After the 2008 and 2009 seasons it appeared that the Boston Red Sox had their big time center fielder for the next decade or so in Jacoby Ellsbury. Usually when you claim someone is a great future ballplayer and could be hall of fame material, it comes with an added line: If he stays healthy. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Ellsbury has not stayed healthy.
The few great seasons that Ellsbury has had have been scattered around some injury shortened ones. This season he has appeared healthy throughout the spring but recently had another minor injury. It begs the question of whether or not Ellsbury can regain the form of his near MVP season in 2011 or at least the 2009 form that saw him steal 70 bases and bat .301.
When he nearly won the MVP award in 2011 Ellsbury exploded offensively. He had 32 homers and 105 RBI along with a .321 average and 119 runs scored. It is completely conceivable that those numbers might be out of reach for him since he has never duplicated them. The 2009 marks which were lower power wise but better in the stolen bases department by a long shot could be something he might shoot for.
The minor injury he suffered this week appears to be nothing major and he should start the season fully healthy. With any luck he will be able to show this year what he can do. I would expect a healthy Ellsbury to at least be able to meet in the middle. An average over .300 with ten or 15 homers and 70 or so RBI would be great. He might not steal 70 bases again but is surely capable of 40 to 50.