10-14-2011: How much did Ellsbury change his projection?


Jacoby Ellsbury recently won AL Comeback Player of the Year, and with good reason. His MVP-caliber performance really buoyed this offense when they lost key contributors like Kevin Youkilis. He is definitely one of the bright spots in a season filled with bad news.

Here is what we projected for him coming into 2011, based on his previous three years of performance:

Age AB 2B 3B HR BB SO SB Avg OBP SLG wOBA wRAA
27 478 18 6 8 36 63 42 0.280 0.336 0.390 0.347 11.5
28 482 18 6 8 36 63 40 0.280 0.336 0.389 0.346 11.0
29 481 18 5 8 36 62 38 0.279 0.335 0.387 0.344 9.9
30 476 17 5 8 34 61 36 0.278 0.333 0.384 0.341 8.1
31 465 16 5 8 32 59 33 0.276 0.330 0.379 0.336 5.7
32 449 15 4 7 30 56 31 0.273 0.325 0.373 0.331 2.9
33 429 14 4 7 27 53 28 0.269 0.319 0.366 0.325 -0.1
34 404 12 4 6 24 50 26 0.265 0.312 0.358 0.318 -3.2
35 375 11 3 5 20 46 23 0.261 0.305 0.348 0.310 -6.1

Boy does that look dumb now. Once we factor in his amazing 2011, the projection now looks like this:

Age AB 2B 3B HR BB SO SB Avg OBP SLG wOBA wRAA
28 514 25 5 15 39 69 39 0.293 0.350 0.449 0.373 26.7
29 520 25 5 15 39 69 37 0.293 0.349 0.448 0.371 25.9
30 521 24 5 15 38 69 35 0.291 0.346 0.444 0.368 24.1
31 516 23 5 15 36 68 33 0.289 0.343 0.439 0.363 21.3
32 506 22 4 14 34 66 31 0.286 0.338 0.431 0.357 17.7
33 489 20 4 13 31 63 29 0.282 0.332 0.422 0.351 13.5
34 467 18 4 12 28 59 27 0.278 0.325 0.412 0.343 8.9
35 439 16 3 11 24 55 25 0.273 0.317 0.400 0.334 4.2

Yes folks, that’s a 26-point jump in wOBA and almost a doubling of his expected home runs. Ellsbury certainly looks like a star in the making – when your comparables after five seasons are guys like Ichiro Suzuki, Jose Reyes and B.J. Upton, you know you’re in some pretty good company. The Red Sox better start clearing some salary if they want to keep Ellsbury going forward. His agent Scott Boras won’t make it easy to keep him around.

One problem is that after the whole broken ribs thing last year, Ellsbury chose to really isolate himself in the clubhouse this year; he is under team control for two more years, but this doesn’t bode well for us keeping him beyond that unless that clubhouse changes, and in a hurry.

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