Red Sox vs the AL East: center fielders

4 of 5

Sep 16, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (22) at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2. Jacoby Ellsbury, Yankees

Ellsbury’s first season in New York didn’t exactly go as planned, as he slashed only .271/.328/.419 a season after signing a 7 year/$153M contract to leave Boston (I’m still bitter about it). His Yankee debut wasn’t a complete waste either, though, as he did manage to stay healthy– playing in 149 games– and was excellent (as usual) on the bases, stealing 39 bags, and in the field. Plus, there are reasons to expect that Ellsbury’s second season with the Yankees could actually be better than his first. His .296 BABIP was 25 points lower than his career mark of .321 and if he regresses to the mean, that slash line could be significantly more impressive. Plus, while Ellsbury didn’t really tap into his power and take advantage of the short porch last season, he could always improve in that area next season. Ellsbury’s 2014 season is likely his floor for the coming year, but he could also wind up being quite a bit better than he was a year ago.