2011 Projections: Jacoby Ellsbury

Jacoby Ellsbury 2011 projection:

Last season was a lost one for emerging speedster Jacoby Ellsbury. After fracturing four ribs early in April, Ellsbury would spend most of the season rehabbing while attempting and failing to come back to the lineup a few times.

Ellsbury is still rehabbing, but reports claim that he should be ready to play in spring training. Of course, I think we’d all like to see him running around the field with our own eyes before we make any final assumptions about his health.

This 2011 projection considers Ellsbury to be playing everyday from opening day on. However, it also considers him hitting in the ninth spot in the lineup, which is up for plenty of debate right now. However, even hitting ninth, Ellsbury becomes the “second leadoff hitter” and should still score plenty of runs.

In 2009, it looked as though Ellsbury was making big improvements at the plate, hitting .301 and showing an improvement in his walk rate, which was still a bit below what a team would want out of a true leadoff hitter. Given the lost season in 2010, I’ve held back projecting further progression in his walk rate, which is part of the reason you see an OBP projected just under .350. I’ve also projected his SLG to come in a bit under where it was in 2009 due to the unknowns about how healed his ribs truly are at this point. If there is any lingering soreness, his power output could be affected, though that isn’t exactly the most important part of his game anyway.

Even with the rib injuries last season, Ellsbury showed very little problems running. In only 18 games he stole seven bases — five on which came in August –, having been caught stealing only once. That pace would have put him to almost 60 steals in a full season. Being an extreme ground ball hitter, Ellsbury’s AVG relies heavily on his speed. Since I don’t think his speed will be affected even if he has some lingering soreness, I have him projected to do just fine in the AVG department.

There is a good chance that Ellsbury outperforms these projections, but I wanted to be a bit cautious due to the lost season and the somewhat unknown status of his rehab. If he comes into spring training 100 percent healthy and doesn’t come across any setbacks while playing baseball on a daily basis, he could very well pick up where he left off in 2009, if not improve even further.

Categories: Boston Red Sox Jacoby Ellsbury

Charlie first started writing about baseball back in 2008 when he opened Fantasy Baseball 365. Since graduating college with a degree in English, he has spent time coaching baseball as well as working in several minor league front offices. He also writes for The Outside Corner and contributes to Project Prospect and ESPN's Sweet Spot. Writer from August 3, 2010 - May 6, 2012

3 Responses to “2011 Projections: Jacoby Ellsbury” Subscribe

  1. Gerry January 4, 2011 at 10:59 PM #

    We've watched this kid improve annually for 4 years, including the lost 2010, since he was a sensational 23 year old emergency call-up, covering for Coco, truly earning his 2007 World Series Ring.

    In 2011 he will be nearly a year away from breaking those ribs when the season starts, and he has spent his off time doing rehab and working out hard so, athlete that he is, despite some rust, he's as physically and mentally prepared to play as he is anxious to get out and prove himself.

    In the unlikely event he is not fully recovered, I agree with your projections. However, it is likely he is recovered, and will continue the progression he has shown each season. Having surprised his critics by raising his OBP in 2009 to .355, and taking 49BB vs 74K's (not a bad ratio), in 2011 we might expect him to surpass .360 and cement his spot as leadoff hitter.

    Also in 2009 he showed increased power with 8HR and 37XBH (same as Youk, more than Papi, JBay, Victor, JD, Tek, Mike). Again, If he is healthy, IMO, there is no reason for him to regress as he enters his prime but rather to surpass 10HR and add a double or three. .300/.360+/.440+ with 12HR, 65RBI and 100+R would take his annual improvement into account and make him a well above average leadoff hitter.


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  2. Quant Going Qual – Part 2 Jacoby Ellsbury | Fire Brand of the American League - January 15, 2011

    [...] Jacoby Ellsbury Optimist: Ellsbury is healthy. The outfielder’s ribs are healed and he is ready to make up for loss time. He should be able to jump right in causing havoc on the bases and making great plays in the field, as the injury was not to his legs. The pressure from the media and fans will be off him with the addition of Carl Crawford; Ellsbury could find himself batting ninth. Being fully healthy, hitting lower in the order and with less media focus is a recipe for Ellsbury get his career back on track. Pessimist: Although Ellsbury’s injury was to his ribs and not legs, he will need to swing the bat to utilize his speed on the bases. If the speedster has any concerns about his ribs (physical or mental), it will negatively affect his production at the plate limiting his opportunities on the bases. It could also cause issues in the field, as Ellsbury is known to take poor routes to fly balls that necessitated highlight diving catches. He may be hesitant to dive for those balls now. Ellsbury is not physically and mentally ready to continue his development as a impact player. He lost a year and maybe another. [...]