Fantasy Baseball Profile: Yunel Escobar
Yunel Escobar is somewhat overlooked because he doesn’t steal many bases, especially for a shortstop, and doesn’t stand out in any particular category. Click here to see where I have him ranked among fantasy shortstops.
While that is true, it doesn’t mean he isn’t a quality SS. He finished 7th in runs (89), 10th in hits (158), 9th in doubles (26), tied for 6th in HRs (14), 5th in RBIs (76), 6th in average (.299), and 5th in OPS (.812) among shortstops.
Yunel has improved each year, and at 27 should continue to perform at a high level, though he will need to improve against lefties. He hit just .232 against them last year. He was rather consistent though, hitting .293 with 41 runs, 7 HRs, and 44 RBIs in 283 ABs before the All-Star Game, and .306 with 48 runs, 7 HRs, and 32 RBIs in 245 ABs afterwards.
Escobar struck out just 62 times in 528 ABs last year for a MLB best 0.92 BB/K ratio among shortstops. He puts the ball in play, which gives him an opportunity to accumulate fantasy stats for you.
If you don’t get a top six shortstop (Hanley, Tulo, Jeter, Reyes, Rollins, Andrus), you’re better served to address other needs for a few rounds. Then go ahead and grab a SS from the next tier. While others are taking Stephen Drew, Jason Bartlett, Rafael Furcal, and the like, I’ll take Escobar, and enjoy his across-the-board contributions.
Predictions: .295, 95 runs, 17 HRs, 78 RBIs, 5 SBs
Arizona Diamondbacks: Brandon Webb
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