Hot Coco -vs.- Free Tacos

Who will win this Spring Training battle for the CF position in Boston this summer of 2008? The former player that was acquired via trade for the 2005 season, Coco Crisp or the young man who provided the nation with FREE tacos during the 2007 World Series, Jacoby Ellsbury. Coco is hot, upset about the possibility of being a 4th outfielder in Boston and would rather be traded than be in that role. By the way, that is the kind of drive you want in a player! He wants to play everyday! Too often, today’s athlete is one who is overly pampered and less likely to put forth 100%, but not Coco. 

So far, by default, the edge has to go to the younger of the two as Coco has only played in a few games due to injury. The man I called the human sparkplug back in October isn’t tearing up the joint in this time of opportunity. The incumbent, Crisp, has the better defensive ability as he’s a gold glove caliber defender, but Ellsbury could turn into such a player and has a better arm. Ellsbury only recently began hitting on a consistent basis this month as he’s gotten 5 hits in his last 20 or so at bats. His ability to get on base, together with his speed, could make a good case for the leadoff role the Red Sox so desperately want in their centerfielder. A trait that they acquired Coco for, but it has not panned out. That is why they acquired SS Julio Lugo a year later. Neither Lugo nor Coco became that treat at the top of the line up, but the Sox are hoping that young Ellsbury can be that sparkplug in the # 1 spot in the order! For the record, Coco is also very fleet of foot and has been a base stealing threat the whole time he’s been in Boston, stealing 50 bases in his 2 seasons in Boston. 

Ellsbury was almost traded for Johan Santana and that would have solved this problem for Boston, but with Coco hurt and Ellsbury not hitting up to par, it’s not a slam dunk decision any longer. 

My personal opinion is trade Coco while you still can as Ellsbury will give you more overall production (both offensive and defensively) than Coco. Although, Ellsbury would bring in more in way of a trade, but there is more upside with Ellsbury than there is left with Coco (he is what he is). 

Who will win the CF job in Boston for 2008?

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**Further debate can be had in the comments and if it’s good, it will be added below as an update to this post!**


  1. Jay

    March 23, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    How can Ellsbury not get the starting position? His defense is good, his OBP is very good, and no one on that team other than Jacoby can go from first to third on a single. Granted, Coco is a very good player also. To his credit, the Sox probably wouldn’t have gotten to the playoffs if it wasn’t for his defense in CF, but they also didn’t have someone like Ellsbury backing him up last year. The one big advantage for Ellsbury is he’s shaping up to be a 5-tool player. I believe he deserves a shot at trying to make that happen.

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