a physician did not tend to the knee that hindered his running in 2007. Bay, instead, opted to let time heal all wounds. This does not bode well for a return to 10 or 15 steals. His BABIP for 2004, 2005 and 2006 were .352, .355 and .338 respectively. When he stopped getting so lucky in 2007, his average plummeted to .247. In 2007, Bay couldn’t catch up to any inside pitches as you can see from this graphic:
This is usually a sign that a player’s bat is slowing.
A slowing bat at 28, a horrible lineup around him and a player that had some good fortune with BABIP in the past does not equal a candidate for a rebound. So I might have suggested you draft Higginson in 2000, but I can’t do the same for Bay in 2008. Stamped: Rejected.