NY Sports Dog: Jubilant with Jason Bay

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Jubilant with Jason Bay

The Mets pulled off a great move in securing Jason Bay. Matt Holliday has marginally better numbers, but it's much closer than many are making it out to be, and you might just be surprised by the fielding stats.

4yr/$66 Mill ($16.5 per) or 5yr/$80 Mill ($16 per)
- 31.3 years old

Holliday: 7yr/$120 Mill ($17.1 per) or 8yr/$137 Mill ($17.1 per)
- 30.0 years old

First the OPS+ over the last 5 seasons:

Bay: 150, 138, 94, 134, 134 (131 average)
Holliday: 114, 137, 151, 138, 139 (137 average)

RBIs over the last 5 seasons:

Bay: 101, 109, 84, 101, 119 (103 average)
Holliday: 87, 114, 137, 88, 109 (107 average)

There are a few other things--Bay has actually averaged 31 HRs to Holliday's 28 over that span, though to be fair, Holliday does edge him out in runs, BA, Slg, and doubles. Both players hit LH and RH pitching almost equally.

The bottom line is they are close...very close.

The fielding thing is being blown way out of proportion. The "Holliday is a good fielder" statements being told hither and yon are simply not supported by the numbers.

In 833 games as a LF, Holliday averages -2.5 rTot/Yr. Bay, the "bad fielder", averages -9.5.

The interesting thing about Bay is that his total is amplified by his 2008 numbers--the worst of his career--at -30.7. He turned it around in 2009 and came in at a solid 7.4 in 2009 while Holliday put up a 0.0.

Bay also had a career high with 15 OF assist in 2009 compared to 1 for Holliday.

Lastly, let's look at their RF/9 (putouts + assists divided by innings played). Bay comes in at 2.09, whereas Holliday is only at 1.91.

So while the jury still may be out on Bay's ability in LF, saying Holliday is a "good fielder" isn't supported by the math.

The Mets made a great move signing Jason Bay--he's a difference maker and a big bat smack dab in the middle of the lineup.

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