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Thread: Escobar of the Twins

  1. #1
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    Escobar of the Twins

    There are a lot of players named Escobar in the major leagues. The Twins have Eduardo and so far this season he's been really good.

    I had pigeonholed EE as a utility player. I have come around to thinking that he has earned a chance to be the regular shortstop. So far, so good. Since Florimon's demotion, Escobar has played almost every day and he has continued to hit. Escobar's defense has been good, as well.

    Could the Twins have found the solution to their shortstop problem right under their noses?

  2. #2
    Senior Member All-Star Sconnie's Avatar
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    Man I hope so! It looks like they have. It also looks like Nunez is the utility guy.

  3. #3
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Way too early to tell on the offensive side -- his 76 PA's this year provide results approximately 1/3 better than his career before this year.

    May be maturity. May regress to the mean.

    I'm hopeful but cautious .... but he has definitely earned the right to show us more.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Double-A
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    I'm optimistic about him because he's only 25 and hit last year in AAA, winter ball, and now this season so far. I'm pessimistic because he got off to this same hot start last season (albeit minus the extra base hits) for us, got to start regularly in the middle of May, struggled mightily at that point, and then got sent back down to AAA. If he doesn't repeat his collapse from last year, he might be a keeper. But we'll see how the next month goes.

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    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    I don't expect much of Escobar but what we're seeing is the reason I wanted him to get the starting job in the first place. Unlike Florimon, the guy has some upside.

    (of course, buying a FA shortstop would have been the best option but hey, at least Escobar is playing now)

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Big Escobar as the shortstop for the Twins fan here, for a while. As a matter of fact, I kinda analyzed it and figured out that he would flourish, if he were given the SS job this season, last November (just read the last sentence if you don't care about numbers and graphs). And as far as fielding goes he already equals Florimons' defensive runs saved (in fewer innings) and is ahead of him in UZR/150. And with the bat there is no comparison. One of the great stories this season and I hope that it is not lost as far and the Twins field management and brass goes...
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  8. #7
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    The combo of his play last year at AAA and this year at MLB are at least encouraging. Can't say I'm hyped that our SS woes are behind us but at the very least he can hopefully be a stopgap that either sticks or becomes a good utility guy for us.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    He is definitely making the Liriano trade look like a steal. remember how upset we were at getting "spare parts" for Liriano.

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    Senior Member Double-A Jdosen's Avatar
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    Do I like what I see? Absolutely. Am I sold? Absolutely not. Need to see more, but one of the silver linings of having a team that isn't super competitive is that we can afford to give him an extended look without worrying about losing tons of value by playing him over the alternative.
    I just started the blog Troy Williamson's Hands which is about MN sports and whatever else I want to write--you can find it at http://troywilliamsonshands.blogspot.com/
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  12. #10
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jdosen View Post
    Do I like what I see? Absolutely. Am I sold? Absolutely not. Need to see more, but one of the silver linings of having a team that isn't super competitive is that we can afford to give him an extended look without worrying about losing tons of value by playing him over the alternative.
    What makes you think we are not competitive this season?

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  14. #11
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    I think that Escobar's career has been interesting. He spent most of his age 23 season on the bench, which would be unusual if the Sox saw more than a utility player upside. He's played well in winter ball and hit very well last year when he was sent to Rochester. While he doesn't have plus range, he has a great arm and good hands.

    mlb.com has a feature which combines current stats with Pecota projection. With Escobar's strong start, it now projects him to hit .271 with an OPS of .692. If he can produce at that level, I think that is more than satisfactory.

    Maybe his versatility has worked against him. He has raked this year and most encouraging is the number of extra-base hits.

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  16. #12
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    I don't buy him as a solid regular at SS. But he's fine as a stopgap, and if he proves to be more than that, great. I just don't expect it to happen.

  17. #13
    Senior Member Triple-A DocBauer's Avatar
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    Ugh! Lost my first post somehow. Oh well.

    Anyway, so very encouraged from what I've seen so far. Not just from Escobar, but from Gardy and the staff giving him a real shot and a sense of commitment to run with him.

    I was in the Florimon camp. I loved his defense and felt he'd hit at least as well this season as last, hopefully a little better with a year of experience. And while I still believe the surgery in ST set Florimon back and threw off his timing and readiness, he's had a lot of AB's to close out ST and open the season to find at least SOME sense of timing and normality. What we've seen is plain old ineptitude.

    I never felt Escobar was simply a utility player. In fact, I moved for a platoon of the two at one point. And a tip of my cap yet again for Gardy and the staff to make a move that ad to be made rather than sticking with the status quo, something that's been happening with far more regularity this season than years past.

    Escobar has skills and athletic talent. That's why we traded for him, and why the White Sox rushed him to the majors. He's still young, not some waiver wire re-tread. And while I expect regression to his great play at the plate, he seems to have a sense of confidence and decent approach at the plate.

    I still wonder if Santana in the more immediate future, or Polanco or Goodrum further down the road, might not be better long term solutions, but I've been impressed and encouraged by Escobar to this point.

  18. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
    I think that Escobar's career has been interesting. He spent most of his age 23 season on the bench, which would be unusual if the Sox saw more than a utility player upside. He's played well in winter ball and hit very well last year when he was sent to Rochester. While he doesn't have plus range, he has a great arm and good hands.

    mlb.com has a feature which combines current stats with Pecota projection. With Escobar's strong start, it now projects him to hit .271 with an OPS of .692. If he can produce at that level, I think that is more than satisfactory.

    Maybe his versatility has worked against him. He has raked this year and most encouraging is the number of extra-base hits.
    He (and Florimon) got off to a hot start last year and both cooled off considerably.

    They project him to finish with a .692 OPS because that includes his really lucky start to the season. From here to the end they project a .252/.290/.351/.642 line. He's a stop gap until something better comes along and ideally a utility player in the long term.

    I laugh every time I read about Escobar having upside.

  19. #15
    Senior Member Triple-A Reider's Avatar
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    Escobar is a well-rounded baseball player, but I don't think he has the tool set to be great defensively. His arm is good enough and accurate enough, but not as strong as Florimon's or Santana's. His range is okay, but not great, and his play making ability is decent, but not breathtaking like a Dozier or Florimon. Not that I've seen yet, anyways. On the other hand, Escobar's hitting good this year, but perhaps it's a small sample size. If Escobar wants to have a career as an every day starter, he will have to continue putting up good offensive numbers, which is no easy feat at the MLB level.
    Last edited by Reider; 05-16-2014 at 04:51 AM.

  20. #16
    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    Couple of thoughts.

    He made it to the bigs at age 23 but sat on the bench. When he was traded, AJ Pierzinsky basically said that the Twins got a steal in him. He got off to a hot start last season and then tanked. He went to AAA and put up an .880 OPS in about 160 at bats (SSS I know). He's off to a hot start again this year.

    To me, he's in the Parm/Plouffe mold where he's shown he can hit quite well in longer periods of time than what you'd expect from a guy you don't expect to hit, and when he's done it, he's done it with authority... That said, he's yet to put it together. I was in the camp of giving him a shot early on, and I'm still there. He's shown that there's some talent there. Here's to hoping it's more than smoke and mirrors.

  21. #17
    Senior Member All-Star
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye12 View Post
    I'm optimistic about him because he's only 25 and hit last year in AAA, winter ball, and now this season so far.
    Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
    He's played well in winter ball and hit very well last year when he was sent to Rochester.
    I have seen this posted before, so I just want to set the record straight: Escobar did NOT hit particularly well in winter ball. He slashed .254/.315/.415 for a .729 OPS, moderately better than his previous winter league performances, but the league OPS was about .770 -- and most of the players in this league are not particularly good MLB or even AAA players (if they haven't washed out of the pro's altogether). Escobar ranked 30th out of 35 qualified batters in OPS:
    http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats....d=l135&lid=135

    His K and BB rates there were also perfectly in line with his MLB/MiLB performances to date.

    I think he got off to a hot start in winter ball, which was reported here and has since been repeated without checking his overall performance.

  22. #18
    Senior Member All-Star
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    Also, here are Escobar's 2013 season stats from 1 year ago today:
    .298/.333/.474, .807 OPS (.306 BABIP)
    60 PA, 5 XBH, 3 BB, 6 K

    Compared to 2014:
    .347/.367/.533, .900 OPS (.410 BABIP)
    80 PA, 12 XBH, 3 BB, 14 K

    Adjust for PA and BABIP spike and they are nearly identical, maybe 20% more XBH but also ~75% more Ks.

    Still, he's the hot hand and our best bet to start at SS right now, but nowhere near a permanent solution yet. Santana should still be playing SS everyday at Rochester with the expectation that he will get his chance in the not so distant future.

  23. #19
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Also, here are Escobar's 2013 season stats from 1 year ago today:
    .298/.333/.474, .807 OPS (.306 BABIP)
    60 PA, 5 XBH, 3 BB, 6 K

    Compared to 2014:
    .347/.367/.533, .900 OPS (.410 BABIP)
    80 PA, 12 XBH, 3 BB, 14 K

    Adjust for PA and BABIP spike and they are nearly identical, maybe 20% more XBH but also ~75% more Ks.

    Still, he's the hot hand and our best bet to start at SS right now, but nowhere near a permanent solution yet. Santana should still be playing SS everyday at Rochester with the expectation that he will get his chance in the not so distant future.
    Well done. This illustrates why tempered reason should prevail over unbridled enthusiasm for a middling player with limited upside.

    Hey, maybe Escobar keeps it up. That'd be great for all of us... But if you're banking on that happening, you're going to lead a very bitter baseball life as the vast majority of players end up disappointing you.

  24. #20
    He's a keeper no matter what role he's in utility or starting short stop which is good for the teams future.

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