Alcides Escobar
Alcides Escobar
32-Year-Old ShortstopSS
 Free Agent  Foreign
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Lefty pitchers can often pitch until their arm falls off. Apparently, solid defensive shortstops can get 500-plus plate appearances until their glove falls off? Escobar has played a ton in recent years for Kansas City as his defense is certainly deserving of the field most games. The problem is his offensive skills have been 50 shades of awful for the past few years, especially the past two now that he rarely steals bases. The dumbfounding part of this story was how frequently manager Ned Yost let Escobar hit high in the lineup. It bodes well for Billy Hamilton as he is now in Kansas City, but no new club is going to give Escobar the playing time he enjoyed in Kansas City. The new club is also going to try to hit him 10th. We're half-serious here. Your best hope is 50 runs and 10 steals in part-time duty. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a one-year, minor-league contract with the White Sox in March of 2019. Released by the White Sox in August of 2019.
Continuing career in Japan
SSFree Agent  F
October 30, 2019
Escobar agreed to a contract Wednesday with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball, Kazuto Yamazaki of Baseball Prospectus reports.
After failing to win an Opening Day roster spot with the White Sox last spring, Escobar reported to Triple-A Charlotte and slashed .286/.343/.444 across 405 plate appearances before being cut loose in August. Rather than settling for another minor-league deal this winter and pursuing a long-shot bid to win an MLB roster spot, Escobar will head overseas and presumably play under a more lucrative contract.
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
No Stats
Since 2017vs Left .678 292 32 2 24 0 .257 .301 .377
Since 2017vs Right .591 868 93 8 64 12 .237 .266 .325
2019vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Left .636 147 15 1 8 0 .239 .293 .343
2018vs Right .576 384 39 3 26 8 .228 .274 .302
2017vs Left .720 145 17 1 16 0 .276 .310 .410
2017vs Right .602 484 54 5 38 4 .243 .260 .342
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
OPS on Road
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OPS on Road
OPS at Home
Since 2017Home .610 564 56 4 54 6 .242 .281 .329
Since 2017Away .615 596 69 6 34 6 .241 .269 .346
2019Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Home .582 260 24 2 20 3 .223 .281 .300
2018Away .603 271 30 2 14 5 .238 .277 .325
2017Home .633 304 32 2 34 3 .258 .281 .352
2017Away .625 325 39 4 20 1 .244 .263 .362
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
There was a point earlier in Escobar's career when the potential for 30-plus steals and an above-average batting average made him a desirable middle-infield filler in mixers and a steady shortstop in AL-only formats. At that time, he was an elite defender, whose ability to pile up a high volume of plate appearances enabled him to yield passable counting stats. While his glove is still very good, Escobar's bat has been among the worst of any big-league regular over the past three seasons. He hasn't eclipsed 20 steals in a season since 2014 -- even with the benefit of an aggressive manager -- thanks in large part to three consecutive seasons with a sub-.300 OBP. In a surprising move, the rebuilding Royals brought Escobar back on a one-year, $2.5 million deal. Even more surprising is the fact that general manager Dayton Moore stated that Escobar will be the team's starting shortstop on Opening Day. Look for Raul Mondesi to push him for playing time if Escobar is as bad as he has been the last two seasons.
Despite setting a career high in plate appearances, Escobar tied his career low with 57 runs scored. That'll happen when you carry an on-base percentage of just .292. Even running into a career-high seven homers didn't help the slick-fielding shortstop's tallies. Speaking of running, Escobar registered 17 pilfers for the second straight campaign after swiping at least 22 from 2011 to 2014, averaging 28.5 per year over that span. Escobar's strongest suit is durability, which keeps his counting stats palatable for single-league formats. Escobar usually finds his way onto a mixed-league squad once injuries thin the player pool. But with such a paltry walk rate and paucity of power at a time where there's an influx of power-hitting shortstops, Escobar is reserve-round fodder in mixed-league drafts, especially since he's a candidate to be dropped to the bottom of the lineup, further dampening production.
Oh, what should have been. Escobar has hardware on one hand for winning the World Series and he holds the Gold Glove in his other hand, but his 74 runs scored as the leadoff man for the Royals left a lot to be desired. He scored so few runs because he had a sub .300 on-base percentage for the fourth time in six seasons. Escobar is an impatient high-contact hitter who does not hit the ball that hard or far so he’s on first more often than not. He complicated that issue with just 17 steals last season which was his lowest total as a Royal. Ideally, he would hit down in the lineup, but that will also cut into his plate appearances and thus his opportunity to score runs. At 29, he’s not suddenly going to become a patient hitter and his lack of power means pitchers can challenge him within the strike zone, forcing him to swing. In short, he’s a better real life player than he is a fantasy one.
Escobar is about as close as it gets to a modern day iron man, having played 155 or more contests in each of his four seasons with Kansas City. 2014 was the first time he played all 162 games, however, and Escobar turned that consistency into arguably the best season of his major league career. The defensive wizard was able to make his presence known at the plate as well, posting career-best totals in doubles (34) and runs scored (74). The latter number was partially bolstered by his movement to the leadoff spot in the order, a move made by manager Ned Yost in mid-September that continued on through the Royals' postseason run. Although fantasy owners can't hope for much from a power standpoint, 30 steals is a reasonable expectation as long as he maintains his batting average, as Escobar has eclipsed 31 steals in each year that he's hit .285 or better. If Yost sticks with Escobar atop his lineup in 2015, the 28-year-old shortstop could be poised for yet another highly productive fantasy season.
After Escobar's breakout campaign in 2012 there were two very distinct camps -- those who believed he was taking his game to the next level and those who believed that he overachieved and wouldn’t be able to duplicate those numbers in 2013. The doubters received their validation as Escobar struggled to match his 2012 totals despite playing in three more games. The root of Escobar's decline can be found in two statistical regressions: a drop in his BABIP, which went from .344 to .264, and a spike in fly balls at the expense of his ground ball rate. Lazy fly balls and bad bounces do not couple well with a poor walk rate and the results are found in a plummeting batting average and subpar on-base percentage. He is fully capable of bouncing back though with a bit more patience at the plate and fewer swings outside the zone, two adjustments not outside the realm of possibility. With even just a slight rebound he could pull his rate stats back up and, coupled with his stolen base potential, return to top-10 shortstop status.
Escobar's development as a major league shortstop took a significant step forward last year as his bat seemed to finally catch up to his defensive prowess. While the Royals love him for his fielding, fantasy owners are enjoying the increased offensive totals that he produced in 2012 that saw career-highs in all of the major fantasy categories, save for runs scored in which he fell just one short from his previous high. While Escobar continues to improve at the plate and was better about laying off pitches outside the zone, he appears to have more work to do. Though he hit more line drives, his groundball rate remained the same which means that when his .344 BABIP normalizes, he probably won't see as many balls fall for hits as he did last season. Still, he is fully capable of hitting for a solid .275 average, and if he can continue to grow as a basestealer (35-for-40 last season) Escobar will prove to be a valuable commodity at a very thin position.
It was a bounce back year of sorts for Escobar in 2011 as he hit for a better average (.254) and got back to stealing bases (26), which was long his calling card in the minors. Unfortunately, he still has not improved his plate discipline enough to really unleash his speed as his did in 2009 at Triple-A Nashville, when he stole 42 bases. His glove is what got him to the majors and it's likely to keep him on the field, but that does little for fantasy owners looking for help at the shortstop position. Those in deeper leagues will want to take a chance on him for his speed, but realize that it comes at a price.
Escobar entered 2010 as a possible Rookie of the Year candidate, but failed to live up to expectations. He finished with a line of .235/.288/.326 with four home runs and 10 stolen bases. The 10 steals were the most disturbing for fantasy owners because he stole 42 the previous season in the minors. Escobar is a high contact type of hitter and he was weighed down by a .266 BABIP. There is a chance that will increase since he was almost always above a .333 BABIP during his minor league career. Don't expect much power from him, but a bump in batting average and stolen bases could happen if the Royals give him a better spot in the lineup and let him run - making him a bit of a sleeper in 2011.
Escobar made his major league debut in 2009, taking over at shortstop for J.J. Hardy. He didn't look overmatched, though he still has a lot of work to do offensively. He stole 41 bases at Triple-A Nashville before being called up, but just four at the major league level. Escobar has little - if any - power, so he'll need to rack up quite a few stolen bases to have as much value in the fantasy world as he does in the real world.
Escobar fulfilled his potential in 2008, hitting .328/.363/.434 for Double-A Huntsville while playing Gold Glove caliber defense. He's just 22 years old so there is no rush to get him to the majors in 2009. Despite a lot of rumors that the Brewers are looking to trade J. J. Hardy to open a spot at shortstop for Escobar, it's more likely that he'll start the season at Triple-A Nashville and get some time at that level. The only way that he'll be part of the team on Opening Day is if the Brewers trade Hardy or move him to third or second base, which is unlikely. A more likely scenario is that Escobar spends most of 2009 at Triple-A and the Brewers make a decision on Hardy after next season.
Depending on who you ask, Escobar is either a top prospect or nothing more than a utility infielder. His glove is already major league ready and has been rated as possible Gold Glove-caliber. The problem is that he's just 20 years old and lacks both power and patience at the plate. He was able to hold his own at Double-A Huntsville at that young age, and may start next season with Triple-A Nashville. He could develop gap power as he matures, but the deciding factor on his future may be whether he can learn how to get on base more consistently.
Escobar took a step back in 2006 after shooting his way up the prospect charts in 2005. After missing the start of the season due to a hamstring injury, he hit just .257 with 19 walks in 350 at-bats for High-A Brevard County. He's still only 20 and is the top middle infield prospect for the Brewers, but his star has dimmed just a bit.
Escobar played well for an 18-year-old at low-A West Virginia, hitting .271 with 30 SB. The downside is that he walked only 20 times for a poor .298 OBP. Escobar was the youngest player in the Arizona Fall League and held his own. He'll start next season at high-A and has quite a bit of potential, but remains very raw.
More Fantasy News
Let go by White Sox
SSFree Agent  F
August 2, 2019
Escobar was released by the White Sox on Friday, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
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Joins White Sox
SSChicago White Sox  F
March 22, 2019
Escobar signed a minor-league contract with the White Sox on Friday, James Fegan of The Athletic reports.
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Released by Orioles
SSFree Agent  F
March 20, 2019
Escobar was released by the Orioles on Wednesday, Rich Dubroff of reports.
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Decision coming Wednesday
SSBaltimore Orioles  F
March 20, 2019
Escobar has an opt-out in his contract which triggers Wednesday, meaning the Orioles' decision on whether or not to add him to the major-league roster is imminent, Joe Trezza of reports.
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Solid outing at dish
SSBaltimore Orioles  F
February 28, 2019
Escobar went 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored in Thursday's exhibition against Philadelphia.
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