He broke into the Red Sox lineup in a bug way part way through the 2007 season, which soon saw him take over the center-field position on a regular basis in short time. In 116 games that year, he batted .353 while contributing to Boston's second World Series championship in four years. He continued his success in 2008 and 2009 before injuries caught up to him in 2010.
Jacoby Ellsbury's 2010 campaign was one to forget. In his defense, though, it was one to forget for many of the Red Sox as they missed the playoffs for the first time 2006. In 2010, Ellsbury was limited to just 78 games where he batted a dreadful .192 while driving in just five RBIs and no home runs.
While the Red Sox had faith in their young center-fielder, critics around the league didn't quite the same way as most thought that, with his bad season, Ellsbury was on his way out of Boston, if not baseball altogether. Nevermind that even the best of players can have a bad season or two but for Jacoby Ellsbury to not have his A-game last year was, in many people's eyes, unacceptable. If you ask me, dismissing the All-Star so much prematurely is what's unacceptable.
I'm sure Jacoby Ellsbury feels privileged that he is the first Navajo Indian to play Major League Baseball and why wouldn't he be? But Ellsbury's too smart of a man and too gifted of an athlete to rest on that sentiment alone. Ellsbury's had all winter to recuperate from his injuries and made it a personal mission to redeem himself in 2011 - and he did just that.
In 108 games thus far, Ellsbury is batting .317 with 18 homers (which ties a career-high) and 65 RBIs, good enough to be named an All-Star for the first time in his career.
Most recently, though, Ellsbury has come through for his team in a big way. Two nights ago while hosting the Cleveland Indians with the game knotted at 2 in the bottom of the ninth, Ellsbury ripped a line into center that scored the winning run, marking the first walk-off hit of the 27-year-old's career. But he didn't have to wait long for his second walk-off as the following night, llsbury cranked a homer in the center-field bleachers to give the Red Sox the 4-3 win.
Essentially, whoever suggested that Jacoby Ellsbury's time in Boston should be nearing an end was sorely mistaken. Along with the likes of Ortiz, Gonzalez and Youkilis, Ellsbury is pulling more than his fair share of the weight in Beantown and keep them in that all-too-competetive AL East race.
Keep it up, Jacoby!