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Prospect Alert
Fantasy Baseball Sleepers

Columnist: Koby Schellenger

Scouting Report: Jacoby Ellsbury
May 07, 2007

At a generous 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, Jacoby Ellsbury stands as a meager looking baseball player. But in defiance of his rather average stature, Ellsbury has become one of the top prospects in the Boston Red Sox system. The Red Sox centerfield prospect, drafted with the teamsí first pick in the 2005 draft out of Oregon State, has had plenty of success throughout his baseball career. He was an All-American in college and hit well over .300 in each of his three seasons in the Pac-10. He cruised through the minors in 2005 and 2006 and is well on his way to Fenway Park in 2007.

Ellsbury is a very good defensive outfielder. His speed, instincts and finesse make him a capable outfielder at this point in his career. His speed translates well into the offensive side of baseball as well. He is a good base runner and a smart base runner. As of yet, that has not translated into excellent base stealing on Ellsburyís part but he has shown signs of improvement. Heís got the potential to steal 30+ bases and with his ability to get on base, heís a good candidate to reach that potential if he can improve his selection.

Offensively, Ellsbury isnít much to write home about. He has a great eye at the plate and doesnít walk much. For that reason he is able to maintain a high average and a high on-base percentage. What he isnít able to do is hit the ball for power. Over his previous four stints at different minor league levels, he has failed to top a slugging average of .434. This year, the athletic outfielder has found his stroke. Heís been on a rampage, tearing through Double-A. His gap power has improved and heís driving the ball more to the opposite field. He was recently promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket where the Red Sox expect continued development from Ellsbury and potentially some major league relief at some point this season. To date, Ellsbury has hit .452/.518/.644 with ten doubles and two triples.

If Ellsbury succeeds at the Triple-A level, he may be in line for a promotion to Boston this summer. With the Red Sox contending for the playoffs in a division that should be a lot tighter than it is, wins are going to be at a premium. With Coco Crisp and Wily Mo Pena struggling offensively, and Ellsbury an upgrade defensively, the Red Sox may choose to go with the superior defensive player and hope his bat is as good as advertised thus far in 2007.

For Red Sox fans Ellsbury is a breath of fresh air. He appears, at least in one facet, to be major league ready. At the same time, he is showing strides of improvement. The overall effectiveness of Jacoby Ellsbury depends, in large part, on his ability to maintain his patience at the plate and maximize his on-base percentage. He will fit nicely as the teams 9th hitter but with a continued improvement offensively, will be an excellent option at the leadoff spot.


Posted by Koby Schellenger: May 7 at 2:44 PM

 Comment on Scouting Report: Jacoby Ellsburyforum

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[1] by hessshaun on 05/07/2007 03:36 pmreply
Quote:
This year, the athletic outfielder has found his stroke. Heís been on a rampage, tearing through Double-A. His gap power has improved and heís driving the ball more to the opposite field. He was recently promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket where the Red Sox expect continued development from Ellsbury and potentially some major league relief at some point this season. To date, Ellsbury has hit .452/.518/.644 with ten doubles and two triples.


Nice, I had no clue he was promoted. Every Sunday the Eastern League leaders are posted in my local paper and he was absolutely tearing up the stats in double A like you mentioned. The really amazing part about that was that he had missed a boat load of games in the beginning of the season when all the rain effected MLB. He was leading the league in certain categories with 4 or 5 less games played than other guys atop the charts.

Edit: Also, I had no clue he was that small. Obvoisly he can put on some weight once they get him on HGH, but I thought he was bigger.
[2] by DOH!!! on 05/07/2007 04:31 pmreply
185 pounds is like Alfonso Soriano size. But yeah, I read about his promotion. Glad to see him tearing up Double A. It was time he got promoted.
[3] by darko on 05/07/2007 04:33 pmreply
whats his upside? I think he's supposed to be a good defender which means he's worthless in fantasy.
[4] by kschellenger on 05/07/2007 04:34 pmreply
darko wrote:
whats his upside? I think he's supposed to be a good defender which means he's worthless in fantasy.


His upside is something like a .290 average, 30 stolen bases, and in front of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, 120 runs. He'll give next to nothing in terms of power though.
[5] by darko on 05/07/2007 04:37 pmreply
kschellenger wrote:
darko wrote:
whats his upside? I think he's supposed to be a good defender which means he's worthless in fantasy.


His upside is something like a .290 average, 30 stolen bases, and in front of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, 120 runs. He'll give next to nothing in terms of power though.



Sounds like Rich Man's Scott Podsednik.
[6] by kschellenger on 05/07/2007 04:40 pmreply
darko wrote:
kschellenger wrote:
darko wrote:
whats his upside? I think he's supposed to be a good defender which means he's worthless in fantasy.


His upside is something like a .290 average, 30 stolen bases, and in front of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, 120 runs. He'll give next to nothing in terms of power though.



Sounds like Rich Man's Scott Podsednik.


In terms of fantasy value, Ellsbury is worse. Podsednik can steal 40 or more bases if he's healthy and playing every day.

In real life value, Podsednik is much worse at the plate and much worse worse in the field.
[7] by DOH!!! on 05/07/2007 05:33 pmreply
kschellenger wrote:
darko wrote:
kschellenger wrote:
darko wrote:
whats his upside? I think he's supposed to be a good defender which means he's worthless in fantasy.


His upside is something like a .290 average, 30 stolen bases, and in front of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, 120 runs. He'll give next to nothing in terms of power though.



Sounds like Rich Man's Scott Podsednik.


In terms of fantasy value, Ellsbury is worse. Podsednik can steal 40 or more bases if he's healthy and playing every day.

In real life value, Podsednik is much worse at the plate and much worse worse in the field.


You wrote sometime that you predicted that Jason Place was going to be the future CF for the Sox. What is the difference between these two players? Obviously, Place is only 18 or 19 years old, but if he plays well in A or AA, who do you expect to be moved?
[8] by kschellenger on 05/07/2007 05:35 pmreply
DOH!!! wrote:
kschellenger wrote:
darko wrote:
kschellenger wrote:
darko wrote:
whats his upside? I think he's supposed to be a good defender which means he's worthless in fantasy.


His upside is something like a .290 average, 30 stolen bases, and in front of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, 120 runs. He'll give next to nothing in terms of power though.



Sounds like Rich Man's Scott Podsednik.


In terms of fantasy value, Ellsbury is worse. Podsednik can steal 40 or more bases if he's healthy and playing every day.

In real life value, Podsednik is much worse at the plate and much worse worse in the field.


You wrote sometime that you predicted that Jason Place was going to be the future CF for the Sox. What is the difference between these two players? Obviously, Place is only 18 or 19 years old, but if he plays well in A or AA, who do you expect to be moved?


I think Place will be the future CF while Ellsbury will be a 4th OF because I think ultimately, the defensive difference between the two won't be that great while Place has a lot more offensive upside.
[9] by theprofessional on 05/07/2007 08:37 pmreply
hessshaun wrote:
Obvoisly he can put on some weight once they get him on HGH


Nice!


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