Mid-Season Report Card: Jacoby Ellsbury
Jacoby Ellsbury will always be known for having his horrendously expensive contract, but he's actually produced when being on the field in 2017. Even then though, he's been the fourth best outfielder for the Yankees. He was the starting center fielder up until an injury that forced him to miss a month of the season. It happened on the first play of the game in which he ran into the wall and picked up a concussion in the process. He then suffered from many complications and symptoms throughout the coming weeks and just returned last week. During the DL stint, Aaron Hicks broke out and proved to be a much better version of himself than in 2016. Hicks’ improvements forced Joe Girardi to make a difficult decision and bench Ellsbury upon his return from the DL.
|Photo Credit: Paul Beaty/AP|
First Half Performance:
Ellsbury has played solid atop the lineup this season. In 147 ABs, Ellsbury has given the Yankees a productive .279 batting average with four homers and 14 RBIs. His ability on the basepaths is still prevalent, as he has nine stolen bases.
Ellsbury has already scored five runs in three games since returning, going three-for-12 in that span and now up to 24 runs on the season. His OBP is very pleasing at .346 and WAR of 1.1 shows he still has real value. He has hit in the last 12 games that he has started, giving the Yankees a very good fourth outfielder option.
Ellsbury also tied a very interesting record the other night. He tied Pete Rose with his 29th time reaching base on a catcher's interference. It was the third instance of it this season and he broke the record for most in a season in 2016 with 12 catcher interference.
Expectations for Second Half:
Although he lost his starting job, Ellsbury should still get plenty of playing time, especially with the recent injury to Hicks. Ells will give any of the three outfielders a day off when needed and will step in and start if one goes down with an injury. His speed is still a valuable asset, which translates to his very good defense in center. Ellsbury will get plenty of chances still on this injury-ridden team, especially in pinch-run situations likely. Past his prime, Ellsbury should still continue being a productive player for the Yankees in the second half of the season.
Ellsbury will never be able to get rid of the “overpaid” label to his name, but he has been a good team player throughout the season and if he can stay away from injuries, his speed will be a huge asset toward the Yankees making a run at the 2017 playoffs.
Article by: Spencer Schultz
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