Alcides Escobar may be the best bad baseball player to ever don a Kansas City Royals uniform. Of 144 qualified hitters in the MLB this year, Esky finished 143rd in wRC+. Only Rougned Odor, who hit 30 home runs, was worse. He finished 144th—dead last—in wOBA. He finished 142nd in OPS (Gordon was 144th).
Yet, despite being, literally, one of the worst hitters in the entire game of baseball in 2017, Esky finished with a positive WAR, according to FanGraphs, because of his defense. His defense and base running were the epitome of what this Royals team was all about during their World Series runs in 2014 and 2015.
The Time Has Come
I am ready for Escobar to move on from the Kansas City Royals. The Royals cannot seriously claim to want to “rebuild,” “get younger and more athletic,” “compete sooner rather than later,” AND re-sign Alcides Escobar.
The Royals have one of the top shortstop prospects in baseball in Raul Mondesi. Mondesi needs a full season of at-bats in the major leagues. They can’t give him that if Escobar is playing shortstop. Don’t even get me started on a potential move to center field for Mondesi.
With that being said, I’d like to thank Esky for his relentless effort on the field and work ethic off the field that allowed him to play every single day. He was the model of consistency in the Royals organization (even if he was consistently bad at the plate). That allowed for the Royals to have a sense of easiness knowing that Esky would be at shortstop every day.
The San Diego Padres could use Escobar. I’m not an expert on the San Diego Padres farm system, but they have two really highly touted shortstop prospects in Luis Urias and Fernando Tatis Jr. The thing is, both of these guys are probably at least two years away from being ready to play shortstop in the majors full-time.
This could be Esky’s best chance to play every day in MLB. I think the Padres will look to Escobar as a stopgap at shortstop until their shortstop of the future is ready to go.
Prediction: Alcides Escobar signs with the Padres for two years and $10 million.