New York Yankees: Jacoby Ellsbury has been key to success


The New York Yankees are off to a great start in the 2015 season, and a big part of that has to do with the great start for Jacoby Ellsbury.

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Ellsbury was a big signing for the Yankees last offseason, and things didn’t start off the way the Yankees or Ellsbury would have wanted in 2014. Last season, Ellsbury hit just .271, which was a bit of a disappointment. He was batting out of position for most of the season in the three-hole, but production was down.

This season, Ellsbury is back in his normal lead-off spot, and he has been a catalyst at the top of the Yankees’ lineup. In 2015, Ellsbury is hitting .351, with 19 runs scored, and 11 RBI. The .351 batting average for Ellsbury has him ranked eighth in the American League in the early part of the season.

Ellsbury was recently in the middle of some controversy in the game against his former team. In the Yankees’ 8-5 win against the Boston Red Sox, Hanley Ramirez took exception to being hit by a pitch from Adam Warren, and the Red Sox would retaliate.

“You throw one up and in and at 3-0 you come at me,” Ellsbury said to Dan Martin of the New York Post. “I don’t really care what they’re trying to do over there, but I just took my base and let them know I didn’t appreciate it. I don’t need to get thrown out. I realize my importance to my team. It didn’t hurt anyways. I should have stolen two bases off of him.”

Ellsbury had a great game on Sunday Night Baseball going 4-for-4 with two runs scored, as he was a main reason for the Yankees win. A sweep of the Red Sox is always a big momentum boost for the Yankees, and a great series from Ellsbury helped them achieve that.

The Yankees’ lineup had a lot of question marks heading into 2015, but so far they have been very productive for the most part.

Ellsbury’s running mate Brett Gardner has also done very well at the top of the order. Gardner was one of the better hitters for the Yankees last season, and this season is off to another very good start. In 2915, Gardner is hitting .320 with 17 runs scored, and eight stolen bases.

May 1, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira (25) and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (22) celerbrate after defeating the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The combination of Ellsbury and Gardner has been great for the Yankees’ offense. The speed of both players have helped score runs, and with both getting on base over 40% of the time, they are lots of opportunities to score.

With Ellsbury and Gardner setting the table so well, it is imperative that the middle of the order knock them in.

The Yankees are currently sixth in all of baseball in runs scored, which is much better than ranking 20th last season. The improved offense has sparked the Yankees to a 16-9 record, which is the best in the AL East by three games.

If Ellsbury can keep it up for the Yankees, they very well could exceed all expectations in the 2015 season.

Next: Where do the Yankees rank in our Power Rankings?

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