Re: Ellsbury and Bradley
posted at 7/11/2013 11:37 AM EDT
In response to maxbialystock's comment:
I'm a fan of both and have assumed throughout this season that Ellsbury is leaving and Bradley will start in CF next year.
That said, I think Bradley, who is a very good outfielder with a terrific arm, has yet to show he can hit MLB pitching. At the same age and with virtually identical opportunities, Ellsbury had already demonstrated that ability--see 2007.
Small sample sizes, but true (on offense). Ellsbury was not the fielder he is now back in 2007 and 2008.
Ellsbury is much faster on the base paths and in the OF, is beginning to look an awful lot like a .300 or better hitter, leads the Sox in runs scored, is just behind Pedroia in total hits, and is third on the Sox in total bases. In short, right now the two are about even in fielding--maybe the edge goes to Bradley because of his arm
Bradley is a better fileder, even without the arm advantage, and he is much better now than Ellsbury was back in 2007-2008.
--but Ellsbury has a huge edge on offense, which is why he replaced Coco Crisp in 2008.
Little known fact: Crisp had 886 innings in CF in 2008 compared to Ellsbury's 547 (Ellsbury had 346 innings in LF and 281 in RF). He also took the CF job back in the '08 playoffs by hitting .450 (.542 OBP) vs TB in the ALCS.
I still think Ellsbury is gone after this year, but am beginning to think he will leave a hole in the offense.
He will be missed, for sure. His speed and decent OBP from the leadoff slot will not be easily filled by anyone in our system. We may see Nava (no speed) vs RHPs and Victorino vs LHPs in 2014 leading off.
Still, I agree, he will walk this winter, and we will have to spend some money to try and fill his shoes while still allowing JBj a chance to shine. Not an easy task.