Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Season in Review: Jacoby Ellsbury


Preseason Predictions:
.296 BA, 6 HR (LOL), 54 RBI, 102 R, 63 SB, .358 OBP, 3.6 fWAR

Actual Stats:
.321 BA, 32 HR, 105 RBI, 119 R, 39 SB, .376 OBP, 9.4 fWAR

Jacoby Ellsbury was clearly the most pleasant surprise for the Red Sox in 2011. He was coming off a season in which he had been criticized by everyone for his "toughness" after missing all but 18 games due to injury. He followed that up by playing in 158 games, and by being the best player on the team. The most surprising aspect of Ellsbury's season was his new-found power. His 32 home runs was not only a career high, but it was nearly four times his previous high, and 12 more than the rest of his career combined. His .230 ISO was also a career high, and was good enough to rank him 13th amongst Major League outfielders. As his ISO indicates, his power didn't just come from home runs, as he also hit 46 doubles, 19 more than his previous career high. He also put up career highs in RBI and runs scored, but those stats can often be a testament to the rest of his lineup rather than his skills. Surprisingly enough, Ellsbury's walk-rate stayed below average at 7.1%, and his K-rate rose to a career high at 13.4%, which is still well below the league average. Regardless, Ellsbury still put up his best offensive season, and one of the best in baseball this year. He posted a .321/.376/.552 triple slash line, and a .402 wOBA (!!!!) and 150 wRC+. His wOBA was 86 points above league average and 10th in baseball, while his wRC+ was 54 points above average and 12th in the game. On top of his offensive prowess, Ellsbury was also tremendous in center field, winning the Gold Glove and scoring a 15.6 per Fangraph's UZR. All of this was good enough for a second place MVP finish, as well as a first place finish according to fWAR.

Final Grade:
No fancy explanation here. Ellsbury was amazing this season, and gets an A+. In other news, sometime in the coming days, maybe weeks, I will have a post discussing the possibility of a repeat season out of the center fielder.

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