The Can’t Miss Kid

Hype is a word that is thrown around a lot in sports. Teams begin hyping up their own players from the time they are drafted. Every team has the next “can’t miss” prospect. Players from the past like Brien Taylor and Todd Van Poppel were both first round “can’t miss” prospects who were crushed under the pressure created by their teams. This year, when it comes to Red Sox prospects, it appears we can actually believe the hype.

There have been some incredible stories this year about some Red Sox rookies. Everyone knows what Clay Buchholz has done in his second big-league start. Hideki Okajima made the AL All Star team and has been the ideal setup man for Jonathan Papelbon. And of course, Dustin Pedroia just keeps on hitting and gets better every game.

In Boston, there is another rookie who laughs in the face of the hype machine. Since being promoted from the Triple A Pawtucket Red Sox, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has turned the Major Leagues on its ear. This kid has played in only 10 big league games this year and is already showing that his days in Pawtucket are officially over. Ellsbury has played all three outfield position and has yet to commit an error, and his diving catch Monday night against the Blue Jays was a game saver. Ellsbury has also batted in several different spots in the lineup and has hit .393 with 2 home runs.

Since being drafted in the first round by Boston in 2005, Ellsbury has moved quickly through the minors, excelling at each level, even winning Boston’s Minor League Defensive Player of the Year in 2006. One scouting report compared Ellsbury to “a better version of Johnny Damon. I say a better version because he has all the same baseball talent, but a better arm, and minus the greed and ***holeness.”

There is one little problem. The Red Sox now have four starting outfielders. Who is going to be odd man out? Ellsbury isn’t going anywhere: pencil him into the Sox lineup for the next ten years. With Manny and J.D. Drew signed to outrageous contracts, it appears Coco Crisp’s days are numbered.

The Red Sox have a proud tradition of all-star outfielders. It may be time to add one more name to the list.

2 Responses to “The Can’t Miss Kid”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Todd Van Poppel will make a comeback!!! Seeing Coco leave would be a sad day. Crisp makes better catches then Damon ever did, and doesn’t have week long injuries follow, just more great catches. Ellsbury is another great reason to dislike Drew.

  2. Dave Says:

    I agree with 100%, Coco has really grown on me this year. He is arguably the best defensive outfielder in the American League. I just that he was more consistent at the plate and had a little more power. If he did, the Red Sox wouldn’t have even looked at J.D. Drew, now we’re stuck with him.
    Thanks for commenting.

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