Pittsburgh Pirates: Comparing the Rookie Seasons of Bryan Reynolds and Jason Bay
By Noah Wright
Jason Bay’s 2004 Season
Like with Reynolds, the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Jason Bay in a trade that sent away an All-Star outfielder. In this instance, it was Brian Giles being traded to the San Diego Padres for Bay, along with Oliver Perez and Cory Stewart. Bay had some big shoes to fill with Brian Giles out of the picture, but he did pretty well in replacing Giles.
In 2004, Bay accumulated 472 plate appearances and hit .282/.358/.550 with 26 home runs, 26 doubles and a 132 OPS+ and 130 wRC+. Bay was probably the best offensive rookie in 2004. The slugger had led the league in wRC+, slugging percentage, home runs, OPS, and wOBA at .382 (min. 300 plate appearances). Only Justin Morneau was even close to Bay, but still fell well short to him in multiple categories like wRC+ (118), wOBA (.362) and OPS (.875). Bay, like Reynolds, was also great in clutch moments, and possibly even better than 2019 rookie. Bay hit .364/.418.748 in high leverage situations.
While Bay might have been a great force in the batters box, he didn’t contribute much with the glove or on the base paths. Bay was worth -2.8 base running runs above average, and had even worse defensive marks. Bay had a 0 DRS, but -8.2 UZR, -4.1 range runs above average, and -5.2 arm runs above average in left field.