Coco and Jacoby, CF of the Future?


Saw this picture on the Globe website the other day and I couldn’t help but wonder when the Debate will begin in earnest: Keep Coco next season, or hand CF to a rookie? Hell, forget about next season…what happens when Manny comes back?

I’m torn, myself. I really like Crisp, but it’s looking more and more
like he sandwiched two very solid offensive months in between a whole
lot of awful. After what seemed like a resurgent June and July, in which he posted OPS’s
of .816 and .896 respectively, August heralded a return to the .600 OPS
Crisp we’ve come to know. Granted, the guy probably deserves a Gold Glove for
his play in center this season, but does it really make up for his
offensive shortcomings?

Ellsbury’s overall numbers in Pawtucket aren’t extraordinary, but they belie the fact that he was injured once or twice and has been raking since his late-July or early-August return from a hamstring injury. Since the minor-league break, he sports a .313/.358/380 line in AAA, and in 106 August ab’s, those numbers jumped to .368/.404/.443.

The lack of power is a concern, and his OBP is actually worse then I thought; it’s entirely average-driven, and while the K/BB is fine, Ellsbury’s just not walking enough for my liking. Of course, the 4 walks in 39 major-league plate appearances is a pretty good start, and he’s only struck out once, but that’s obviously a tiny sample.

I really don’t know what I’d like to see them do next season. I guess you kind of have to stick with Crisp down the stretch and presumably into the postseason, though I do hope they find room for Ellsbury on the bench. If someone has to be traded, I’d prefer it be Crisp. Or Manny, I suppose, if a suitable replacement happens to wander over from New York…

38 comments… add one
  • I forget what the formula is that the Sox front office says prospects tend to exhibit upon arrival to the majors — it’s something like adding 10 percent in OBP and losing 20 percent in slugging, or the other way around? I don’t remember.
    Anyway, here’s the thing. Ellsbury is just as fast — if not faster — than Crisp, and has shown no trouble thus far adapting to playing defense in Fenway’s outfield. He hits for higher average, Crisp doesn’t walk much either, and while Ellsbury might not be much of a home run threat, Fenway is bound to boost his slugging thanks to the enormous RF and all the doubles it is sure to provide him.
    I see Ellsbury as a younger, better version of Crisp. I like Crisp a lot, but I don’t think we need two of him — particularly when one of him has been injured or struggling for basically two whole years.

    Paul SF September 6, 2007, 10:24 am
  • “Granted, the guy probably deserves a Gold Glove for his play in center this season, but does it really make up for his offensive shortcomings?”
    According to Seth Mnookin, the answer is yes and then some. He think Coco is the team MVP based on his defense alone.
    Re: Manny
    I guess this might have been the year Manny started to age. It also might be the season that points to the absolute necessity of converting him to a full-time DH. He’s had injury issues in two straight seasons and he’s awful in the field. Of course, Big Papi blocks his way in Boston.

    Nick-YF September 6, 2007, 10:27 am
  • -10% OBP and +20% SLG seems more likely, if it’s true that MLB pitchers throw harder and with better control than MinorLB pitchers do.

    FenSheaParkway September 6, 2007, 10:28 am
  • Coco’s range in CF is reason enough to keep him. That guy tracks down doubles daily.

    Sam-YF September 6, 2007, 10:29 am
  • It’s easy to get excited about Ells, the kid has it all except a throwing arm and not a ton of power, but some.
    I also like the way he battles at the plate, he might not walk a lot, but he’s tough to K because he’s got that uncanny ability to foul off anything near him to keep the AB alive. I love that.
    I also think he’s going to be as good as Coco in the field, his inexperience could be made up for by his speed and their arms are similar. I actually think he’s faster than Coco. I have also not seen anyone on the Red Sox that accelerates like him, he seems to go from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye, this could just be a visual effect though.

    LocklandSF September 6, 2007, 10:44 am
  • Oh, sorry, forgot to say…
    Trade Coco, as much as it hurts, I think you have to.

    LocklandSF September 6, 2007, 10:48 am
  • i was pleased to see more than a few ellsbury t-shirts already being worn at fenway last night.
    also, i tried to get booted for being loud in the standing room area, lockland… no going. we moved on down to seats near the visitors’ bullpen and i tried to get sal fasano’s attention. either he was ignoring me, or i wasn’t as loud as i thought i was.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 6, 2007, 10:50 am
  • he seems to go from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye,
    If he can actually make it to 60, we should alert Guiness! He’s got the world record beat by a good 30 mph! ;-)

    Paul SF September 6, 2007, 10:50 am
  • Coco is definitely not as fast as Ellsbury. Ellsbury has an average of 4.0 to first base since his call up. That ranked him among the best in D1 and now the best in MLB. From the box to the plate, even left handed, Coco isn’t anywhere near Ellsbury in the speed department.
    Actually, and this is funny, the fastest man on the Red Sox right now is Clay Buchholz, who if you’ve ever seen him do sprints on the field in Pawtucket, is the fastest white man you’ve ever seen.

    Brad September 6, 2007, 10:51 am
  • Small samples aside, I’m not convinced Jacoby is ready. For a leadoff/speed guy he doesn’t walk enough and his power needs to develop if he’s going to be a full-time player (.380 in AAA). With only a half a healthy season at AAA, he needs more seasoning.
    Coco is on a cheap contract and has handled Fenway ridiculously well. Keep him around and if Jacoby develops enough to be a legitimate upgrade, then promote him and trade Coco. Coco may still have a .800 OPS season in him. With his defense, that would be fantastic.
    Plus, Jacoby is insurance for injuries that are sure to crop up next year with Drew and Manny on the team, and Coco hasn’t exactly been healthy either. No harm to keeping both around with Jacoby getting his seasoning with the PawSox.

    Pete SF September 6, 2007, 10:53 am
  • Apparently, according to the Globe, the Dodgers were actually eyeing Buchholz in the draft, thinking they could convert him to a Crisp-Ellsbury-style center fielder. Crazy, the amount of talent some people have.

    Paul SF September 6, 2007, 10:53 am
  • I didn’t know that about Clay, interesting. Could come in mighty handy during inter-league play next year.

    LocklandSF September 6, 2007, 11:16 am
  • Clay Buchholz was state champion, not second, and not third, but state champion in the 100 and 200m in his freshman year of high school.
    That’s in Texas. Football and track capital USA. A lot of talent and big names running real fast. A 15 year old kid smoked the entire state.
    That was actually a scorboard nugget info in Pawtucket one night I saw him.
    To me, that’s amazing. But, I hope to never see him running anywhere.

    Brad September 6, 2007, 11:28 am
  • I can’t find any track results on the web after that, so I’m assuming he realized that he could throw a baseball pretty hard that summer!

    Brad September 6, 2007, 11:29 am
  • Wow.

    LocklandSF September 6, 2007, 11:31 am
  • What no jokes yet about the usefulness of running from the pigs?

    Pete SF September 6, 2007, 11:33 am
  • Yankee Fan In Boston September 6, 2007, 11:38 am
  • Ok, that’s a little funny.

    LocklandSF September 6, 2007, 11:46 am
  • I have to admit: I laughed at that, too.

    Paul SF September 6, 2007, 11:53 am
  • If I ever happen to bump into the guy who runs Nomass, and he lets me know that’s what he does, I’m going to punch him right in the teeth. Twice. Three times if necessary.

    Brad September 6, 2007, 11:54 am
  • But, it was funny

    Brad September 6, 2007, 11:54 am
  • No Yankee-related site is more obsessed about the Red Sox and their fans. Other than this one. Duh.

    Paul SF September 6, 2007, 12:04 pm
  • YFiB, The Clay shirts popping up is pretty cool, I saw some on Sunday before the unpleasantness. Especially on little kids. That’s the kind of thing that will stay with a kid. For Christ sake, Jody Reed was my favorite player for a while just because I saw him knock in a couple runs one day and win the game.

    LocklandSF September 6, 2007, 12:11 pm
  • Does anyone else see a little bit of a young Johnny Damon in Ellsburrry? Everytime I see him at the plate his stance and swing just scream Damon from the KC Royals at me.

    Kevin SF September 6, 2007, 1:09 pm
  • Totally Kevin, 100%, but faster and smarter. Not that it’s tough to be smarter than Damon.

    LocklandSF September 6, 2007, 1:33 pm
  • I think the Sox are going to trade some of the young talent to restock the lineup. So who has the most trade value, Ellsbury or Crisp? I’m not too sure.
    I’m also not too sure about Manny getting traded. He’s certainly hurt his value the last couple of years. $20 mil for and aging injury-prone DH?
    I see Arod as being where Manny was a couple of years ago. Getting ready for a slow decline. The guy has got a ton of miles on the odometer. I know he keeps himself in top shape, but he’s got almost as many games played as Manny, plus he plays a tougher position.

    Tom sf September 6, 2007, 1:41 pm
  • For what it’s worth, a sample only has to be > 30 for it to be statistically significant.
    See ya, Coco. We hardly knew ya.

    rz-yf September 6, 2007, 2:42 pm
  • >>>the fastest white man you’ve ever seen.
    Careful there.

    Hudson September 6, 2007, 3:16 pm
  • Hard to imagine a fifteen year old winning the state sprints in Texas. Amazing. I read that he was being recruited by big time schools– like Florida, USC, Wisconsin, Appalachian State, etc..–to play wide receiver. I thought it was some kind of gaffe, but makes sense now.

    kyoto September 6, 2007, 3:28 pm
  • “For what it’s worth, a sample only has to be > 30 for it to be statistically significant.”
    What? Did you take one college course in statistics and you go around telling people that? I just hope you’re not in charge of making multi-million dollar decisions.
    But which ’30’ do you want to use? AB’s or Games or Cheeseburgers?’

    Pete September 6, 2007, 3:28 pm
  • “For what it’s worth, a sample only has to be > 30 for it to be statistically significant.”
    Huh? Tell that to SABR.

    LocklandSF September 6, 2007, 3:32 pm
  • Wow, I didn’t realize the vehemence and sarcasm my comment would induce.
    Be careful, comment moderators, (or lack thereof) – You may find your new readers feeling alienated and unwelcome and leaving forever.
    As for which 30 to use, I like the cheeseburgers, although my doctor would probably have something to say about that.

    rz-yf September 6, 2007, 3:43 pm
  • I would hardly call two comments “vehemence,” RZ. To be fair, I didn’t get the joke either, if you were joking.

    Paul SF September 6, 2007, 3:50 pm
  • Pete, I was thinking of the same thing.
    30 points are useful, if they are independent. Nevermind the whole business of predicting the future.
    I’m rusty on the math, but even with an error of say, 3% on 30 AB is like, 90 points on the batting average…

    Lar September 6, 2007, 3:54 pm
  • This is the problem with print (and email). Inflection of voice and true meaning are not always conveyed the way one intended.

    rz-yf September 6, 2007, 4:00 pm
  • I thought that you were joking, but there was absolutely nothing in there to suggest it (and I looked!). Given the post, I thought you were serious.
    My apologies.

    Pete September 6, 2007, 4:00 pm
  • No offense taken.
    And no, I don’t make multi-million dollar decisions. (thank god.)

    rz-yf September 6, 2007, 4:04 pm
  • Interesting tidbit from the Globe…
    OK, OK.
    I’ve gotten quite a few questions about this, so I’m happy to explain. That’s right, I’m talking about postseason eligibility.
    Here’s the short answer, the one that everyone wants: Yes, Jacoby Ellsbury is potentially eligible for the postseason roster. I’ll explain. Or, rather, I’ll let Red Sox director of baseball operations Brian O’Halloran explain.
    “The position-player-for-position-player / pitcher-for-pitcher requirement is indeed now gone for substitutions prior to a series,” O’Halloran wrote in an e-mail. “However, teams now are allowed to substitute for an injured player during a series. Such in-series substitutions are position-player-for-position-player / pitcher-for-pitcher, and the injured player cannot be active for the remainder of that series or the next series. Those substitutions also require MLB approval.
    “The way substitutions (before a series) work in general is as follows: each team’s initial pool of eligible players is the 25 players on its active roster at midnight on 8/31 plus any players on the 15-day DL, 60-day DL, suspended list, bereavement list, etc. So we have 28 players in this pool (25 plus Donnelly, Clement, and Mirabelli, all of whom were on the DL on 8/31). Any player in a team’s pool who is injured when a given series begins can be substituted for. So if Mirabelli is healthy at that time he will not be eligible to be substituted for, as an example. But if any player of the 28 eligible guys is hurt at the beginning of a series, we could substitute for him. For example, with Donnelly being out for the year, we can substitute any player who was in our organization on Aug. 31 for Brendan. This substitute could be a pitcher or position player, and does not necessarily have to have been a September callup.”
    So there’s your answer. Ellsbury could be in, even though he wasn’t on the 25-man roster as of Aug. 31.

    LocklandSF September 6, 2007, 5:00 pm

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