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

MLBPA reacts to Kris Bryant's minor league assignment

Gregg Marshall's show canceled, Bama speculation grows

Report: Shaka Smart in discussions with Texas

Report: Rick Barnes expected to land at Tennessee

Demaryius Thomas planning to skip Broncos' workouts

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rockets GM: We think we can win NBA title despite injuries

Browns GM Ray Farmer suspended over text messages

Aaron Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box after murder

Byron Scott: Opposing players say they want to play for Lakers

Falcons reportedly will lose pick over pumping in crowd noise

Report: Sam Bradford wouldn't sign extension with Browns

WATCH: Stars' Patrik Nemeth catches puck inside visor

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

University of California soccer player found dead

Joe Namath parties with twin 100 year-old women

WATCH: Mike Napoli hits home run as bat shatters

WATCH: Marc Gasol misses shot, rips jersey in disgust

PHOTO: Minor league team to wear Jabba the Hutt jerseys

Lions LB DeAndre Levy takes ride on top of a moving plane

Colts owner addresses Indiana religious freedom bill

John Calipari addresses controversial ND comments

Arizona coach Sean Miller rips critics: 'Go cheer for ASU'

Report: NFL could push extra point back to 15-yard line

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

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

Namath parties with 100 yr-old women

Report: Shaka Smart talking to Texas

Rick Barnes to land at Tennessee?

Browns GM suspended for texts

Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box

Mayweather-Pacquiao: It's sparring tall-tale season

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: Can every team win?

Full WrestleMania 31 recap and results

Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

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.