Weight: 200 lbs.
2009 Age: 26
In his first full season as Atlanta's shortstop, Escobar had a season that somewhat met expectations. His slugging dropped from .451 to .401 with 232 more plate appearances; he hit one less double as well (25 to 24). Thus, his batting consists mainly of singles. His fielding is average compared to the rest of the league, but his arm is one of the strongest in all of baseball.
HOTHEAD?: Escobar has earned a reputation for wearing his heart on his sleeve and voicing his displeasure with calls. Vehemently. Whether that will affect him with umpires in the future remains to be seen.
YUNEL'S FAVORITE NUMBERS: 3 AND 0: Last season, Escobar had 19 3-0 counts. His line on that count: 1-1, HR, 3 RBI, 18 BB. Four of those walks were intentional and the home run was a walk-off shot that defeated the Marlins on June 2nd.
STRONG SEASONS (OR WEAK HISTORY): For all Braves shorstops with at least 300 PAs in a season, Escobar has the ninth and 25th highest OPSes in a season. His OPS+ totals from those same seasons are 11th and 32nd in Braves shortstop history as well.
My Outlook: Escobar should provide more of the same production as last season. Maybe he'll hit a few more doubles. That would be an easy way to step up his game. If he does, he'll move into the lower-upper tier of shortstops. As for now, he's in the middle-tier.
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