Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Face, New Place: Jason Bay, Mets

Jason Bay turned a career year at the plate with the Red Sox in 2009 into a four-year, $66 million contract with the Mets this offseason. So how will he fare in 2010?

Though this season's Amazin's lineup likely won't be quite as good as Boston's last year, it also shouldn't be as bad as some of the Pirates batting orders Bay was a part of earlier in his career, and he was still able to put up All-Star-caliber production in relative anonymity the Steel City. He should have a number of RBI opportunities if/when Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes get healthy and David Wright returns to form.

Much has been made about the Mets' homer-sapping ballpark, Citi Field, but perhaps a little too much. New York did hit only 95 homers last year as a team - 27 fewer than the next-worst team - but in many cases they had guys suffer disastrous/injury plagued seasons and were forced to rely on little-talented replacements. And they were also the worst road homer team as well, so it wasn't merely a Citi Field phenomenon.

The Mets did lower Citi's center-field wall from 16 feet to 8 for the upcoming season in an attempt to make the park more homer friendly. That may help Wright out, but probably not Bay, who hit the vast majority of his 36 bombs to left field at Fenway last season, according to So while you can probably expect Bay's HR total to dip by a decent amount, he should remain consistent in other categories and perhaps even swipe a few more bags than last year (13) in his return to the NL. Bay deserves consideration as a top-10 outfielder in 2010.

Photo by The Associated Press

No comments: