It’s understandable to doubt whether or not Jacoby Ellsbury can match last year’s total of 32 home runs. After all, he only went yard 20 times in his first 1,554 plate appearances.
Well, let’s be realistic. If you’re drafting the sixth-year outfielder, you aren’t selecting him for power.
In his three full seasons in the Boston Red Sox lineup, Ellsbury had totaled 50, 70 and 39 steals, which averages out to 53 per year.
Even if his power numbers are reduced by a third, he will still bat over .300 and be a nuisance on the bases.
This is a simple scenario in which addition results from subtraction.
Think of it like this: The less home runs he hits, the more time he will spend on base. The more time he spends on base, the more chances he’ll have to steal. It’s a win-win.
If that isn’t enough to warrant a high pick on him, consider the fact that Boston manager Bobby Valentine has experimented during the preseason opener by having Dustin Pedroia lead off against the Minnesota Twins. If this carries over into the regular season, expect the lefty to have a rise in RBI chances as well.