Jacoby Ellsbury, the 13th ranked prospect according to Baseball America’s preseason list, has been on the major league roster of the Boston Red Sox for the entire 2008 season to date, one of about eleven names on the Top 100 to do so.* That makes him one of those guys that occasionally slips through the cracks at Bus Leagues: Ellsbury is clearly a major leaguer at this point, but his place on the Top 100 “allows” us to write about him if we so choose.
*The other ten: Joba Chamberlain (3), Kosuke Fukudome (30), Johnny Cueto (34), Joey Votto (44), Geovany Soto (47), Daric Barton (48), Jair Jurrjens (49), Carlos Gomez (52), Nick Blackburn (56), Manny Parra (72). Am I leaving anyone out? Only players who made their team out of spring training and have not been demoted are included.
Ellsbury is in the news today, not surprisingly, for his legs. Yesterday afternoon in Cincinnati, he stole two bases to tie the Red Sox team record for stolen bases by a rookie. Today, in the very first inning, he rolled a single through the hole between short and third, then stole second on the very first pitch to Dustin Pedroia to break the mark, which had stood since 1908. Ellsbury then stole third and scored on Pedroia’s sacrifice fly.
In breaking the record, Ellsbury victimized fellow top prospect Homer Bailey, making his third start for the Reds. Bailey did not have a good afternoon, allowing five runs in 2.1 innings pitched, including three homeruns (Ellsbury, Coco Crisp, J.D. Drew). His ERA currently stands at a healthy 8.76 after three starts and the team is concerned with a serious decrease in the velocity on his fastball.