Imagine this: It’s a hot July summer night in the year 2015 in the beautiful town of Kansas City, and you’re sitting on the porch with your dad listening to the Kansas City Royals playing the Chicago White Sox.
The Kansas City Royals game is all tied up in the bottom of the ninth and the bases are loaded. You hear the radio broadcaster say “Escobar is now walking up to the plate. We have seen this same situation before folks.” You can hear your dad whisper to himself “Alright we got this one.”
In your head you think “Come on Esky, just do what you keep on doing.” And sure enough, he rips a liner down the third base line and a runner scores. You and your dad rejoice and jump up for joy, yelling and screaming at the top of your lungs, while your mother tells you guys to keep it down. All is good.
Now imagine this: It’s a nippy September night in 2018 and you’re on your porch with your father again. The Kansas City Royals are playing the Detroit Tigers, and the game is all tied up in the bottom of the ninth inning. You and your father begin to get nervous once again.
You feel as though you have had this same sensation before. Everything in this game has led up to this. Your breathing begins to get faster and faster. You close your eyes and hear the radio broadcaster say “Adalberto Mondesi now coming up to the plate.” You and your dad both look at each other and are out of breath. Both of you spit out, “who the heck is this?”
Sure enough, Mondesi hits a blooper in between the shortstop and the center fielder. You and your dad are happy, but you both begin to reminisce about the days when Alcides Escobar was hitting walk-offs and making excellent defensive plays left and right. All is good, but everything has to come to an end at some point, and although one door has closed, another door has opened.
Don’t panic Royal fans.
Even though times are changing, the potential keeps on growing within this organization, and as much as I hate to say it, I am glad that there have been changes made at the shortstop position.
Here are Escobar’s stats from 2018: .231/.293/.313/.593, 4 HR, 34 RBI, 8 SB in 531 PA vs Mondesi in 2018: .276/.306/.498/.804, 14 HR, 37 RBI, 32 SB in 291 PA. Without bias, anyone can see who the better player was this past season.
Although Adalberto Mondesi is just scratching the floor of his potential and it looks as though is just going to fade away, Alcides Escobar will still be a fundamental part of this Kansas City Royals baseball club and will play a much needed leadership role.