Pittsburgh Pirates: Revisiting Jason Bay’s 2005 Season

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While there was not much for fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates to cheer in the early-to-mid 2000s, they did have multi-time All-Star Jason Bay.

On August 26, 2003, the Pittsburgh Pirates made a trade that changed their franchise. They sent their best player, and the face of the franchise, Brian Giles to the San Diego Padres. In return, they got two players that would both become National League All-Stars in Pittsburgh. These two players were pitcher Oliver Perez and outfielder Jason Bay.

Today, we will focus on Bay. More specifically, his terrific 2005 season. After arriving in the Burgh, Bay quickly became the Pittsburgh Pirates best player. This would hold true until he was traded to the Boston Red Sox at the 2008 trade deadline.

Bay played five full seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In his first full MLB season, he won the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2004. Bay is still just one of two players in franchise history to win the award, joining Johnny Ray who took home the award in 1982.

Out of his five full seasons in Pittsburgh, 2005 was Bay’s best.

Bay was one of just four NL players to play in all 162 games in 2005. He hit for a .306/.402/.559 slash line, to go with 32 home runs, a .254 ISO, 150 wRC+, and a 5.7 fWAR. His OBP, slugging percentage, ISO, wRC+, and fWAR were all career highs.

Bay’s wRC+ ranked 4th in the NL, his OBP was 8th, and his fWAR was 9th. Not only was he the Pirates best player and hitter in 2005, he was one of the best all-around players in the NL that season.

His efforts in 2005 landed Bay his first of three career All-Star bids, and his first of two with the Pirates. In addition to being selected to play in the 2005 MLB All-Star Game, he also participated in the Home Run Derby. Unfortunately, he failed to hit a single home run in the derby.

Next. Revisiting Andrew McCutchen's Best Season as a Pirate. dark

When his career in Pittsburgh ended, Bay was a two-time NL All-Star, which included starting in left field during the 2006 All-Star Game at PNC Park, and he took home ROY hardware. Bay finished his Pittsburgh Pirates career with 139 home runs, a healthy .281/.375/.515 slash line, and a 130 wRC+. While he may forever be overlooked due to playing for some of the worst teams in franchise history, Bay was one of the best all-around hitters in franchise history.