Boston Red Sox: 50 greatest players of all-time
The Red Sox selected Oregon State University outfield prospect Jacoby Ellsbury with the 23rd overall pick in the 2005 June Amateur Draft and he made his debut in Boston a little more than two years later.
Ellsbury got some playing time in 2007 as a utility outfielder and started all four games of the Red Sox’ sweep of the Colorado Rockies in the World Series.
Then he began his official rookie season in 2008, taking over as the regular center fielder and finishing third in the Rookie of the Year voting after leading the American League with 50 stolen bases.
In 2009, he topped the AL with 70 steals, shattering Tommy Harper’s team record of 54 set in 1973, and also led the league with 10 triples.
A troublesome broken rib cut Ellsbury’s 2010 season to 18 games, but he returned with a vengeance in 2011. Ellsbury earned his only All-Star berth to date in 2011, adding a Gold Globe and finishing second in the MVP voting behind Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
He hit a career-high 32 homers — the only time he’s topped 16 — with 105 RBI and a league-best 364 total bases.
Ellsbury led the AL with 52 steals in 2013, in a sparkling 56 attempts, before signing as a free agent with the New York Yankees in December of that year.
In parts of seven seasons with Boston, Ellsbury hit .297/.350/.789, an OPS+ of 108, with 65 homers, 314 RBI, 476 runs and 241 stolen bases.
In four postseasons with the Red Sox, Ellsbury appeared in 38 games with a .301/.358/.772 slash line and 17 RBI to go with 26 runs and 11 stolen bases. He helped Boston to World Series wins in 2007 and 2013.
Ellsbury remains under contract with the Yankees through 2020, with a team option/buyout for the 2021 season.