Thursday, April 8, 2010
Phenom in Flux
Jacoby Ellsbury is no longer the young star we saw in the 2007 playoffs, but a twenty-seven-year-old outfielder who has gone through a lot of changes in the last year, the most obvious being a change in position.
However, left field is hardly a new experience for Ells, as he played 80 games there before this season. If anything, he should be flattered to patrol the stomping grounds of Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, and Jim Rice, and by all accounts, he does understand the history of his position.
Ellsbury also elected to trade in his ubiquitous #46 for #2, once Brad Mills took off for the Astros and left his number behind. The shedding of a high number for a low one is another symbol of Ellsbury's growth from a precocious phenom to a solid everyday player.
As you know, I've not always been the biggest Ellsbury fan - the nickname "Golden Boy" that I bestowed upon him was as much a dig as a complement. However, I have always wanted Ells to do well: it doesn't make sense for a fan of the Boston Red Sox to wish ill on any team members. Heading into 2010, Ellsbury has a few things to prove: he needs an OBP closer to .390 than last year's .355 (and he's had some promising patience thus far, albeit sans results), and he needs to be more efficient in using his speed in the outfield. No more talk of what he can become. The man is 27 years old; this season, let's see what he is.