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RJ Warner  
Subject:  It's been a Bay kind of May
Date:  5/31/06, 12:04pm (Last Edited: 5/31/06, 12:05pm)
Jason Bay, once so awful this season that there was talk of him not making the All-Star team as the Pirates' perennial lone represenative, has righted his ship (I love pirate cliches) and has been so hot the second half of May that he has won two consecutive Player of the Week Awards and is a pretty sure bet to be the first Pirate Player of the Month since Barry Bonds in 1992. He shared the award this week with Pedro Feliz of the SF Giants (AP).

Bay took a run at the consecutive games with a home run streak with six. The record is eight, shared by Dale Long, Don Mattingly & Ken Griffey Jr. (off the top of my head). His fantasy drool inducing stats for the month include 11 HR, 34 RBI, 71 total bases and a .676 slugging percentage. Plus, two steals!! His starting spot in his home left field should be secure come July 11th at PNC Park (it's a crowded outfield, though).

Well, everyone knows about Bay as he was projected as a top ten fantasy player on most draft boards. The Bucs, however, have had some fine performances by lesser-known players these past few weeks. The entire offense has seemed to shaken themselves out of the prolonged funk they were in for the early part of the season. Here's a few players that still might be on the waiver wire:

Jose Castillo (2B) has hit .357 with 6 HR and 19 RBI this month. One of the more underrated players in the NL, Castillo is a good option at an always thin 2B position.

Ronnie Paulino (C). A productive catcher is the jewel of any winning fantasy team, and the ultra-cheap Paulino has been a diamond in the rough so far since being called up from the minors. Not a lot of power (1 HR) but a .300 Avg. this month and a slew of multi-hit games should put fantasy owners on notice. Out of 25 games in May, Paulino has failed to reach base in only two of them. They should be aware that the Pirates have been carrying three catchers at times, but it has been getting harder and harder for manager Jim Tracy to keep him out of the lineup.

Sean Casey (1B) is back! If the first two games are any indicator, he hasn't missed a beat since going out in April with an unfortunate back injury. Plenty of RBI opportunities and the always high average make Casey a decent alternative for those not lucky enough to have the likes of Albert Pujols or Ryan Howard.

Get these players now, while the team is riding this hot offensive streak, because one, they might not be available for long, and two, this torrid hitting won't last forever.

thanks to for the stats

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