Re: Good BYE FRED LYNN , hello Jackie Bradley Jr..........
posted at 11/14/2013 12:02 PM EST
In response to eltiante1's comment:
Damon was better than Ellsbury, so let's not get carried away. Ellsbury and Crisp are quite close, with Crisp being the better defender and Ellsbury having a slightly higher OPS and higher steals.
This is exactly my point that the level of difference between Ells and JBJ next year is about the same drop off as there was between Damon and Coco. Both are good players but we can expect a drop off next year. Maybe not as much for years down the line, but certainly for next year while he adjusts to life in the majors.
Since Ellsbury's career OPS is under .800, and Bradley's OPS was .900 to 1.000 in nearly every minor league stop, except 21 AB's in Lowell in 2011, even an .842 OPS in Pawtucket is higher than Ellsbury's "better career numbers in the majors than Jackie in the minors".
Bradley's career minos OPS is .876
Ellsbury's career minors OPS is .814
Bradley will have slightly more career power than Ellsbury, but is a 15 to 25 a year base stealer. Bradley has a strong arm and will be a better career defender than Ellsbury.
Last year in the minors Bradley had 7 steals and was caught 7 times. He has 31 steals and 18 caught stealing in about 1000 at bats in the minors. His steals will be in line with Pedroia as a good comp as they have similar speed and they steal bases the same way with baseball IQ.... but let's not make him out to be a real base stealing threat. He is an opportunistic base stealer and smart base runner like Pedroia. He will never hit 25 steals in a season or come close to it.
I agree that Bradley will be a much better defender than Ells and has the arm strength to move over to right if needed so I think he will be much more versatile. He also has an accurate cannon for an arm similar to Victorino, so that is a definate plus.
Going forward, Bradley doesn't have to do much but average about 125 games played a year over the next 6 years to provide a better option over those years than 100 million plus tied up in Ellsbury's 30's.
Bradley, no matter what he does, will never get the pass that former Red Sox fan favortie Ellsbury gets. But it's an easy call, with Victorino, to move on. When the Red Sox signed Victorinio they already decided that they were not going to play a lot of money for Ellsbury's FA years. Ellsbury's steals will decline and his speed based skillset best years of baseball are on the past. He'll be lucky to put together one outlier season over the upcoming 5 or 6 year contract. 7 years is nothing short of laughable, but so is 5 or 6 years at top dollar. He'll join Crawbust as career non-star albatross contracts for years to come.
I don't think Ells will fall off like Crawford did when he signs somewhere else, but it would be silly to think that his contract will be a good value. That said, Damon signed an over market contract with the Yanks when he left and was older than Ells and played out his contract very well with a similar skill set. I think if the Yanks lose out on Cano, Ells will end up in pin stripes. Heck he might even end up there regardless since they are losing out on Granderson and need a replacement. Even if Ells doesn't live up to the contract numbers, he is still an excellent player and I expect him to give years of quality service to some team.
I like the Sox stance of standing pat with JBJ personally but I just wanted people to expect a drop off in production initially and be realistic. I think JBJ will be an importaint part of the team for years to come, but he only projects to be a 265 hitter with about a 365 OBP... very good player and one I am happy to have on the team.
One thing not discussed was the mental approach and the maturity that JBJ has. He has the right mindset to be a successful major league player and is very even keeled and a good teammate from all reports.