So Escobar is not the most important player on the roster. That’s no sin; it takes 25 men to make a roster and there’s always going to be room for high-level defenders who aren’t complete embarrassments at the plate.
Since a 2.5 WAR season in 2014—his third 2.0 or better season in four seasons—here’s what Esky has done:
2015: 0.6 WAR, .257/.293/.320, 3 HR, 47 RBI, 17 steals, 67 OPS+/65 wRC+/.064 ISO power. He was rewarded with the most (insert negative adjective here) All-Star selection in KC Royals history.
2016: 0.5 WAR, .261/.292/.350, 7 HR, 55 RBI, 17 steals, 71 OPS+/68 wRC+/.089 ISO power.
2017: -0.1 WAR, .193/.228/.250, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB, 33 OPS+/27 wRC+/.057 ISO power.
Boy. I think we’re heading in the wrong direction here.
Although I like Escobar better defensively than the numbers do, his Ultimate Zone Rating (how many runs a player saved or gave up thanks to fielding prowess), Defensive Runs Saved (umm… same, basically?) and Revised Zone Rating (“the proportion of balls hit into a fielder’s zone that he successfully converted into an out,” thanks Hardball Times and FanGraphs!) are barely average or slightly below. Soooooooo…
Ties to other organizations or areas of the country?
Escobar idolized Omar Vizquel (currently coaching first base for the Tigers) growing up. And the Tigers currently employee former double-play partner Omar Infante (albeit in the minors). He’s also hit well at Target Field (Minnesota) and PNC Park (Pittsburgh) over the years. And he also came up with the Brewers, coming over in the same trade that brought Lorenzo Cain to the KC Royals.