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2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 67: Why You May Be Underestimating Boston Red Sox’s Jacoby Ellsbury

Mon, Mar 7, 2011

Big Board, Player Projections

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:

Stolen Bases

  • 2008: 50-for-61 (82 percent)
  • 2009: 70-for-82 (85 percent)

Contact Rate

  • 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.

  PA R HR RBI SB AVG
2010 stats 84 10 0 5 7 .192
3-year average 462 67 6 37 42 .285
2011 FBI Forecast 675 110 11 60 55 .297

 

Image courtesy of: Serena A. Thaw

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