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View Full Version : Mackey: Defensive wiz Escobar is one to watch



Seth Stohs
03-03-2013, 09:45 PM
Mackey: Don't sleep on Eduardo Escobar as a regular in Twins lineup | 1500 ESPN Twin Cities ? Minnesota Sports News & Opinion (Twins, Vikings, Wolves, Wild, Gophers) | Sportswire: Minnesota Twins (http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Mackey_Defensive_wiz_Eduardo_Escobar_is_one_to_wat ch_in_roster_crunch030313)

I've written several times throughout the offseason that I believe that Eduardo Escobar will/can be the Twins next long-term utility infielder. He may not hit a ton, though I think he'll be fine, but he is very good defensively at all three infield spots.

I think he's a given to make the roster, but it may not be quite 100%, maybe like 60%

jokin
03-03-2013, 09:48 PM
Mackey: Don't sleep on Eduardo Escobar as a regular in Twins lineup | 1500 ESPN Twin Cities ? Minnesota Sports News & Opinion (Twins, Vikings, Wolves, Wild, Gophers) | Sportswire: Minnesota Twins (http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Mackey_Defensive_wiz_Eduardo_Escobar_is_one_to_wat ch_in_roster_crunch030313)

I've written several times throughout the offseason that I believe that Eduardo Escobar will/can be the Twins next long-term utility infielder. He may not hit a ton, though I think he'll be fine, but he is very good defensively at all three infield spots.

I think he's a given to make the roster, but it may not be quite 100%, maybe like 60%

It might be dependent on how Esco makes out in Gardy's ST "experiment" with him as the potential 3rd Catcher. Esco is ahead of the curve as he already has the Butera-Like-Bat part down pat.

http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130303&content_id=42220728&notebook_id=42223052&vkey=notebook_min&c_id=min

Shane Wahl
03-03-2013, 10:22 PM
He has two sets of problems currently. First, Pedro Florimon/Brian Dozier, Drew Butera, and Chris Colabello. Second, his Butera-like numbers in MLB and his pretty bad offensive numbers in his entire minor league career.

Willihammer
03-03-2013, 10:30 PM
To focus on the underwhelming offensive numbers of Escobar -- and also Florimon and even Carroll to a certain extent -- is to overlook the Twins' biggest flaws the last two years: Pitching and defense.

The Twins defense the past two years / rank / median

UZR: 29.5 / 12th / -65.1
RZR: .828 / 21st / .835
OOZ: 967 / 12th / 962
FP: .982 / 21st / .983

jorgenswest
03-03-2013, 10:46 PM
If his defensive contribution is comparable with Punto, he will be a valuable member of a major league roster into the next decade. It is not easy to find a guy that plays plus defense at several positions and well worth a few months of Liriano.

As for his bat, he wouldn't be the first athletic middle infielder that makes it to the majors with his glove and improves his bat significantly by mid career.

Shane Wahl
03-03-2013, 10:51 PM
Eduardo Escobar is not going to be on the roster into the next decade. That would mean that several prospects have all faltered and the Twins did nothing about it.

jokin
03-03-2013, 11:11 PM
The Twins defense the past two years / rank / median

UZR: 29.5 / 12th / -65.1
RZR: .828 / 21st / .835
OOZ: 967 / 12th / 962
FP: .982 / 21st / .983


Pretty good evidence, I was disturbed by the offhand remark as well.

I checked with Fangraphs and I noticed a small discrepancy with your finding on UZR. Fangraphs agreed with your overall UZR rating of 29.5, but placed the Twins at a fairly sterling 8th overall, not 12th, which further reinforces your point.

Furthermore, the Twins RngR/Rank for the last 2 years is as follows:

41.0/7th

Nick Nelson
03-03-2013, 11:16 PM
I've assumed Escobar would make the roster because Gardy likes to have a defensive-minded backup IF and I'm not sure they love playing Carroll's arm at short. If Escobar could truly qualify as an "emergency third catcher" and eliminate the need to keep Butera around, that would be a nice bonus.

jorgenswest
03-03-2013, 11:28 PM
Eduardo Escobar is not going to be on the roster into the next decade. That would mean that several prospects have all faltered and the Twins did nothing about it.

I am not sure if anyone on the current roster will be on the Twin roster in the next decade. If Escobar has the defensive skill of a Punto or Carroll, he will be a major leaguer into the next decade.

jorgenswest
03-03-2013, 11:32 PM
Pretty good evidence, I was disturbed by the offhand remark as well.

I checked with Fangraphs and I noticed a small discrepancy with your finding on UZR. Fangraphs agreed with your overall UZR rating of 29.5, but placed the Twins at a fairly sterling 8th overall, not 12th, which further reinforces your point.

Furthermore, the Twins RngR/Rank for the last 2 years is as follows:

41.0/7th

Will anyone argue that the defense in the middle infield from Nishioka, Plouffe or Dozier in the last two years was even close to adequate? it should be mentioned that a significant portion of the positive on defense came from RF and CF last year.

Kobs
03-03-2013, 11:36 PM
He may not hit a ton, though I think he'll be fine

What could you possibly be basing that on.

jokin
03-03-2013, 11:49 PM
Will anyone argue that the defense in the middle infield from Nishioka, Plouffe or Dozier in the last two years was even close to adequate? it should be mentioned that a significant portion of the positive on defense came from RF and CF last year.

Strongly agree that the big part of the defensive numbers come from RF and CF, but accounting for just 2012, Casilla (most innngs at 2B in 2012) and the combination of innings from Carroll and Florimon @ SS/2B were a key component in the Twins strong defensive numbers, as well. Their numbers for both years, and even with a small contribution from Tolbert and Hughes, significantly offset the fielding disasters of N, P and D (and let's not forget Valencia @ 3B, as well!).

Willihammer
03-04-2013, 12:47 AM
Will anyone argue that the defense in the middle infield from Nishioka, Plouffe or Dozier in the last two years was even close to adequate? it should be mentioned that a significant portion of the positive on defense came from RF and CF last year.

I would argue that Dozier's defense was adequate. And Hicks/Benson/Mastro are fine defensive replacements I think. The jury is still out on Parmelee.

Mackey said the team's biggest weaknesses were pitching and defense. It was actually, pitching and hitting (25th in wOBA and wRC+ since 2011) . Fielding, they were middle of the pack.

It gets back to the penchant for this club to overvalue all glove, no hit types and waste roster spots on them.

Seth Stohs
03-04-2013, 03:45 AM
What could you possibly be basing that on.

Minor League Numbers (7 years) - .267/.312/.348 (.660)
AAA (172 games) - .255/.293/.343 (.636)

From a backup, utility infielder, getting anything more than those types of OPS is just expecting a lot. And, as the article says and has been touted, he is great defensively If that's the case, "he'll be fine" as a utility infielder.

beckmt
03-04-2013, 07:05 AM
Escobar may or may not make this club. Gardenhire has stated, he wants pop off the bench. 2 ulility infielders may be too much a luxury. That said any player who can play muliple positions and send Butera to Rochester has to be a gain.

Top Gun
03-04-2013, 07:35 AM
Gardy just can't have everything.

Tecmo
03-04-2013, 07:36 AM
We're re going to get little to nothing offensively at shortstop this season anyway. I would just as soon see an elite glove at the position for once.

Oldgoat_MN
03-04-2013, 08:19 AM
We're re going to get little to nothing offensively at shortstop this season anyway. I would just as soon see an elite glove at the position for once.
Completely agree. Why does Florimon get a free pass onto the 25-man roster? His minor league numbers aren't that much better than Escobar's.

I'd rather have Escobar as the starting SS. If we are getting very little offense from the SS position why not go with the better glove?
He's only 24 years old. His hitting could get a little better.

Willihammer
03-04-2013, 09:09 AM
We'd only get nothing offensively at SS if Gardy insists on starting Florimon or Escobar there. OTOH Carroll would be perfectly serviceable offensively and defensively.

If it were me, I would roll with Carroll/Dozier to start, with Escobar as the super util/3rd catcher. Then you can carry a bench bat and a 13th pitcher.

I just don't see the point of carrying 2 defensive specialists on the bench unless you are confident the offense will be giving you plenty of leads to protect.

raindog
03-04-2013, 09:12 AM
I am absolutely fine with Escobar as a utility man. Especially if he can be the 3rd catcher. The starting middle infield is what worries me.

nokomismod
03-04-2013, 09:25 AM
Do we know that Escobar is better defensively than Florimon at this point?

kab21
03-04-2013, 10:17 AM
Gardy might have said that he wants some pop off the bench but I expect that there will be 4 futility IF'ers (2 starting) and 3 catchers (2 starting) on the roster. Combine that with 12 pitchers and the only other hitter is the backup OF'er. BOOK IT!

ashburyjohn
03-04-2013, 11:36 AM
Minor League Numbers (7 years) - .267/.312/.348 (.660)
AAA (172 games) - .255/.293/.343 (.636)

I'm not a fan of adding up minor league numbers for young guys; it's a real apples-and-oranges problem with age and league level.

But I agree that his minor league progression, up until last year's poor numbers in a short stint at Rochester, would be completely consistent with an eventual ability to hit at the major league level, well enough for a utility job and possibly just enough to hold down a position as a regular. I was lukewarm on his acquisition, but he's better than the usual minor league infield throw-in on a deal.

But if he barely misses on such a projection, he is just another good glove in a world fairly full of them. He recently turned 24, so the next year or two become make-or-break.

Nick Nelson
03-04-2013, 11:50 AM
Wasn't Escobar converted from pitcher to infielder not that long ago? That'd provide a legit reason to believe his offensive upside may be higher than the numbers suggest.

ashburyjohn
03-04-2013, 12:04 PM
Wasn't Escobar converted from pitcher to infielder not that long ago? That'd provide a legit reason to believe his offensive upside may be higher than the numbers suggest.

His b-r.com page shows a couple of innings as a 17-year old. Consistent with his pitching in youth leagues, but he's been a full time hitter for 8 seasons now.

FrodaddyG
03-04-2013, 01:04 PM
His b-r.com page shows a couple of innings as a 17-year old. Consistent with his pitching in youth leagues, but he's been a full time hitter for 8 seasons now.
In terms of geology, that's not that long ago.

birdwatcher
03-04-2013, 01:05 PM
Do we know that Escobar is better defensively than Florimon at this point?

Who? Us? Of course not.

Alex
03-04-2013, 01:08 PM
I am not sure if anyone on the current roster will be on the Twin roster in the next decade. If Escobar has the defensive skill of a Punto or Carroll, he will be a major leaguer into the next decade.

Both of those guys have some skill as hitters.

Brock Beauchamp
03-04-2013, 01:48 PM
In terms of geology, that's not that long ago.

They radiocarbon dated Escobar and there's still a fair amount of pitching DNA in there.

USAFChief
03-04-2013, 03:01 PM
They radiocarbon dated Escobar and there's still a fair amount of pitching DNA in there. I understand there was a complete lack of hitting DNA though. "None whatsoever. Not as uncommon as you'd think in that organization's history" one scientist stated.