Jacoby Ellsbury: Not a Top 20 Outfielder in 2014

Mike Ehrmann

I bantered with several followers on Twitter about where Jacoby Ellsbury should fall in me 2014 outfielder rankings yesterday. The headline tells you where I stand, and I will tell you why.

I have seen several fantasy writers rank Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury as a top 10 or top 12 pick for 2014 fantasy baseball drafts. One of them was our own Alex Kantecki, who published his early Top 10 for 2014 earlier this month.

Listen, everyone is entitled to their opinions, and I know for a fact, I am not always right on players (Ike Davis says hi), but I am here today to tell you that, for me, Ellsbury is not a first round pick in 2014. And, he isn't a top 10 outfielder for me either. Actually, he isn't even a top 20 outfielder for me either. Maybe I will be in the minority here, but I prefer outfielders who hit for power.

Ellsbury does several things well. He lead the majors in stolen bases this season with 52, although if Everth Cabrera was not suspended, he probably would have given him a run for his money for the stolen base title. Ells hits for a sold batting average as well. He hit .298 this season and is a career .297 hitter. Finally, Ellsbury is probably one of the best leadoff hitters in the game, and as a result, he will score plenty of runs.

But, here is why I won't rank him in my top 20 outfielders for 2014:

1. The stolen bases are nice, especially when he steals 50 or more. But, if you look at the stolen base leaders for this season, two of the top three guys weren't even drafted in most mixed leagues this season. Eric Young Jr. and Rajai Davis stole 46 and 45 bases, respectively. That tells me that you can grab stolen base guys off the waiver wire and they are much easier to trade for as well.

2. Ellsbury scored 92 runs this season, ranking 14th in baseball. But, did you know that there were 29 other hitters who finished within ten runs of him this season? Yes, and there were 40 other hitters who finished within 15 runs of Ellsbury in 2013, so runs are easy to find. Plus, Ellsbury is a free agent at the end of the season, and he will more than likely be leaving the Red Sox for a big contract this offseason, so his run scoring may drop. If the Mariners sign him, and there are some who believe they have strong interest. his runs scored will plummet, because Seattle turns good hitters into hitters you do not want to draft on your fantasy teams.

3. I am a power whore, and will always rank a 20-80-80 hitting outfielder ahead of a low power, 40 stolen base guy. Every day and twice on Sunday.

I ranked Ellsbury as my 25th ranked outfielder in my early outfielder rankings yesterday. Obviously, this isn't a finished product, but here is a look at my early take on the Top 25 outfielders for 2014:

Rank

Name

Team

1

Mike Trout

Angels

2

Andrew McCutchen

Pirates

3

Ryan Braun

Brewers

4

Carlos Gonzalez

Rockies

5

Adam Jones

Orioles

6

Giancarlo Stanton

Marlins

7

Bryce Harper

Nationals

8

Yasiel Puig

Dodgers

9

Carlos Gomez

Brewers

10

Alex Rios

Rangers

11

Jay Bruce

Reds

12

Matt Kemp

Dodgers

13

Jose Bautista

Blue Jays

14

Jason Heyward

Braves

15

Shin-Soo Choo

Reds

16

Wil Myers

Rays

17

Justin Upton

Braves

18

Carlos Beltran

Cardinals

19

Domonic Brown

Phillies

20

George Springer

Astros

21

Matt Holliday

Cardinals

22

Jayson Werth

Nationals

23

Michael Cuddyer

Rockies

24

Hunter Pence

Giants

25

Jacoby Ellsbury

Red Sox

What do Fake Teams' readers think. Let me hear you in the comments section below.

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