Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.
After batting .301 with 70 steals in 2009, Jacoby Ellsbury made a strong case for being selected as a top-20 player at this time last season.
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2010 wasn’t kind to the 2005 first-rounder, however. Ellsbury fractured his ribs less than two weeks into the season, leading to three separate DL stints, limiting him to just 18 games. Ellsbury has since declared himself to be 100 percent this spring, and has played without limitations.
In the two seasons prior to his injury-plagued 2010, Ellsbury showcased plus-plus speed and excellent contact rates:
- 2008: 50-for-61 (82 percent)
- 2009: 70-for-82 (85 percent)
- 2008: 89.0 percent
- 2009: 88.4 percent
Over the last three seasons, Ellsbury has the fifth-most steals in baseball (127), despite missing nearly all of last season.
Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan recently mentioned that the team wants Ellsbury to bat leadoff, and I suspect he’ll be doing just that on Opening Day. Given a full season atop Boston’s potent lineup, Ellsbury should post totals similar to his ’09 campaign, making him an extremely valuable fantasy asset.
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Image courtesy of: Serena A. Thaw
Fantasy Baseball Insiders’ 2011 Big Board:
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- No. 61: Carlos Santana
- No. 62: Buster Posey
- No. 63: Kendry Morales
- No. 64: Adrian Beltre
- No. 65: Alexei Ramirez
- No. 66: Jered Weaver
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