Today we profile another former Spinner who’s on the Red Sox Spring Training roster, centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
Jacoby Ellsbury – 2005 Spinners stats: .317 BA, 1 HR, 19 RBI, 20 SO, 24 BB in 139 AB
Delayed only by Oregon State’s trip to the College Baseball World Series, Jacoby arrived in Lowell in early July as the Red Sox Number 1 Draft Pick, ahead of fellow Red Sox first rounders on the Spinners 2005 roster Jed Lowrie and Clay Buchholz. Frankly, a few more games with Jacoby leading off could have put the Spinners, who narrowly missed out on the Wild Card, into the playoffs. Drafted just after Johnny Damon departed Boston, fans in Lowell saw the Red Sox centerfielder of the future.
Ellsbury electrified the LeLacheur Faithful with every aspect of his game, hitting over .300 with deft defense in centerfield and a gliding gallop that stole him 23 of 26 bases, including 15 straight before being caught and a Spinners record-tying 3 stolen base performance to end the season.
Jacoby was steady in Lowell, batting over .300 both home and away, and against both left-handed and right-handed pitching. He closed out the season as the Spinners hottest hitter, going 14-for-34 (.412) with eight runs scored in his final eight games of 2005.
Last year, Ellsbury moved straight to High-A Wilmington, where he continued to hit like a pro, batting .299 with 25 stolen bases in 61 games before a promotion to Double-A Portland. Still just 22 years old, Jacoby hit .308 and continued to steal bases, albeit at a lower clip, as the Eastern League Champion SeaDogs lead-off hitter.
Ellsbury is likely slated for Triple-A Pawtucket this season, where he’ll continue to work on his hitting while being more selective on the basepaths. Don’t be surprised if you see him in Boston this fall…if not sooner!