3 Things Jacoby Ellsbury Must Improve In 2015
Jacoby Ellsbury was seen by many as a difference-maker for the Yankees in 2014. Even if he was not expected to supply the power numbers of Mickey Mantle, he was expected to impact the run production similar to Rickey Henderson. But he did not meet the expectations Yankees fans envisioned. With improvement in three specific areas, he can change that in 2015. Then there will be more days that he gets reactions like the following:
“@YESNetwork: Jacoby Ellsbury has been absolutely everywhere for the #Yankees today… pic.twitter.com/vboQJLqUxZ”.
— cheyenne (@cheyennesantoro) septiembre 6, 2014
1. Ellsbury must improve his batting average in 2015. His .271 season average was 22 points below his career average. This is critical if the Yankees are to get production from the top of their lineup. Perhaps a complete return to the leadoff spot is what he needs to return to his career production. If not, Brett Gardner will grab the leadoff spot and Ellsbury may find himself slotted down in the lineup.
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2. To accomplish a higher average, Ellsbury must cut down on his strike outs. His 93 strike outs in 2014 were the second most of his career. The only year that he struck out more was in 2011. That was the year of his best power production. He had 32 home runs and 105 RBI that season. More strike outs are tolerable when power numbers are up. But lower power numbers and more strike outs are not acceptable.
3. Before any of this can happen, Ellsbury must show more consistency in 2015. There were too many hot and cold streaks. That is perhaps what frustrates manager Joe Girardi the most.It is difficult to determine the best spot in the lineup for a player without consistent results.
Still, Jacoby had a solid year on the base paths and in the field. With a year in New York under his belt, we should expect big numbers from him in 2015. And his turn around can help vault the Yankees back where they belong.