I'm trying to better commit myself to more useful fantasy baseball advice via these blog posts, so adding the Fantasy Player Profile is hopefully something I'll be able to continue throughout the preseason. Anyway, I've been doing some wheelin' and dealin' with my money keeper leagues the last few days that I thought I'd share some thoughts about my main man Alcides Escobar, Milwaukee's new everyday shortstop.... barring any spring setbacks.
First off, no, Chris Coghlan for Alcides Escobar is not a fair deal in my opinion! Sorry man. Just one of the few trade offers I have received for my $1.00 Escobar. Escobar has already given off the impression that he's a speed and batting average guy with power to hopefully develop. With Milwaukee trading J.J. Hardy to the Twins before the Winter Meetings, the Brew Crew opened up a starting spot for the 23 year old. CBS has touted Escobar as the next Jose Reyes which really says something. So let's take a look at some of the numbers....
2009 cup of tea in the majors: .304BA/1HR/11RBI/4SB/20R in 125AB. = Not bad at all
2009 AAA Age 22: .297BA/4HR/33RBI/41SB/75R/65K in 427AB = More speed, less AB
2008 AA Age 21: .328BA/8HR/76RBI/34SB/95R/82K in 546AB = BA/Speed & some Power
2007 A Age 20: .325BA/0HR/25RBI/18SB/37R/35K in 268AB = Hit for BA
What you like here is the consistency in batting average above the .300 mark with the low strikeout rate. Throw in 30+ steals and you have yourself and sweet SS later in the draft who ranks just inside the top 15 but will probably perform close to a top 10. This guy is the real deal and now is the time to invest! if you play in a keeper league or dynasty league where you can get this guy for a buck or two, make the move now. If you want to compare Escobar to someone, compare him to Elvis Andrus with a better BA. I don't know about the whole Jose Reyes thing but if this guy can develop over the next 2-3 years, yeah, he can certainly hit 12-15HR and steal 50-60 bases. I guess that all depends on Milwaukee's game plan. We'll just have to wait and see.
The way I look at it is this.... If Milwaukee so easily gave up on J.J. Hardy who won't exactly command a big contract to clear a spot for Escobar, then they must think he's ready. In my opinion, he's a slightly suped up Elvis Andrus and anyone who can hit you .300, score close to or more than 100 runs, and steal 30-40+ bases is definitely worth a 14th round gamble in normal 12 team mixed league drafts and for $5-$8 or less in normal $260 budget auction leagues. Of course, he'll probably hit some bumps and bruises along the way but he should last the entire season like Andrus did and Milwaukee will be patient. But now is the time to invest!
If you're asking me for a projection...... .295BA/7HR/60RBI/35SB/90R in 600AB
That's just a shooting-from-the-hip kind of projection throwing in maybe a slump or a slow start or something! Oh, and those are Ichiro Suzuki type numbers minus some BA and a few runs, at the end of the draft and at SS!!!