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Eduardo Escobar 2019 Starting 2nd Baseman?

eduardo escobar brian dozier royce lewis
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#21 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 05:24 AM

yeah, I hope they keep Esco around. Real problem is I think he wants to start. He's not getting that opportunity here. I think he's great in that super utility role, and honestly, he could start somewhere in the infield with most teams.


#22 Doctor Wu

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 06:54 AM

 

I wonder what he'll cost to retain.I don't think he's coming cheap.

I'm not sure either. He might have been relatively cheap to extend a few months ago, but if he keeps playing like he's been doing so far this season, his asking price is going to rise a lot.


#23 Taildragger8791

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 07:56 AM

 

I'm not sure either. He might have been relatively cheap to extend a few months ago, but if he keeps playing like he's been doing so far this season, his asking price is going to rise a lot.

 

A few months ago I doubt he'd have taken a cheap extension. The smart move would be to bet on your final year and go get possibly your only market-rate contract you'll ever see.


#24 SwainZag

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 10:39 AM

 

I would trade Sano and keep both Dozier and Escobar assuming you could get it done for a combined $30 million/year or so. 

 

Selling low on a 25 year old Miguel Sano and extending a 31 year old Brian Dozier is exactly the opposite route I hope the front office goes.

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#25 Danchat

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 12:03 PM

 

Selling low on a 25 year old Miguel Sano and extending a 31 year old Brian Dozier is exactly the opposite route I hope the front office goes.

I'm also thinking the Twins might try to trade Sano, but they would have to wait until his stock is higher. You can't trade a player with the ceiling he has on the cheap after injuries, the assault accusation, and the subpar offense and defense. I imagine Sano finishes the 2018 season with the Twins, as I can't see them trading him before the offseason.

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#26 Riverbrian

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 01:34 PM

I don't care if the Twins sign Donaldson for 3B and Machado for SS... plus swing a trade for Altuve to play 2B.  

 

I'm still making an offer to Escobar by the end of business today. 

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#27 Vanimal46

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 01:45 PM

No. Let him walk and try to resign Dozier, who has a much longer track record of offensive production.

Escobar will cool off and won't command an 8 figure annual contract.

#28 twins1095

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 08:51 AM

Escobar now has 85 runs, 31 2B - 5 3B - 28 HRs - 93 RBIs while slashing .265/.319/.481/.800 over his last 159 games.  

 

Maybe the biggest surprise over that time frame among a number of surprising developments. 

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#29 twins1095

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 07:57 AM

More cool Escobar stats.In games in which Escobar is a starter for the Twins since he became a regular in 2014 (492g and 1680 ABs in this sample):

 

****(I filtered out some of 2016 and left out 2013 in which he played as a utility/bench player/injury fill in/spot starter which seems to affect his numbers negatively a little bit, see 2013 and 2016.He's not as effective of a hitter thus far in his career in this role without consistent PT and role)

 

Escobar's 162 game pace/per game production numbers are as follows:

 

.270avg - .315ops - .437 slg - .752ops 

 

70 runs - 35 2B - 5 3B - 17 HR - 70 RBI - 36BB - 112K -6.5 BB% - 20.3 K%

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Looking at the average OPS by position in 2015-2017 Escobar's OPS (.755) over this time span would rank:

 

--10th in SS OPS

--15th in 2B OPS (Dozier's 2016/17 .886 & .856 ranked 4th for reference)

--15-18th in 3B OPS

 

Looking at the average OPS by position using Escobar's OPS (.800) in his last 159 games (seemingly his prime): 

 

--5th-8th in SS OPS

--8th-10th in 2B OPS

--10-12th in 3B OPS

 

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Thoughts--

 

I don't think Escobar is quite as good as the second measure suggests, his .877 OPS this season is well above his previous career highs of .758 and .754. I do think it's fair to conclude that Escobar is at least a .750-.760 OPS guy now in his prime.Has he truly taken another step forward this year and if so how far so?  

 

Escobar's value can't be undersold, offering solid to plus defense at 3 infield positions, while offering a roughly league average bat at 3B and SS and a borderline top 10 bat at SS is hard really nice for a player that not many expected to perform at this high of a level.  

 

As an aside, it's kind of cool to see the tiers in hitting talent between 2B, SS, and 3B.SS is clearly the weakest position for hitting, it also has the largest variance--Escobar's .800 OPS going back further past 2015 ranked anywhere from 1-12 depending on the year--since 2015 the MLB SS position has gotten a lot better with that bat and Escobar's OPS falls back to somewhere between 5th and 10th on average depending on the year.  

 

I was surpised by the amount of hitting talent at the 2B position, there are a lot of good hitters here and it's no longer really a weak hitting position like it used to be.It seems that teams hide their weak-fielding MI prospects with bats here to some extent--which makes sense.  

 

Again, not a surprise but there are tons of good hitters at 3rd base--Escobar's .800 OPS struggled to crack the top 10 on average.  

 

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My conclusion from this analysis is that Escobar is a really good player, likely peaking as we currently watch him, who's probably a top 10 or borderline top 10 SS right now.Impressively, Escobar's current .877 OPS ranks him 6th behind a bunch of big names--he's having a borderline top 5 season for a SS currently.  

 

His real value comes from his ability to play SS, his glove doesn't matter nearly as much at SS or 2B and his bat doesn't play quite enough to be worth it to block Jorge Polanco and Nick Gordon from playing time should things go right.I can see them bringing Escobar back, but only if Polanco falters returing from suspension, they decide to move Sano to full time DH, or Escobar continues to hit with a ops well above .800.

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Jorge Polanco and Nick Gordon should have a shot to take over the group in 2019

 

Aside from a 16 game stretch in July of 2017 in which Polanco went 2-47, in 117 games and over 441 Polanco at age 23 put up a 162 game pace numbers of:

 

.280 avg - .333obp - .780 ops - 9.3 BB% - 15 K%

 

75 runs - 40 2B - 4 3B - 18 HR - 103 RBI - 17 SB

 

That's after putting up a 22 season with pace numbers of: 

 

.282 - .333 - .757

 

56 runs - 35 2B - 10 3B - 10 HR - 65 RBI - 10 SB

 

Escobar's production and age is not worth blocking Polanco from a chance to win the spot.The sample is enhanced a little bit to remove a slump, doing so for any player will make their numbers look much better, however Polanco's 1st half of 2017 was associated by some of the worst luck peripherals in the MLB last year despite hitting the ball extremely hard. It's likely that his true talent level is something close to this level if not higher.  

 

Further, Nick Gordon at 22 years of age has 158 GP at the AA level and has put up a line of: 

 

.287- .352 -.785 - 9.5 BB% - 23.8 K%

 

98 runs - 38 2B - 11 3B - 12 HR - 84 RBI - 18 SB

 

We'll see if Gordon can replicate these types of numbers at the MLB level, but the beginning of 2019 should or could be the time the Twins give him a chance to break into the majors.Even if this move costs the Twins in the immediate short term of the 2019 season as Gordon gets settled--it should pay off in the long term.Especially with even strong MI prospects pushing at Gordon's heels.  

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Escobar will turn 30 at the beginning of next season and while it's unlikely that he'll drop off in produciton in the next 2 or 3 years, he's currently at the peak of his production.During his contract he's provided incredible value for the Twins and has been an extremely valuable player. But his value comes from his above-average bat/defense combo at the SS.Escobar's bat doesn't play nearly as well at 2B or 3B . Unfortunately neither Gordon nor Polanco possess the arm to play 3B.Further, their bats don't play as well as they do in the MI.  

 

The most surefire scenario in which the Twins retain Escobar is asking him to take over 3B duties, meaning that Miguel Sano's days fielding that position are numbered--which they might be.If Miguel Sano is asked to transition towards a full-time DH or a full-time 1B/DH...the Twins don't have much immediate system help at 3B and will likely retain Escobar for the near future.However this move would likely come at the cost or expense of a player like Joe Mauer and the Twins might be reluctant to choose Escobar over Mauer.  

 

I do hope that the Twins keep Escobar, but not at the expense of Polanco or Gordon's chances.Moving Escobar to 3B and splitting Sano between 3B, 1B, and DH along with Mauer at 1B and DH could be the best way to get all of these players in the lineup.It will be interesting to see what choices the Twins make.  

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