Jacoby Ellsbury: the Next Big Thing in Beantown

Andrew SilvaCorrespondent IJune 1, 2008

Jacoby Ellsbury is already a star among the Boston faithful, but I feel he has the potential to become a legend in Beantown.

Now, many of you are probably going to laugh at that last sentence. How can a player with only 287 career at-bats already be considered a superstar? Well, to be honest, it is only a gut feeling I can provide.

I am an avid Red Sox fan, and I watch almost every game when I'm home from school during the summer. There are plenty of stars on this year's team, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez being the obvious ones. However, when Jacoby Ellsbury is up to bat, I always get the feeling something exciting is going to happen.  Whether it is turning a routine ground out into an infield single, turning doubles into triples, or even the occasional flash of power, Ellsbury seems to give off an electric feeling in the batter's box.

Many like to say Ellsbury is the next Johnny Damon, but I feel this is a very unfair comparison, for Johnny Damon that is. It seems at first to be a logical comparison, both are outfielders, both bat left handed, both play excellent defense, and both are probably best known for their speed. To me, it is the latter that gives Ellsbury the chance to be a superstar.

When he gets a walk or a single, you might as well let him go to second because of his explosion on the steal. The first time he was thrown out in his career it took a pitch out and a perfect throw from the catcher to get him, and even then it was a very close play. With an on-base percentage thus far in his career of .388, it seems like opposing teams will have to get used to it, too.

If Ellsbury can maintain a similar on-base percentage throughout his years, and flirt with a .300 batting average every year, I believe he will be making a visit to Cooperstown.

Again many of the things I am saying are premature. Saying he is a future Hall of Famer may be considered insane by some, but to me, it does not seem that extreme. Ellsbury already has a World Series ring and played a crucial part in the team, winning it as a rookie. Right now, he is one of the front runners for the AL Rookie of the Year on a team poised to at least be in the hunt for another ring, and is winning the hearts of the fans in baseball-crazy Boston.

Of course, for Ellsbury to end up a Boston legend he needs to stay there most of, if not his entire, career. Personally, I hope Theo Epstein and the Red Sox front office make it a priority this offseason to sign Ellsbury to contract extensions like many teams are doing with their own young studs.

If Ellsbury can spend the next 10 years being the spark plug for the Boston offense, putting up excellent numbers and hopefully bring in another ring, the Boston Faithful will have no choice but to put him in the circle of great Boston athletes. My expectations may be high, but when I hear Jacoby Ellsbury, I think star.