I have been waiting my entire life for a player like Jacoby Ellsbury to play for the Boston Red Sox. Because they play in the friendly confines of Fenway Park the previous ownership of the Red Sox seemed to have an aversion to any player with speed. Stolen bases and daring base-running were simply not a part of the Red Sox philosophy under the old regime. Rather, Boston fans were treated to a steady diet of slow, lumbering power hitters hell-bent on taking advantage of that short left field wall. Speed and innate athleticism were always in very short supply. The result: 86 years without winning a World Series. Then in 2003 the triumvirate of John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino purchased the Boston Red Sox. They hired a brash, young general manager named Theo Epstein and as they say the rest is history. The Sox won the World Series in 2004 and promised New England fans that the best was yet to come.
In 2005 the Sox drafted speedy outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury out of Oregon State. Here was a player unlike any I had ever seen in my nearly half century of watching the Red Sox. Aside from the fact that he could run like the wind Ellsbury was also a very gifted defensive player. In one fell swoop Theo Epstein had drafted Boston's future centerfielder and leadoff hitter. Jacoby was quickly dubbed a "can't miss" prospect and Red Sox fans waited patiently for his arrival in the big time. Living in Rhode Island I had the great good fortune to see him play several games at AAA Pawtucket in 2007. Towards the end of the season Ellsbury was called up to the Red Sox and immediately made his presence felt. He hit a solid .353 in the final month of the season and was a key contributor in the postseason as the Red Sox went on to defeat the Colorado Rockies to capture their second World Series in 4 years. These were definitely not my grandfather's Red Sox!
Jacoby Ellsbury had a solid rookie season in 2008 when he hit .280 and stole 50 bases. He had an even bigger year in 2009 when he hit .301 and led the American League in stolen bases with 70. As a frustrated Sox fan I was delirious. Jacoby Ellsbury is so much fun to watch! Sadly, 2010 turned out to be a disastrous year for the young outfielder. He collided with thirdbaseman Adrian Beltre on April 11 and suffered a hairline fracture to 4 ribs. He attempted to come back in May but the injury had not fully healed. Jacoby Ellsbury would play in all of 18 games in 2010. It was a totally lost season.
Well here we are in 2011 and after a horrendous start the Red Sox are back atop the A.L. East standings. And all indications are that Jacoby Ellsbury is back on top of his game as well. He is once again stealing bases, spraying the ball to all fields and playing centerfield with reckless abandon. He is even hitting with more power. From where I sit the sky is the limit for Jacoby Ellsbury. He is the penultimate five-tool player who I believe will only get better with time. In addition, he is a classy young man and a great role model for youngsters. I hope he plays his entire career in Boston. He is a joy to watch.
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About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti (drifter51)
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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