Andy McCullough is a machine.
In his latest article, the Star's new beat writer -- sheet-meat-Crede-peat-street fighter, sweet cider; blizz, buzz, bop, pleat plighter -- wrote up a little diddy for the dixie-fried masses about the man with a plan, the cat with the bat ...
Okay. I'll stop now. Alcides Escobar is who I'm talking about. Sorry, Baloo got me in the mood for slammin'.
Anyway, McCullough got a nice quote from Omar Infante on Escobar.
"He’s the best in the American League."
Well, that's not entirely true. Yunel Escobar actually had a slightly higher UZR/150, but did post the highest total UZR, as McCullough pointed out -- and if you add up both of those Escobars' total UZR you come up just shy of the overall league leader, Andrelton Simmons.
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McCullough also cites the fact that the Kansas Citian Escobar was the worst hitter that got enough at bats to qualify for the batting title. That is entirely true, and quite sad after his rather productive 2012 offensive output (.331 OBP, thanks to a .344 BABIP). Escobar saw the other side of BABIP last year (.264) and it resulted in a .234 batting average.
More importantly, his OBP dropped to .259. That was partially due to his crummy BIP luck, but his walk percentage also dropped from 4.2% to 3% -- which gels with the lack of patience the Royals' coaching staff mentioned as a focus point for Escobar this season.
Alcides took just 19 walks last year. In fact, in his 663-game career, he's taken fewer walks (111) than Shin-Soo Choo took in 2013 alone (112).
Escobar needs to put up wRC+ totals of 75-85 to be a two-win player, which could function as a sort of theoretical baseline for him to hang on to the starting gig at short. He might be able to field the position well enough to be the best defensive shortstop in the American League, but if his bat continue to be the WORST in the AL, he probably shouldn't be much more than a bench player.
However, this is the same organization that stubbornly clung to Chris Getz -- who was the worst in field and in the batter's box -- for about a half dozen years, so Esky is likely to get a few more second chances than his former dingleberried diamond buddy.