Monday, March 22, 2010

Jacoby Ellsbury

Jacoby Ellsbury had a good season in 2009, but he had an interesting mix of stats that he won't want to repeat:

Jacoby Ellsbury (2009): .301 BA, 94 R, 70 SB

He led the ML in stolen bases by a healthy margin, with closest being Michael Bourn at 61.  Getting to 70 stolen bases is very difficult and it hasn't been done on a regular basis since the 80's, when Tim Raines, Rickey Henderson and Vince Coleman were lighting up the basepaths.  He was only the 3rd player of the entire decade to have 70 steals in a season, with the others being Jose Reyes in 2007 (78) and Scott Podsednik in 2004 (70).

70+ Steals
1900's: 1
1910's: 9
1920's: 0
1930's: 0
1940's: 0
1950's: 0
1960's: 4
1970's: 10
1980's: 25
1990's: 8
2000's: 3

Out of the 60 times that it has occurred, there have only been 22 times that there has been a .300 average with it.  Out of the 22 times, there have only been 6 when the player has failed to score 100 runs:

.300 BA, 70+ SB, sub-100 runs
1910 Eddie Collins
1913 Clyde Milan
1980 Dave Collins
1981 Tim Raines
1986 Tim Raines
2009 Jacoby Ellsbury

When you add in that Ellsbury hit leadoff for most of the year and the Red Sox were 3rd in runs scored with 872, it becomes even more unusual.  He still had a very good season, and it probably doesn't mean too much, but it is unusual that someone leading off in a good lineup with so many steals didn't score 100 runs. 

It will also be interesting to see if he continues to run as often.  The last time anyone stole 80 bases was 1988, when both Vince Coleman and Rickey Henderson did it.  It would be a good goal to shoot for, but it may be out of reach.

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