Fantasy Toss Up: Jacoby Ellsbury vs. Shane Victorino

Friday, February 20, 2009

So where do you want to get your speed from this year? Option 1 is Mr. Ellsbury, speed demon and heart throb of Boston. Option 2 is the Flyin' Hawaiin, spark plug to the World Champs.

The Fantasy Rankings

CBS ranks Ellsbury at #52 and Victorino at #53.
Yahoo Big Board ranks Ellsbury at #44 and Victorino at #48.
ESPN ranks Ellsbury at #62 and Victorino at #82.

All the rankings favor Ellsbury but by the slightest of margins.


Jacoby Ellsbury: .302, 9 Home Runs, 53 RBI, 100 Runs, 52 Stolen Bases
Shane Victorino: .286, 13 Home Runs, 54 RBI, 88 Runs, 26 Stolen Bases

If you're going to take the projections to heart than it isn't even a close call. Victorino will get you more home runs, but loses everywhere else and gets slaughtered in steals.

Surrounding Lineup

Both players have terrific lineups surrounding them. The Phillies have Rollins, Utley, and Howard plus a little Ibanez and Werth on the side. The Red Sox have Ortiz, Youk, Pedroia, plus a little Bay and Lowell on the side. Neither player if put in the right spot will hurt for RBI or Run scored opportunities.

Question Marks

The biggest question marks for both players relative fantasy values is what spot in the order will they hit? If Victorino is thrust back into the two hole surrounded by Rollins, Utley, and Howard than he'll get fastball after fastball. But if they move him down in the lineup and hit Werth at 6th, than where will his runs scored plummet to?

Ellsbury has the same question. With Coco gone he'll play everyday, which eliminates that questionmark, but will he garner the lead off spot?

The Verdict

I'm not convinced of two things in the projections. First I'm not 100% sold on Ellsbury hitting 9 homers again, but who really cares. Secondly, I don't see why Victorino would drop from 36 and 37 steals the past two seasons to 26. In the end though Ellsbury is the guy, he'll be the category killer. Even if Victorino plumps up his steals total to 40, he'll still fall short of Ellsbury's totals by at least 10 if not more. Additionally, I think Ellsbury is more of a lock to leadoff than Victorino is to hit 2 given that Charles in Charge batted Werth there for much of the postseason run. So draft your Ellsbury and enjoy your dominance in steals.

Posted by Simon at 8:58 AM   Digg! submit to reddit BallHype: hype it up!


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