Jason Bay: One of the Game's Best?


Last week, the Pittsburgh Pirates gave outfielder Jason Bay a new contract worth ::GASP:: a reported $18.25 million.

The four-year deal, which effectively ends any chance of arbitration, could be the smartest move the team has made in over a decade.

Why you ask? Well, by my findings, he may be worth somewhere around five times that much. In fact, it is safe to say that outside of Albert Puljos, the Canadian born Bay is the best hitter under the age of thirty in the game today.


Bay plays for one of the worst offensive teams in all of Major League Baseball. The Pirates were not in the top twenty of any major offensive category and scored the third least runs in all of baseball.

Most significant, the Pirates were ranked 25th in baseball in on base percentage even though Bay had the eight best mark in the national league. How could he ever generate the numbers he is certainly capable of putting up?

I wanted to take away his team's inability to produce base runners to see just how talented a player he himself is. Of course, I needed to measure him up against some of baseball brightest young stars.

I asked a few people who the best "under age 30" hitters in baseball were and tried to also back it up with statistics. The general consensus and my analysis led me to six other players: Albert Puljos, Miguel Cabrera, Travis Hafner, Mark Teixeira, Andruw Jones, and Vladimir Guerrero.

After trying to compare batting averages and homeruns, The Baseball Reference provided me with the three most telling statistics I could find.

Outs - (AB - H + CS + GIDP + SH + SF)

RC - Runs Created - A runs estimator created by Bill James. A runs estimator attempts to quantify the entire contribution of a player's statistics to a team's total runs scored.

RC/27 - Runs Created per 27 outs - This is the number of runs a team of each player would score given their stats. IE: if you could create a team of 9 of the same player, how many runs would the team score per game?

(sorry for the lines)

If you notice, Bay finds himself in the middle of the pack when it comes to outs while only Puljos and Teixera have created more runs. If there was team full of Jason Bay's, they would generate 8.3 runs per game, good for third behind Puljos and Travis Hafner.


Albert Puljos is in a league of his own. This is obvious. However, Bay compares favorably to any other player on this list and can very well be considered the second best of the seven.

At under $20 million for four years, the Pirates got a bargain on one of the game best hitters.


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