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October 16, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Jon Jay


Jeff Quinton

The Cardinals center fielder isn't a sexy late-draft option, but could he still hold fantasy value in 2015?

Player Background
The 29-year-old Jay has seemingly been around forever, but he has in fact only been playing baseball at the major-league level since 2010. Honestly (but there is no way you can really know), heading into the 2014 season, a playoff spotlight on the former second-round pick out of the University of Miami was the last thing I thought I would be writing in October. Why? Because after an unexciting 2013, Jay seemed destined to be replaced by the newer and apparently shinier Peter Bourjos. Additionally, super-prospect Oscar Taveras and notable prospect Randall Grichuk were waiting in the wings.

While players like Jay have almost no use in shallow leagues, finding affordable (cheaply acquirable) players to fill out your roster is a key to success in deeper leagues. Prospect theory tells us that when our expectations are lowered, such as at the end of drafts or auctions, we tend to be more risk-seeking (think buying lottery tickets). Consequentially, boring, lower-ceiling players like Jay tend to be passed up in favor of boom or bust type players (in the fantasy sense) such as Borjous, Cameron Maybin, or Chris Young. Sometimes these lottery tickets workout, but in knowing our behavioral biases, we know that the odds are not in our favor. Conversely, steady players like Jay with no ceiling to dream on can often come at a discount. Given all of this, let us see what happened in 2014.

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September 19, 2013 6:00 am

Free Agent Watch: Week 25


Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

A look at four hitters and four pitchers who could be available to bolster your fantasy team, depending on the format in which you play.


Jon Jay, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
In -only leagues, you have to take whatever measly at-bats you can get. If playing time opens up and you have a dead spot, it is a knee-jerk response to grab a player and worry about performance later. Mixed leagues offer more choices, and owners have the luxury of zeroing in on certain categories at the end of the season. A case in point is Jon Jay. Jay’s .272 batting average is barely worth considering, but over the last 15 days he has been putting up crooked numbers in runs and stolen bases for a recently red-hot Cardinals offense (admittedly, Coors has helped somewhat). If you need power, leave Jay in the free agent pool. On the other hand, if you are set in home runs and RBI but need a boost in runs or stolen bases, Jay might be your guy. Elliot Johnson has stolen five bases in the last 15 days, but the Cardinals are jockeying for playoff position while the Cardinals are not. Jay is likely to play regularly over the last 11 days of the regular season or until the Cards clinch a division title/avoid that dreaded wild card play-in game. —Mike Gianella

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October 5, 2012 5:00 am

Playoff Prospectus: National League Wild Card Game (UPDATED)


R.J. Anderson

The Cardinals play the Braves in Atlanta for a spot in the Division Series

The last time the Cardinals met the Braves in the postseason, in 2000, St. Louis swept a three-game series by outscoring Atlanta 24-10. Only six players from that series remain active and two, Rafael Furcal and Chipper Jones, will attend this one. Fresher on the minds of both squads and their fans is what happened last year, when the Cardinals made a late-season surge and stole away the Braves’ postseason ticket on the season’s final night. Consider this Atlanta’s opportunity for revenge.

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