I’m here to (hopefully) contribute to your fantasy baseball team’s success by highlighting a player who is under-owned and may contribute in a big way this week. Sounds kind of like Grey’s buy/sell on Fridays, but without the funny, with the parenthetical remarks, and a focus on one player who I’m looking at for one week.
This week, that player is: Jason Bay. He’s owned in less than 15% of ESPN leagues as of today, and he’s slated for 8 games this week, five at home, three on the Moon. Is Coors really on the Moon? Even my grandfather knows that about Coors, and he races cars. Bay gets four LHP in these 8 games and two LHP in Coors, and since the start of 2011 he’s hit .294 with 7 HR in 119 AB against them. Even Citi should prove to be friendlier confines; left-center in Citi is half its old height (8′, down from 16′) and is now 358′ deep.
As a bonus, here’s why I think Bay could pay dividends for the rest of the season and not just this week: if we regress Bayâ€™s HR/FB rate to his career average of 15.2 â€“ which is well off his peak rate, thanks to his horrific 2010 and 2011 seasons â€“ and apply it to last season, he would have produced the following:
21 HR, 68 R, 66 RBI, 11 SB, .266 AVG/.346 OBP
I added 9 solo HR to his totals for simplicity. Not bad, right? And that’s in 123 games/444 AB. I was tempted to input his current HR/FB% of 23.1, but (small sample size alert) unless his head has grown two sizes he won’t keep that up. According to Hit Tracker, his 3 HR this season have an average distance of 426′, with average speed off the bat of 107.6 MPH. His longest HR (437′) was off Cliff Lee, and taken to right-center. His other two HR were to center and left-center and were also over 400′. Measure this up with the new Citi Field, and he may reach that 15.2% HR/FB rate. His contact numbers are right in line with career averages and he’s swinging at the fewest pitches outside the zone in his career, which for stat nerds means he’s going to continue earning plenty of walks without bombing you with Ks.
More than just an add for this week, if everything falls just right, he could come reasonably close to his previous power and speed goodness and be an excellent contributor in 5 OF and OBP leagues for the rest of the season. Don’t sell the farm for him, but consider putting the sick cow to pasture and take a chance. At least for this week.