Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Bay was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 22nd round of the 2000 draft from Gonzaga University, and debuted with the San Diego Padres on May 23, 2003. Two days later he suffered a broken right wrist after a hit by pitch. Once healed, he was traded to the Pirates in August as part of a deal for Brian Giles. He finished with a .287 batting average, four home runs, and 14 runs batted in in 30 games.
Bay began the 2004 season on the disabled list due to surgery during the offseason, and did not join the team until May. Despite missing the beginning of the season, he still produced the best offensive numbers of any National League rookie. He hit .282 in 120 games, leading all major league rookies in home runs (26) and RBI (82). He also led the NL rookies in slugging percentage (.550), extra base hits (54) and total bases (226). With his 26 home runs, Bay broke a Pirates rookies record of 23 set by Johnny Rizo in 1936 and matched by Ralph Kiner in 1946.
Selected the NL rookie of the year by The Sporting News, Bay was the third Pittsburgh player honored with the award, behind second baseman Johnny Ray (1982) and catcher Jason Kendall. On November 8, 2004, he received the Rookie of the Year Award recognized by the BBWAA. The Pirates, whose rookies have included Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Barry Bonds, had been the only pre-expansion club without a Rookie of the Year winner. They've previously had four players finish second: first baseman Donn Clendenon (1962), Johnny Ray (1982), pitcher Mike Dunne (1987) and outfielder-first baseman Orlando Merced (1991). Bay was also the first Canadian player to win the award.
Jason Bay is a career .283 hitter with 30 home runs and 96 RBI in 150 games.
- Three-time NL Rookie of the Month (June, July and September, 2004)
- 8-RBI game against the Chicago Cubs (September 19, 2004)
- National League Rookie of the Year (2004)
- Tip O'Neill Award winner (2004)
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