Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 11/17/14
For three years fantasy owners had been praying for Alcides Escobar to contribute somewhere (anywhere!) to justify rostering him and his potential. In 2011 we saw Escobar start to scratch the surface of his fantasy value, stealing 26 bases and scoring 69 runs while not doing much of anything else. Last year Escobar sneaked (because “snuck” isn’t a word, folks!) inside the top 100, finishing at 58th overall on the strength of 35 steals and a .293 average. While Escobar’s stats have shown annual improvement at a perennially shallow position, it’s probably a good idea to pump the brakes a tad. Last year his strikeout rate jumped to 15.4% after sitting at 12.7% and 12.2% in 2010 and 2011, respectively, and he’s one of the worst on-base guys in baseball due to some terrible sub-5.0% walk rates. If there is a positive to be gleaned from Escobar’s 2012 performance, it’s his line drive rate, which peaked at 23.0% last year, a new career high. With his speed and line drive/ground ball tendency, it’s possible that Escobar could replicate his .344 BABIP, but in 2010 he also posted a solid line drive rate (21.5%) and managed just a .264 BABIP. Maybe his true projection lies somewhere in the middle, and that could mean a batting average correction is in order. At a Glance Strengths: SB, net SB Neutral: R, BA Weaknesses: HR, RBI, OBP, SLG, OPS Player Comparisons Best-case scenario: Elvis Andrus (TEX) Likely scenario: Jose Altuve (HOU), Ben Revere (PHI), Coco Crisp (OAK) Worst-case scenario: Cameron Maybin (SD) Alcides Escobar 2013 Fantasy Projection The speed is legitimate, and that’s what you’re probably drafting Escobar for in the first place. While I don’t think the batting average will stick in the .290s and I expect him to have an OBP no better than .315, Escobar should still set a new career high in runs scored due to a favorable spot batting second for the Royals. Last year Escobar spent half his time batting second for the Royals and the other half mostly at the bottom of the lineup. In his time batting second, Escobar averaged 70 runs scored per 150 games with a .303 OBP, so I like our projected 77 runs. As far as the average goes, Escobar batted .259 on ground balls in 2012 versus the league average of .234. It shouldn’t be surprising that a speedy player would outperform the league average mark there, but even including last year’s high .259 mark Escobar is still just a .249 batters on grounders. If there’s anywhere that he could regress this year causing him to return to his usual batting average ways, it’s here. But lots of steals and a solid amount of runs will be enough to land Escobar around the top 100, but if he can’t steal 30+ bases he probably isn’t worth owning. And in OBP leagues you need to let someone else draft him unless he falls pretty far. Interestingly, Escobar’s current ADP on MockDraftCentral.com is 205.5, which makes him a nice shortstop and steals target in deeper, non-OBP leagues. Tweet
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Lightning reach Stanley Cup Final with Game 7 win

Devon Still: Daughter has complications with transplant

Rivers denies report of problems with CP3 and Jordan

Orlando Magic hope Skiles can right sinking ship

Falcons waive Shembo over animal cruelty charges

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Tom Brady’s suspension appeal hearing set for June 23

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Scout: A-Rod 'looks like he doesn't give a (expletive)'

Belichick mum on Deflategate in first remarks since discipline

Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Bucs veterans missing Jameis while he's at rookie symposium

WATCH: San Diego State player steals home to seal win

St. Thomas pitcher Ben Ancheff takes internet by storm

WATCH: Josh Hamilton hits first two homers of the season

Did Andrew Bogut take a shot at Mark Jackson?

$70 million Reebok deal is bad for UFC fighters

If the Warriors win the NBA title, the parade will be for Oakland

SEC no longer allows transfers with 'serious misconduct' issues

Klay Thompson officially diagnosed with concussion

Snoop Dogg hooks Texas A&M up with adidas cleats

WATCH: Stephen Curry rides a mini-horse

Metta World Peace gets ejected after five fouls in one minute

On satellite camps and the SEC crying over its self-protections

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Lightning reach Stanley Cup Final with Game 7 win

Devon Still's daughter has complications with transplant

$70M Reebok deal is bad for UFC fighters

If the Warriors win the title, the parade will be for Oakland

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Four QBs set to take step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

Top 10 stories from 2015 NBA Playoffs

Rangers-Lightning Game 7 preview

The can't-miss Prince Fielder

Chip Kelly: Tebow is a quarterback

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.