Jason Bay is the most underrated slugger in the MLB today
In the world of professional baseball, it can be difficult and frustrating to push through the minor leagues in hopes of finally making it to the big show, especially for those who are not highly touted prospects. Jason Bay, however, has virtually come out of nowhere to become one of the top offensive players in the MLB.
Bay was born in Canada into a very athletic family. As a child, he played almost any sport he could, including hockey, basketball and curling. Bay’s father was a big Red Sox fan, and signed his son up for T-ball as soon as he was old enough. After many years of T-ball and baseball, Bay played little league baseball with Canada’s team. He went on to attend J. Lloyd Crowe secondary school. Unfortunately, his school did not have a baseball team. Bay played with an American Legion team just over the border in Idaho, where baseball was not particularly popular.
After his senior year, he received no major college scholarship opportunities. He started playing for a community college, where he caught the eye of Gonzaga University’s recruiters. In 1999, Bay played for the Zags and became an offensive powerhouse. He had a .388 batting average in his senior season.
In the 2000 MLB draft, Bay was picked in the 22nd round by the Montreal Expos. He spent a few years in the minors, playing for many different minor-league teams, before making his MLB debut with the San Diego Padres in 2003. He was then traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates where he blossomed as a player, putting up some of the best offensive numbers for a rookie in the 2004 season. Bay played well for the next few seasons, leading the Red Sox to make a three way trade for him; a trade that sent long time Red Sox player Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers. In 2009, Bay signed a four year deal worth $66 million with the New York Mets.
Bay has had a good start with the Mets this season, hitting his first home run of the season on April 27. Bay is a great natural talent with very little training in his younger years. He is nearing the prime of his career, and will continue to produce offense for many years to come.