How does Jake compare to other leadoffs?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from JB-3. Show JB-3's posts

    Re: How does Jake compare to other leadoffs?

    In Response to Re: How does Jake compare to other leadoffs?:
    [QUOTE]JB, I think Jeter has been in the league long enough for the managers and coaches of other teams to have seen enough. Get real.
    Posted by SoxSoldRed[/QUOTE]

    Yes they've seen plenty of him, I agree.  So what you're saying is that managers vote for gold gloves (an annual award) based on career performance?  I think you made our point for us.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from tom-uk. Show tom-uk's posts

    Re: How does Jake compare to other leadoffs?

    Best leading man? Jacoby Ellsbury makes his case.  Alex Speier

    MLB Rank as Leadoff
    BA    2
    OBP  1
    SLG  3
    OPS  3
    SB   t-2

    Simply put, a compelling case can be made that Ellsbury is now the best leadoff hitter in the American League, if not the game. Few if any other leadoff hitters possess his diverse skill set at a premium position.

    Friday’s performance continued a season that has shown Ellsbury making huge strides forward. It is not merely that his injury-riddled 2010 season is now a thing of the past; the 27-year-old is better than he was in 2009, when he appeared poised for a breakout.

    “He looks more comfortable driving the ball to the opposite field with authority,” Sox Assistant GM Ben Cherington noted earlier this month. “He’s always had pull power. So that’s a sign of his evolution as a hitter, hopefully. Other than that, I think he looks very much like the healthy version of Jacoby in the past.”

    On the season, Ellsbury is hitting .299 with a .365 OBP (a mark that would be a career high), .463 slugging mark (which would also represent a new career-best) and .828 OPS (ditto). He’s on pace for 19 homers, more than double his previous career best of nine, and he’s also on pace to swipe 57 bases.

    Those terrific numbers are actually dragged down by Ellsbury’s strange sabbatical from the leadoff spot. When hitting first this year, Ellsbury is now hitting .319 with a .383 OBP, .464 slugging mark and .847 OPS from the leadoff spot. He has scored 28 runs in 39 games atop the order.

    But he has been little short of sensational since the Sox ended their experiment with him at the bottom of the order on April 22, in the team’s 19th game of the year. Starting that day, Ellsbury has led off all 33 Red Sox games, hitting .345 with a .401 OBP, .486 slugging mark and .887 OPS.

    Among hitters with at least 150 plate appearances from the leadoff spot this year (a list of 20), Ellsbury – when batting leadoff – leads the majors in OBP, and he leads the AL in average, slugging, OPS and steals. Ellsbury is having, essentially, the sort of season that got Carl Crawford his seven-year, $142 million deal, and that has people speculating that Jose Reyes (a player whose offensive numbers very nearly match Ellsbury’s) might similarly be in line for a nine-figure deal when he reaches free agency this offseason.

    About the only criticism that can be lodged is that he sees fewer pitches than one would ideally like from a leadoff hitter. He is seeing 3.79 pitches per plate appearance this year, not terrible, but in the lower half of big league leadoff hitters.

    That said, the Sox are hardly about to quibble.

    “With Jacoby, he’s got great hand/eye and he’s looking to drive the ball. He’s not looking to just make contact most of the time,” said Cherington. “We encourage him to let the barrel go, and drive the baseball. Even when he hits a single, occasionally it’s a flare, but usually it’s crisp, solid contact. That’s because he’s on time and he’s pretty strong through the ball.

    “Sometimes that means there’s going to be fewer foul balls over the third base dugout, which might drive a pitch count up but may not be innately the type of hitter who he is,” added Cherington. “The power production – not just the home runs but the doubles – we’ll take that even if it’s coming with a few less pitches.”

    It’s hard to blame the Sox for that outlook. After all, Ellsbury is on pace to fill up the back of his baseball card in a fashion that has little precedent in baseball history.

    Since 1901, the list of players who have had at least 15 homers, 50 steals, 100 runs and an .800 OPS in the same season runs just 15 deep. It features a number of Hall of Famers – Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan, Roberto Alomar, Ryne Sandberg – as well as several stars of their eras (Barry Bonds, Craig Biggio, Tim Raines, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes).

    It is rare company, and it remains to be seen whether the Sox’ leadoff hitter can continue to keep it. That said, what has been on display thus far has been little short of spectacular.

    Ellsbury’s 2011 season to date – particularly over his last five weeks, since returning to the leadoff role – may represent the coming of age of one of the most dynamic players in the game.


     

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from playball01. Show playball01's posts

    Re: How does Jake compare to other leadoffs?


    Great article. It should be retitled; "SOFTY'S NIGHTMARE"
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from fivekatz. Show fivekatz's posts

    Re: How does Jake compare to other leadoffs?

    There has always been a bit of "noise" in accessing Jacoby Ellsbury as a MLB player.

    He was rushed to MLB. He had to make a cameo in Boston so when the RS added him to the expanded roster he could make the post season roster. And when Crisp went through another cold streak in a season of hot and cold streaks, Ellsbury was added to the line-up in the ALCS and the hype machine took off.

    That did not all serve Ellsbury well perhaps. He got in about 165 PAs after being drafted in A- ball at Lowell. His first full professional season he cruised through A+ and AA without a hitch. In 2007 it was apparent there was nothing left to learn in AA as crushed it with 1.000+ OPS so he was sent to AAA with under 320 AA PAs. He struggled in Pawtucket for a few weeks and then was off again. Jacoby only played 87 games in AAA before he would never return except for a rehab assignment. It was half the development time that Dustin Pedroia had at the AAA level by example and Dustin wasn't exactly laboring in minors as long as Youk did.

    So we have watched Ellsbury having to finish and polish his professional skills with insane expectations created from his brief appearances during the second WS win in 89 years in Boston and the hype that went with that. He had to do it at the highest level (MLB) and on one of baseball's biggest and dare I say crankiest stages (Boston). His 2010 injury interrupted the flow and became a lightning rod, one not worth rehashing.

    Whether Ellsbury will ever be a Rickey Henderson is not only unlikely, it is irrelevant. He is a fine ballplayer to have on your team. The rest of it is just picking on the supermodel's freckle. Even if there are better leadoff hitters in MLB who cares? Pedroia isn't the best 2B in MLB he isn't even the 2nd best if we are honest with ourselves. Who cares?

    Just my take

     

     
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: How does Jake compare to other leadoffs?

    I think managers probably vote for GG guys sometimes based on what they do to help the team win. Sometimes it is more than range. Sometimes things like leadership, performance under pressure...etc are factored in. I bet they often vote for their guy also, even when he doesn't deserve it, diluting the vote so that a guy like Jeter can tally enough votes to win. Objectively should most of them be voting for a Tulo or a Andrus based in large part on range?

    I imagine that they just blur the lines some also, when a guy is a great hitting talent his defense might get over rated but the manager just wants to reward the guy. 

    Fielding bible type committees are probably a more appropriate approach. 
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from fivekatz. Show fivekatz's posts

    Re: How does Jake compare to other leadoffs?

    Gold Gloves are subjective. Even those who use SABRmetrics with zeal are conflicted on just how representative defensive stats are and disagree about which ones are of value.

    Basing arguments on GG's IMO is just an extension of any discussion of defense. It is a subject where personal opinion varies and largely except for the very best and very worst defenders one where legitimate arguments can take place.

    Jeter has never been a great defensive SS. His own manager back in 2003 said it wasn't fair to compare his man to Nomar Garciaparra defensively and was more than comfortable to say I am happy with my guy and he gives us other ways to win. Jeter over his career got that job done. The total package he brought ti the field was more than enough to pencil his name in the line-up every day.

    This came up because it is a freckle and the originator of the argument must deal in freckle and not the total package to keep the argument alive IMO. That's why a NYY SS in his twilight years is being debated in a thread about RS CF in his emerging years.

    Just my take
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: How does Jake compare to other leadoffs?

    His own manager back in 2003 said it wasn't fair to compare his man to Nomar Garciaparra defensively and was more than comfortable to say I am happy with my guy and he gives us other ways to win.

    My opinion on Nomar's fielding is about the same as Jete's.

     It is a subject where personal opinion varies and largely except for the very best and very worst defenders one where legitimate arguments can take place.

    The issue here is extreme: some say he is the best, others say he is the worst. I say he is below average, and I'm labelled the extremist.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from losmediasrojas. Show losmediasrojas's posts

    Re: How does Jake compare to other leadoffs?

    Not to be overlooked in any discussion of fielding is decision making.  While I really can't apply a metric to it, from what I've observed, Jeter seems to consistently make solid decisions about which bases to throw to and when not to make a throw.  Like Pedroia, he seems to outsmart baserunners often. 
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: How does Jake compare to other leadoffs?

    He is very smart. He makes the routine plays well. He makes good throws from the cutoff spot. These are some reasons, I don't rank him as the worst.

    He does a lot of things very well; his range is awful, so he has never been a good fielding SS overall. Range is very important at the SS position.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: How does Jake compare to other leadoffs?

    Jake is probably the best leadoff hitter in AL and maybe MLB.  In the AL he is--

    4th in runs scored with 34
    5th in doubles 16
    1st in SB's with 18
    26th in rbi with 27
    17th in total bases
    20th in OPS
    1st in OBP (.364) among players with 7 or more SB's
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from southpaw777. Show southpaw777's posts

    Re: How does Jake compare to other leadoffs?

    In Response to Re: How does Jake compare to other leadoffs?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: How does Jake compare to other leadoffs? : Yes they've seen plenty of him, I agree.  So what you're saying is that managers vote for gold gloves (an annual award) based on career performance?  I think you made our point for us.
    Posted by JB-3[/QUOTE]

    Thanks JB for helping me make my point with softy..The media DOES have some influence to GG by what they show on a daily basis and managers dont see other teams players unless they play them or see a highlight, thus having to go on what they already know from the past..Bottom line, its a popularity contest IMO, for lack of better term..
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from southpaw777. Show southpaw777's posts

    Re: How does Jake compare to other leadoffs?

    In Response to Re: How does Jake compare to other leadoffs?:
    [QUOTE]Great article. It should be retitled; "SOFTY'S NIGHTMARE"
    Posted by playball01[/QUOTE]

    sounds good to me PB1..unfortunately it would only give him the attention he starves for...
     

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