Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Melky or Jacoby?

Today I had a rather interesting discussion concerning the relative merits of Melky Cabrera and Jacoby Ellsbury. My colleague, whom I'll call Bruce the Yankee fan, insisted that he never judges players by April or September events, and that in his opinion, Melky Cabrera, with his track record was a superior player to Jacoby Ellsbury.

Not always right, but never in doubt, I argued that Ellsbury's performance, sample size admittedly small, came during a pennant race and World Series. Also in a mere 33 games, Ellsbury had 6 win shares while the redoubtable Melk-Man has had two fairly full seasons with 13 apiece.

Obviously, we're both biased, although I see Ellsbury as a .300 plus hitter, .375 OBP guy, with 15 homer potential and forty steal potential, plus a solid glove in center. I see Melky as the guy who played Trot Nixon's line drive into an inside the park home run. Obviously, the pinstripes devalue him in my eyes and raise him to the apotheosis of centerfielderhood among Yankee fans.

Of course, as we are wont to say, the World Championship race from 2001-2007 stands at Boston 2, Gotham 0.

So people, is Jacoby (if he's still here) or Melky the Real Thing?


SoxFaninNJ said...

I think Jacoby has a higher ceiling. When Melky came up for his brief stint the year before (which is I believe when he mispalyed Trot's ball), he didn't perform nearly as well. The Yankee fans on talk radio all wonder what bill of goods the Yankee organization had given them in proclaiming Melky to be the next homegrown Yankee superstar. What I saw this year is a guy who will be a solid centerfielder with an above average arm, but he will never be an All-Star and he will never be the guy you worry about being able to single-handedly affect the outcome of a game.

Now Jacoby on the other hand, granted it's a small sample size, when he had his first opportunity mid-season he performed very well. He gave management and fans all the confidence in the world about his future. While his arm is not as good as Melky's, I think he showed his glove is as good or better and I see him as having the potential to be able to change a game. When he gets on base he becomes a major distraction. I can't think of many other players, let alone guys on a 10 day call up, who would have stole home from second on a passed ball.

I'd take Jacoby Ellsbury over Melky Cabrera in heartbeat, even that I now know he is represented by the devil himself, Scott Boras. That's the only thing that disappoints me about Jacoby

SeanMC said...

Melky vs. Jacoby, I've never taken the time to consider the arguments. To me, that's like comparing Johnny Damon to Darren Bragg.

Put it this way, the inclusion of Melky in the Santana trade wasn't enough to sway the Twins. Meanwhile, if the Red Sox threw Ellsbury into the Lester/Santana trade, the Sox would be announcing their new ace tomorrow.