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Escobar and Gonzalez

Posted by stringer bell , 05 June 2019 · 1,164 views

venezuela free agent 2018 switch-hitter contract
Two 30-year-old natives of Venezuela, both switch-hitters, both came to the majors as shortstops who became utility players and were to become free agents at the end of the 2018 season. I was looking at Baseball Reference and thought I would compare the former Twin with the current Twin. I was surprised how similar their numbers were.
https://www.baseball...escobed01.shtml
https://www.baseball...gonzama01.shtml

While they are very similar, there are differences. First of all, Gonzalez has remained a versatile defender, while Escobar has become a fixture at third base for his new club. Neither are spending appreciable time in the middle of the diamond, this year Escobar has played one game at second base and Gonzalez has played one game at shortstop. Gonzalez has started mostly at third, but with the return of Miguel SanĂ³, he's started multiple games at first, third, left and right field.

Escobar has truly come into his own as a hitter. He hits in the middle of a good Arizona lineup and leads the National League in games, plate appearances and at-bats. So far, he is putting up numbers worthy of All-Star consideration. After an extremely slow start, Gonzalez has put up numbers in line with his career norms.

It is intriguing to consider what might have happened if the Twins had somehow managed to retain Escobar. Would he have been able to have the role that Gonzalez is filling? Would the Twins then converted SanĂ³ to first base and not acquired Cron? For what it's worth, it appears that this has worked out for all concerned.

  • Dman, KGB and dbminn like this



I think the Twins might still have signed Cron anyway. Sano's status was uncertain at the end of the offseason. It might have meant that Cave would have been on the roster instead of Astudillo.

 

IMO, Esco is the better player. But the Twins also received Duran, Maciel and Ernie De La Trinidad in the trade. In the end, the Twins paid $7M for the three prospects (Esco 3/$21M, Gonzalez 2/$21M). I wish we still had Escobar, but Duran will make it worthwhile if reaches his potential. And Marwin is plenty good.

I suspect they would have not signed Schoop.

Esco & Jorge as the keystone. 

We would be a better team, though I suppose not wildly so. Despite his stellar numbers probably the biggest loss in Escobar leaving was that everybody loved him. 

Had we offered him the same money for 2 years that we gave Gonzo we would have him. Duran has to turn into something special or this trade will always leave me feeling disappointed.

Alas...

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stringer bell
Jun 07 2019 02:22 PM

I really don't think the Twins regarded Escobar as an option at second base, nor has Arizona. There are factors why Esco has received so little play at second the last several years--Dozier's durability, Escobar's emerging as a major league bat that plays on a corner--but I have never viewed Escobar as fluid or smooth. He's got a good infield arm, which played at short or third, but not the range for a plus shortstop.