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Thursday, March 06, 2008


SS Yunel Escobar

Take note, fans. This is what happens when you have such a good debut that your team thinks so highly of you that it's willing to trade away an All-Star shortstop who has just had two of the best seasons of his career.

This isn't a bad thing, though. Yunel Escobar proved himself to be quite capable last season, batting .326/.385/.451 in just 355 plate appearances. Escobar's a line-drive hitter who is able to spray the ball to all fields. Don't expect him to keep his batting average that high, but don't expect him to tank it, either. As for defense, he'll be slightly better than Renteria. He has more range and a better arm, so with more experience, he should prove his worth.

Besides, even if he does tank, the Braves still have Brent Lillibridge. ;)

AVERAGE - 7 - According to last season, he has a high propensity for average, but that is in about half a season, and he also had a very high BABIP (.364). Be that as it may, I look for him to have the same average about Kelly Johnson because there is no denying that Escobar is a talented hitter.

POWER - 6 - For a shortstop, Escobar's penchant for doubles and the occassional home run will go a long way to show that he is worthy of being the starting shortstop for the Braves.

BASERUNNING - 6.5 - Escobar doesn't have that much speed, but he appears to have some good baserunning skill (12-16 from second to home). There was also the famous incident where he took second base when Valverde wasn't paying attention. Did Glenn Hubbard advise that? Well, if he didn't, that was pretty astute of him to do that.

FIELDING - 7 - Escobar showed very good range last season and will be a boost from Edgar Renteria's defense, even if it's only a slight boost.

THROWING - 9 - By most accounts, Escobar has a rocket for an arm.

TOTAL - 36.5 (B) - This total may be because of his stats from last season, but I think he'll be able to live up to the rating.

BP: .286/.347/.402, 8 HR, 59 RBI, 10 SB
BJH: .307/.376/.420, 5 HR, 46 RBI, 9 SB
RW: .291/.353/.405, 6 HR, 53 RBI, 10 SB
SN: .282/.348/.384, 6 HR, 57 RBI, 9 SB

Sam: .295/.368/.407, 7 HR, 51 RBI, 11 SB

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