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Alcides Escobar Competence Watch: Improving

Escobar's season line bottomed out on April 22nd when he owned a .203/.232/.228 line. That's absolutely miserable, even for a perceived defensive whiz like Escobar. Around that time, I asked if it was time that we started to worry about the latest savior at shortstop.

In his last fourteen games, Escobar has hit .298/.320/.383. That's still not really good but it isn't categorically terrible either. On the season, Escobar is now hitting .238/.265/.286 in 134 PAs. Escobar's current "hot streak" probably represents something like his ceiling as an offensive player. With his speed, he might even have stretches where he hits closer to .330, with a random walk or two mixed in. Of course, he's also going to have very bad periods as well. And on balance, he might always make so many outs that it's just always an issue.

OBP remains the single most important stat when evaluating an offensive player. That's especially true in Escobar's case, because it's nearly all singles anyway with him. A .265 OBP is, and will remain, a problem for any lineup. Believe me, I am aware that he is good/great/thegreatest/unmeasurably great at SS. However, he's so bad offensively that Chris Getz is a machine by comparison. It all counts when evaluating a player. Nevertheless, Escobar's recent improvement suggests that there's still some reason to remain, at least partially, optimistic.