Ellsbury during his time with the Boston Red Sox.
|New York Yankees – No. 22|
September 11, 1983 |
|Bats: Left||Throws: Left|
|June 30, 2007 for the Boston Red Sox|
(through 2013 season)
|Runs batted in||314|
|Career highlights and awards|
Ellsbury was first drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 23rd round of the 2002 MLB Draft, but did not sign. He then was drafted 23rd overall by the Boston Red Sox in 2005, after playing three years at Oregon State. Ellsbury is the only Red Sox player in history to be a member of the 30–30 club, a feat he accomplished on September 25, 2011, against the Yankees. In 2011 Ellsbury also won his first Rawlings Gold Glove Award, his first Silver Slugger Award, and was the American League MVP runner-up to Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers.
Jacoby officially is a member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, and is the first Native American of Navajo descent to reach the Major Leagues. As of 2008 he was one of only three active non-Hispanic Native American players in Major League Baseball, along with Kyle Lohse of the Milwaukee Brewers and Joba Chamberlain of the Tigers. Ellsbury's mother Margie is full-blooded Native-American (Navajo) and his father is of English and German descent.
Jacoby was born September 11, 1983, in Madras, Oregon to Jim and Margie Ellsbury, and is the oldest of four children. In Little League he often played with teammates up to three years older than himself,. And at Madras High School. he lettered in five sports. In his senior year in baseball he hit .537 with 65 stolen bases. In basketball he averaged 23.6 points and 4.4 blocks per game. He finished his football career with nine interceptions and six kickoff returns for touchdowns. He went to Oregon State University where he was a Baseball America first-team All-American and Pac-10 Conference Co-Player of the year, with Trevor Crowe. He was drafted in the 1st round of the 2005 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox.
Ellsbury began his professional career on July 14, 2005, with the Lowell Spinners in the short-season Single-A New York–Penn League. On September 7, he tied a Lowell team record with three stolen bases in a single game. Ellsbury finished the season batting .317, with 23 stolen bases in 35 games.
Ellsbury began the 2006 season as the number six prospect in the Red Sox organization with the Single-A Wilmington Blue Rocks of the Carolina League. On July 3, he tied a Wilmington franchise record by stealing four bases in a game. After batting .299 with 25 steals in 61 games and being named to the 2006 Carolina League All-Star team, Ellsbury was promoted to the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs of the Eastern League on July 12.
Soon after his promotion to Portland, Ellsbury was named Eastern League Player of the Week for August 6–13, after batting .400 along with his first Double-A home run, and hitting safely in seven straight games. Ellsbury finished the Double-A season in Portland batting .308 with 16 steals in 50 games and the Red Sox selected him as their Minor League Defensive Player of the Year and Base Runner of the Year, and gave him a roster spot on the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League (AFL), an off-season developmental league for top prospects. In the AFL, Ellsbury hit .276 in 25 games, but his defensive skills were enough to earn him a spot in the AFL Rising Stars All-Star game.
Ellsbury participated in the Red Sox' 2007 spring training camp in Fort Myers, Florida as a non-roster invitee and was assigned to the minor league camp on March 9. He was rated the number one prospect in the Red Sox organization, the number 33 prospect in baseball for 2007 by Baseball America and the number 43 prospect by Sports Illustrated.
Ellsbury began the 2007 season as the starting center fielder for the Sea Dogs and was promoted to the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox on May 4 after batting .452 in 17 games at Portland, and being named the Eastern League Player of the Month for April. He was chosen to play in the 2007 All-Star Futures Game as part of the MLB All-Star festivities at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Ellsbury finished the Triple-A season with 33 stolen bases, which tied him for second in the International League with Darnell McDonald of the Rochester Red Wings, and one behind league leader Bernie Castro of the Columbus Clippers. Although Castro had 34 steals in 118 games, and McDonald had 33 steals in 134 games, Ellsbury's 33 steals came in 87 games.
For the second consecutive season, the Red Sox selected him as their minor league Defensive Player of the Year and Baserunner of the Year.
Boston Red Sox
With an injury to Coco Crisp, Ellsbury's contract was purchased and he received a call-up to the Red Sox on June 30, 2007, where he made his MLB debut in center field and hit ninth against the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park wearing number 46.
He got his first major league hit against Robinson Tejeda in the bottom of the third inning of that game, and his first career stolen base came off pitcher Brandon McCarthy and catcher Gerald Laird of the Rangers on July 2. He also impressed in that game when he scored from second base on a wild pitch. Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame member Johnny Pesky described the play as "the greatest single play I've ever seen in all my years in baseball". He was optioned back to Pawtucket on July 5 after appearing in six games for the Red Sox.
On September 1, when the Major League rosters expanded to 40 players, he was again recalled to the Red Sox. On September 2, he hit his first major league home run, a solo shot which landed in the Red Sox bullpen, in the bottom of the fourth inning run off Daniel Cabrera of the Baltimore Orioles.
During the 2007 postseason, with Coco Crisp struggling, Ellsbury got the start in center field for Game 6 of the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians, starting the rest of the post season games for the Red Sox. In 11 postseason games, he hit .360 in 25 at-bats with two stolen bases.
With his two doubles off Josh Fogg in the top of the third inning of Game 3 of the 2007 World Series on October 27, he became the first rookie to hit two doubles in the same inning of a World Series game. After hitting another double off Brian Fuentes in the eighth inning, he became the fourth rookie ever to hit three doubles in a World Series game. His four hits, including a single in the first inning, made him only the third rookie to ever accomplish the feat in the World Series, after Freddie Lindstrom in 1924 and Joe Garagiola in 1946. He batted .438 with four doubles and a stolen base for the World Series.
Heading into the 2008 season, Jacoby was ranked #13 prospect by Baseball America, the #16 prospect by Baseball Prospectus and #19 prospect by ESPN Scouts Inc. He was ranked by all as #2 prospect in the Red Sox organization behind Clay Buchholz.
He hit .224, with .291 On-base percentage (OBP), and a .347 Slugging Percentage in 16 spring training games and started in center field for the 2008 Major League Baseball season opener against the Oakland Athletics on March 25 at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. He hit his first home run of the season on April 6 off Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre leading off the top of the 3rd inning.}
On April 22, Jacoby had his first career multi-home run game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
On May 18, Jacoby's consecutive stolen base streak ended at 25, when he was caught stealing on a pitch-out in the fourth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Fenway Park. Jacoby was two stolen bases shy of the major league record held by Tim Raines in 1979. On May 30, with three steals against the Baltimore Orioles, he became the first Red Sox player to steal more than two bases in a game since Jerry Remy stole four on June 14, 1980.
He finished the season with 50 steals to lead the American League, putting him third on the list of Red Sox all-time stolen base leaders for a single season, behind Tommy Harper (54) in 1973 and Tris Speaker (52) in 1912.
Jacoby hit .333, with a .400 OBP and a .567 Slugging Percentage, and three stolen bases in the American League Division Series in which the Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 3–1, in the best-of-five series.
In the second inning of Game 3 of the ALDS, he hit the first 3-run single in postseason history when Howie Kendrick and Torii Hunter let a pop-up fall to the ground between them. Shortly after, Jacoby stole second base.
After going 0–14 in the first three games of the American League Championship Series against the Tampa Bay Rays, Ellsbury was benched in favor of Coco Crisp with only a pinch hitting at-bat in game 4. He did not play in games 5, 6 or 7, and the Sox eventually lost the series 4–3.
On April 12, Jacoby played his 179th straight regular-season game without an error, breaking the franchise record for outfielders held by Mike Greenwell. On April 15, with six errorless chances, Jacoby passed Coco Crisp for most errorless total chances by a center fielder, setting a new Red Sox franchise record of 433.
On April 26, in a game against the New York Yankees, Ellsbury stole home while Andy Pettitte was in his windup. According to the April 26 edition of SportsCenter, Ellsbury's was the first steal of home plate by a Red Sox player with no other runners attempting to steal since Jeff Frye stole home in a game in 1999, and it was the first steal of home plate with no squeeze attempt or other runners attempting to steal (a "pure" steal of home) since Billy Hatcher in 1994.
On May 20, Jacoby tied a major league record for outfielders with 12 putouts in a nine-inning game, tying Earl Clark of the Boston Braves who accomplished the feat against the Cincinnati Reds on May 10, 1929 and Lyman Bostock of the Minnesota Twins who did it against the Red Sox on May 25, 1977.
On June 17, his streak of 232 games and 554 chances without an error ended at Fenway when, in the top of the first inning, a ball hit by Jorge Cantú of the Florida Marlins went off the top of his glove. It was the longest errorless streak by an outfielder in Red Sox history.
On August 21, Jacoby tied Tommy Harper's Red Sox single season record for stolen bases (54), in a game against the Yankees. Ellsbury then broke the record with his 55th steal on August 25, against the Chicago White Sox.
He won Defensive Player of the Year in MLB.com's annual This Year in Baseball Awards 2009.
During the offseason, with permission from the Red Sox and MLB, Jacoby changed his uniform number from 46 to 2, which had belonged to the Red Sox' former bench coach, Brad Mills, who left the organization to become the manager of the Houston Astros.
With the Red Sox signing free agent center fielder Mike Cameron and not re-signing left fielder Jason Bay, Jacoby was moved to the starting left field position from center field. He spent a considerable amount of time playing left field during the 2007 playoffs in late innings when players were being substituted, before earning the primary job in center field over Coco Crisp. The move was made as the result of Cameron's experience in center and inexperience in left. Jacoby tends to play more flexibly and so can be moved. Manager Terry Francona expressed excitement over the prospect of playing a true center fielder in left field, creating a larger fielding range and more aggressive style.
On April 11, Jacoby collided with Red Sox third baseman Adrián Beltré in a game against the Kansas City Royals, and the collision resulted in hairline fractures to four of his left ribs. He was put on the 15-day disabled list on April 20, and he returned to the Red Sox on May 22.
On May 28, Ellsbury returned to the 15-day DL after playing in only three games due to residual soreness in his ribs from the collision with Beltré. He met with a thoracic specialist who advised him that his ribs should be further along in the healing process before he would be able to play. On July 26, he started his rehab assignment with Single-A Lowell Spinners. He rejoined the Red Sox on August 4.
During games on August 2 and 3, Jacoby had walk-off hits in the back-to-back games against the Cleveland Indians; a single off Vinnie Pestano and a home run off Joe Smith. On August 6, he hit a three-run home run and drove in a career-high six runs in Boston's 10–4 win over the New York Yankees. On September 25, he hit two home runs during the first game of a doubleheader against the Yankees to become the first member of the Boston Red Sox to join the 30–30 club.
He then hit a three-run home run in the 14th inning of the second game of the doubleheader to give the Red Sox the win. Jacoby finished the season with career highs in home runs (32), hits (212), RBIs (105), runs (119), and batting average (.321).
He won his first Rawlings Gold Glove Award and finished as one of only two qualifying players to complete the season with a 1.000 fielding percentage. Jacoby was awarded a Silver Slugger for his hitting, joining teammate Adrian Gonzalez as the only AL players to win both a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in 2011. Jacoby was voted the American League Comeback Player of the Year, and finished second in the 2011 AL MVP ballot, with 242 points, losing to Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander (280).
On April 13, 2012, while attempting to slide under Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Reid Brignac in an attempt to break up a double play, Jacoby collided with the shortstop. His right shoulder was injured when Brignac fell on top of his exposed shoulder. He was placed on the disabled list with a subluxation of the shoulder on April 14. He was activated from the DL and returned to the Red Sox lineup on July 13, and finished the season with a .271 batting average, four home runs, 26 RBI, and 14 stolen bases in only 74 games played.
On May 26, Ellsbury hit a walk-off 2-run double as part of a four-run, ninth-inning rally against the Cleveland Indians.
In the August 28 game against the Orioles, Ellsbury suffered a compression fractured by fouling a ball off his right foot. He was taken to the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo., for treatment from Dr. Thomas Clanton, who cleared him to rejoin the Red Sox lineup on September 25, well ahead of the preliminary prognosis. As one reporter noted, “Ellsbury can try to steal bases right away, if Ellsbury's up to it.”
Ellsbury turned in a strong performance in the 2013 postseason, batting .500 in the ALDS and .318 in the ALCS. In the World Series, Ellsbury started the eventual series-winning rally in Game 6 with a single and earned his second ring as a member of the Red Sox.
Ellsbury's contract expired on October 31, 2013 and he became a free agent for the first time in his career.
New York Yankees
On December 3, 2013, Ellsbury and the New York Yankees agreed in principle to a seven-year $153 million deal, including an option for an eighth year that could increase the value of the contract to $169 million. The contract became official on December 7.
Jacoby was raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), but as reported in the Boston Globe in 2008, he and his three brothers stopped attending services when Jacoby was a teenager. He said, "I try not to get Him too involved in baseball. What I wish for is good health."
Jacoby was one of the victims of the $8 billion fraud perpetrated by wealth manager Allen Stanford; although he had some assets frozen, it did not cause him any significant hardship, like those suffered by Johnny Damon and Xavier Nady.
Ellsbury married Kelsey Hawkins in December 2012.
In 2010, Ellsbury released a Zinfandel wine called ZinfandEllsbury through Charity Wines, with 100% of his proceeds donated among three charities: The Navajo Relief Fund, Project Bread: The Walk for Hunger, and Ellsbury Read Project. The wine launched alongside a charity wine by former Boston Red Sox teammate Josh Beckett, called Chardon-K.
- 2x World Series Champion 2007, 2013
- 2007 American League Rookie of the Month – September
- 2008 Red Sox rookie single season stolen bases record
- 2008 American League stolen base leader
- 2009 All time Red Sox single season stolen bases record
- 2009 MLB Stolen Base Leader
- 2011 American League Comeback Player of the Year
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jacoby Ellsbury.|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
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