Jon Jay was playing at the University of Miami when the St. Louis Cardinals drafted him in the second round of the 2006 draft. A few years later, he became the starting center fielder. However, he will take a backseat in 2014 to newly-acquired Peter Bourjos and will most likely be the fourth outfielder on a World Series-contending team.
In his first year in the minors, Jay hit .342 in 60 games. Two seasons later, Jay was promoted to triple-A. In 2009, he had 142 hits with a .281 average and .338 OBP and played in 136 games. Jay would then make his MLB debut in 2010. He played in 105 games and finished with a .300 average.
Jay became the starting center fielder in 2011 when the Cardinals traded Colby Rasmus to the Toronto Blue Jays. Jay led the team with 159 games played. That season, Jay had a .297 BA and a .344 OBP. From August 24, 2011 to July 30, 2013, Jay had 245 consecutive errorless games, which was a new NL record among outfielders.
Jay’s time as a starter will come an end as the Cardinals traded for Bourjos in November. Bourjos is a great defensive player and will be the starting center fielder this season. With Allen Craig and Matt Holliday occupying the corner spots, it will be hard to find a spot for Jay unless one of them misses significant time.
Jay is not known for his power, but he hits the ball well and easily gets on base. Bourjos is not the best hitter out there and has been known to have some durability issues, which could lead to Jay getting his starting spot back. Jay will start the 2014 season as the team’s fourth outfielder, but will be the first player to come off the bench.