Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 8/11/13
If this is the real Jacoby Ellsbury, he’s pretty damn good. Ellsbury was the subject of a lot of chatter before this season. We all knew that he was entering his contract year, but his career path made it nearly impossible to predict his future. It seems like as this season gets deeper, we’re gaining a clearer picture of Ellsbury’s true colors, and it’s becoming more and more obvious that he’s one of baseball’s more dynamic players. Ellsbury racked up four hits and led the Red Sox to a 5-3 victory over the Royals on Saturday. He smacked a pair of RBI doubles, added two singles, stole a base and provided his usual fantastic defense. It was the latest solid effort in what has been an excellent season for the 29-year-old center fielder. Ellsbury is now hitting .305 with seven home runs, 43 RBIs and a .366 on-base percentage. He leads the majors with 42 stolen bases, and he has only been caught four times, which is good for a 91.3 percent success rate. The impressive skill set is nothing new. We knew all about Ellsbury’s speed, defense and bat-to-ball ability. However, it was unclear before this season if he’d manage to stay healthy for an entire campaign, and it was difficult to figure out his offensive ceiling. A lot can obviously change over the final 43 regular season games, but it feels like we’re seeing the real Ellsbury after an offseason of curiosity. He’s not the guy who hit 32 home runs with 105 RBIs in 2011, but he’s also not the guy who hit just .271 and got on base at a .313 clip in 74 games in 2012. Instead, he is — as many predicted — somewhere in the middle, and that’s good enough to rank him among baseball’s elite leadoff hitters. There were some hiccups earlier this season, and manager John Farrell even admitted at one point that he was considering dropping Ellsbury in the order. Ellsbury turned things around in late May, though, and he’s been in the zone ever since. “It’s more about timing. We saw a number of balls before he caught fire that he got beat deep in the zone with some fastballs and he just wasn’t getting his front foot down in time,” Farrell said. “As he started to get on base and get some base hits, certainly he relaxed and the confidence grew. He’s in a good place right now and has been in quite a while.” Ellsbury is hitting .353 (91-for-258) since May 26, and he’s among the AL leaders in a number of statistical categories. He has hit in 88 games this season — most among MLB leadoff hitters — and he’s even begun to show increased power with six home runs since July 11. It has all come together for Ellsbury, and the turnaround can be traced back to a three-game series in Chicago in late May. But every now and then, you get a performance like Saturday’s, which reinforces just how important he is to the Red Sox’ success this season. There will come a time after this season when the most frequent numbers tossed around are dollar figures. Right now, he’s helping his cause by demonstrating consistency, durability and explosiveness, and all appear to be a true indication of who Ellsbury is as a player. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here. Filed under: Boston Red Sox, Jacoby Ellsbury, Ricky Doyle, Top Stories

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

DeMarcus Cousins was ‘praying’ for a better supporting cast with Sacramento

Report: Nets trading Bojan Bogdanovic to Wizards

Elliott spoke with police after 'best friend' caught with gun

Jets reportedly believe Jay Cutler can compete in AFC East

Report: 'Melo could waive no-trade clause for Clippers after season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rivers: Paul medically cleared to play, could return Thursday

Trea Turner missed part of Nats camp Wedneday for jury duty

Hernandez's prison calls to Pouncey could come up in trial

Josh Hamilton experiences pain in reconstructed knee, leaves camp

Report: Pacers gauging trade market for Paul George

Washington eyeing Romo as potential Cousins replacement?

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker