Hey, I’m outside of a mall in my home state, New Jersey, and I’m carrying a long microphone that I got from a garage sale. The microphone was supposedly used by Curt Gowdy in the 70’s. I’m out here today, while being filmed like it’s a bad 1980’s commercial, because I want to ask people what they think of Jacoby Ellsbury for this year. “Do you think Jacoby Ellsbury can stay healthy?” “What the f**k did you just say to me?” “Was wondering if you thought Jacoby Ellsbury could hit 25-plus homers again with the short porch?” “How about you get on a short bus, f**k nuts?” “Can Jacoby Ellsbury steal 50-plus bases?” “Go f**k yourself.” There you have it! The people of New Jersey have spoken. Yeah, Jacoby Ellsbury has had seasons of illustrious glory. Capable of 30 homers? He did that. Capable of 70 steals? And you know that. Has dreadful seasons? *looks slowly right, looks slowly left, tiptoes out of the room* Anyway, why is Jacoby Ellsbury overrated for 2014 fantasy baseball?
I don’t think even the most optimistic of glass-is-half-full’ers thinks he’s going to hit 30+ homers, let alone 20+. He averages 8.4% HR/FB, but that’s being buoyed by his huge 32-homer year. You remove that and you’re looking at around 6%. That’s around that of Michael Bourn, Ichiro, Brett Gardner, etc. etc. etc. We’re looking at a 10-homer guy. Ellsbury hits a ton of ground balls, which usually aren’t aided by a short porch unless there’s some Winter X Games-like ramp going up at 2nd base and into the stands this year in New York. Speaking of which, I saw about five minutes of the Winter Olympics and happened to catch freeskiing, which not only takes a really stoned person to participate in, apparently, but also to think it should be one word. “Can I get a hyphen up in here?!” is what the word freeskiing says when it enters a club. As for freeskiing, are the coaches stoned too because anyone with half a brain cell can look at one of the ‘freeskiers’ and tell them they’d be able to twist in the air and land a whole lot better if they pulled up their pants. Wow, I just sounded like my father. Any the hoo! A 6% HR/FB is fine for him; ground balls aren’t bad for him. I’m just pointing out that you shouldn’t expect more than 15 homers. I have him down for 13. Our Steamer projections have him down for 14.1 homers. That’s 14 homers and a single with three errors. Cousin Oliver’s projections have him for 9 homers. ESPN has him projected for 18 homers. So there’s that. Now his steals should be there. 30+ bags, definitely. I have him down for 32 steals, which is admittedly on the low side, but that’s because I don’t see Ellsbury playing a full year. Since 2009, his games played has been 153, 18, 158, 74 and 134. Obviously he’s two years older since his last full season. At this point, I’d consider 130 games a full year from him. For those reading along at home, and even some of you reading along at the office, 130 games isn’t a full season. As for others, our Steamer projections have him down for 35.7 steals, Oliver has him down for 46 steals and ESPN has him down for 45. I can’t wrap my head around taking Ellsbury anywhere near the first round with his history of injuries. Though I could wrap my head around a pole if my pants were sagging when I was ski jumping from 50 feet. Not to mention, I’d much rather a guy who could hit 40+ homers, than a guy that could steal 40+ bases — SAGNOF! ESPN has him at 7 overall, Yahoo has him at 18, CBS has him at 8 and I have him at 30. I.e., puff, puff, puff, pass.