2011 Fantasy Baseball Debate: Jacoby Ellsbury vs. Brett Gardner

Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner: two outfielders with similar make-up, playing for the enemy and being drafted approximately 110 picks apart. If Ellsbury is going off the board as the No. 18 OF, should Gardner really be the No. 44 OF off the board?

Let’s first examine their last full seasons:

’09 Ellsbury (Age 25) in 693 plate appearances: .301/94R/8HR/60RBI/49BB/70SB (81 percent of the time from the leadoff position)

’10 Gardner (Age 26) in 569 plate appearances: .277/97R/5HR/47RBI/79BB/47SB (20 percent of the time from the leadoff position – 59 percent of the time from the 8 or 9-hole)

If you want to extrapolate Gardner’s plate appearances for a finer comparison, have at it:

Ellsbury: .301/94R/8HR/60RBI/49BB/70SB

Gardner: .277/118R/6HR/57RBI/96BB/57SB

Wow, we’re pretty much looking at very similar players if they get equal plate appearances. This argument holds even more water for 2011 since Ellsbury will most probably be batting in the lower half of the Red Sox lineup, much like Gardner although the NY Daily News is reporting otherwise. We’ll just have to wait and see, but let’s assume they will get equal plate appearances in ’11.

My 2011 Projections give the slight edge to Ellsbury, unless your league counts walks in which I would then rank them EQUAL:

Ellsbury .290/95/10/55/60

Gardner .280/100/5/50/50

Why not pass on Ellsbury, wait eight or nine rounds later and take Brett Gardner who will give you similar stats at a fraction of the price? That’s what I’m doing in drafts.

Red Sox fans, you might want to swallow some pride and follow suit. This is your fantasy baseball team we’re talking about! Go ahead. I won’t tell.

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One response to “2011 Fantasy Baseball Debate: Jacoby Ellsbury vs. Brett Gardner

  1. Pingback: 04.27.11 Box Score Breakdown: Fantasy MLB News and Notes « Fantasy Baseball and Football Advice for the Soul

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