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New York Mets History

Forgotten Mets History: Jason Bay’s brief time in the Flushing farm system

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Jason Bay #44 of the New York Mets looks on from the dugout against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field on April 23, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Jason Bay #44 of the New York Mets looks on from the dugout against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field on April 23, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
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Years before he became one of the highest-paid players on the New York Mets, Jason Bay was a member of the organization’s farm system. Who remembers this?

Something I’m not sure too many New York Mets fans know about Jason Bay is his minor league career. Though he played like a minor leaguer during his time with the Mets, he was actually once a true minor leaguer in their farm system.

Way back in 2002, Bay was traded with Jimmy Serrano from the Montreal Expos to the Mets. Lou Collier went north of the border in a deal no one really thinks much about.

Bay spent the beginning of the season on the Mets’ farm. He didn’t dig his heels in too deeply. On July 31, 2002, he was dealt in a package to the San Diego Padres.

Only one year later, Bay was in the major leagues with the Padres. He was traded again mid-season, this time to the Pittsburgh Pirates where he had a lot of success. Prior to those good days in Pittsburgh, Bay spent time with the Port St. Lucie and Binghamton squads in the Mets minor league system.

At St. Lucie, Bay slashed .272/.363/.437 with 9 home runs in 305 plate appearances. He played alongside Angel Pagan, Jose Reyes, and the father of Ronald Acuna Jr., Ronald Acuna Sr.

The time Bay spent at Binghamton was even shorter. In those 128 trips to the plate, he hit 4 more home runs and slashed .290/.383/.477. He never made it higher in the system because of the trade right before the bell rang on that summer’s deadline.

Like many young players, Bay was viewed as a promising young player with a bright future. He lived up to those expectations; at least for a while in other cities. He was a three-time All-Star and the 2004 Rookie of the Year winner. Once he joined the Mets, injuries piled up and his career was over in a flash except it wasn’t because he was still under contract.

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Bay is anything but a homegrown Met. Nevertheless, it’s a note on his career I think many missed or at least forgot about.

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