Re: Ellsbury best leadoff hitter in the AL?
posted at 5/19/2011 11:57 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Ellsbury best leadoff hitter in the AL?
[QUOTE]This season Jacoby Ellsbury has stolen 13 bases and been caught stealing 4 times (the same numbers posted by Oakland leadoff hitter Coco Crisp). Elvis Andrus, who typically hits second in the Texas lineup, has stolen 13 bases without getting caught. Angel leadoff hitter Erick Aybar has stolen 10 bases without getting caught while Seattle leadoff hitter Ichiro Suzuki is 11 and 3 and Toronto's Rajai Davis 12 and 3. Hill, popularity isn't based upon facts. Bellsbury has been a fan and media darling since he was projected to be the next Ted Williams, then dropped to the next Ichiro. A player has only about 4 PA a game, and Bellsbury is one of the lowest OBP guys of the everyday Red Sox players. In contrast, a CF'er usually gets several chances a game. To most, the focus is on Bellsbury bringing his terrible beginning of the year OBP up to the .350's. Though that is hardly anything to gush about, what is ignored is how poor and passive (always plays deep) a CF defender this prima donna is. Burks is a good comparison as a top fo the lineup player who had the high OBP and speed to leadoff, hit 2nd or 3rd. He as not a popular Red Sox player, but a far, far, far superior player in talent to Ellsbury. Hands down, and it's not even close, Curtis Granderson is the best overall CF'er in baseball. After that, Adam Jones is a far better overall CF'er than Bellsbury, having the full offensive and defensive package. Michael Brantley is also a better overall CF'er than Bellsbury. What is also lost is the fact that, other than Granderson, the other CF'ers don't have the luxery of hitting in front of Pedroia and AGon. Pedroia and AGon would make any leadoff hitter look better than they actually were. Despite his current hot streak, Bellsbury is not in the top 2 on AL CF'er WAR, so he's not even the best value despite having the benefit of the CBA on contract arbitration. Bellsbury is one of the worst defensive CF'ers in baseball. His UZR and UZR 150 are near the bottom at 9th out of 12 qualifiying CF'ers with enough sample size. Though his OBP has been marginal for a scatback player, it is not his offensive game that lead me to the importance of pointing out why this player should not be extended or signed as a FA and should be traded. Ellsbury is one of the worst everyday defensive CF'ers I"ve ever seen. Because fans only love offense, and really get giddy about speed in a vacuum, they consider a player great if his offense looks good, even if his defense is terrible. I was willing to give Bellsbury time to improve his defense and OBP to a worthy scatback profile for production as an everyday player. My patience ran out last year when he and his agent milded the CBA loopholes and acted out by taking a full year off because of his 2010 demotion to LF. It was the right move, and had Cameron been healthy it would have worked out well. As I said at the time, quite loudly, the Red Sox should never even consider giving Jason Bay a long term FA contract. This was one of Theo's better decisions. I doubt Theo is unaware of what his obvious, and, though it's not needed because of the injury is the excuse for 2010, it's likely that Ellsbury is simply being showcased for his likely departure before the end of his final 2 years of arbitration. Crawford will need to return to from, but I have little doubt that he eventually will return to his career average ranges. Kalish and/or Reddick should be moved ahead of Bellsbury on future value, as it should appear obvious to Theo that shelter is needed from his terrible contract mistake on Crawford. However, even independent of that, good business would be to increase the CF value by moving Ellsbury on and promoting the best LH scatback farm hand. Though Ellsbury remains an inflated importance player in the emotions of most Red Sox fans, management and ownership will have no trouble with fan backlash if they make the decision to ship him out. Even his most emotional defenders who have been infatuated with him and personally identify with him over Crawford, most of them admit the stunt from last year was a fiasco on the character scale. Regardless, when Ellsbury's Red Sox time ends before FA, management and ownership can hang their hats on a good value decision and player and agent misconduct as palatable reasons to fans and media as the sound basis to end what amounted to an overhyped player that overshot the marketing value for said player. There is no doubt that there is a double standard on player movement decisons in Boston, as I'm sure Ellis Burks can attest to. Nonetheless, I think the history between Boras and Ellsbury and Red Sox management and ownership is luke warm, at best. Bottom line, said player needs to be traded before the end of the arbitration years, as it will be the correct value and future team performance needs decison. It is also worth noting that this team has had a terrible start to the season, only turning around when Buch and AGon started to regain their top form. Ellsbury is being caught stealing more frequently as teams become more familiar with him, and his splits v. LHP is declining. Very easy to make a case for platooning this player, as it allows using him as a pinch runner and pinch hitter anywhere in a late game that is close. His lefty splits and defensive liabilities are certainly a sound basis for what amounts to enhancing his skill value by bringing it off the bench against most LH starting pitching, in the form of a pinch runner for AGon, Youk, Ortiz, etc, or pinch hitter for Scutaro, Cameron, Varitek or Salty. It is a fact that being able to plug in speed on the bases for any player late in the game is more valuable than just hoping it gets on base. A smart manager would see what is obvious, and enhance Ellsbury's value by altering his role to minimize his defensive liabilities and current struggles v. LHP and have him ready to pinch run or pinch hit late in close games. I really liked Ellsbury when he first showed up as a non-core player for a few weeks during roster expansion at the end of 2007, but it became apparent to me how poor a defender he was in CF. Pretty hard to defend a poor defending CF'er, SS or catcher, and I wasn't about to start doing that. I was not sucked into the foolish talk from the BA and OBP numbers of a few weeks in 2007. I was about the only person who wasn't sucked in.
Posted by majorleague[/QUOTE]
I was too lazy to read this all. But i read about to where you were naming the better CF's. My question is if you are going to name better CF's how could you forget Sizemore? IDC if he has been injured he is still one of the best CF's in my eyes. Sizemore is one of those guys i want to go back in time and take away all his injuries just to see what he could do. He is still only 28 almost 29 but has had 3 seasons ruined by injuries :( I hope he gets better. Other than that you need to get over your grudge with Ells. What did he walk past you one day when you wanted an autograph so you gave up on him?