Or maybe it wasn’t. As a statistically minded individual, I see appraisals of players like Alcides Escobar and wonder. What exactly warrants this optimism? His career minor-league OPS is only .709! True, his 2008 and 2009 campaigns were the strong ones and Escobar still has, supposedly, a high ceiling but he did nothing to show that preseason rookie of the year talk was warranted in 2010. He hit like Adam Everett and gave the Brewers not only negative oWAR last year but also negative dWAR! That is a big red flag from a guy that is supposed to be a slick defender. He hasn’t shown any power in the minors, but he has hit for average and stolen bases. However, he hasn’t taken many walks – so he profiles (at best) as something like Placido Polanco at the plate. At worst… well, what he did to (not for) the Brewers last year probably qualifies. Rumor has it he’ll hit leadoff for the Royals, so if you remember what guys like Andres Torres did for the Tigers you’ll get some idea of what we’re likely to see in KC next year. Sure, he could break out… I doubt it. So far in the Venezuelan league he’s got a .543 OPS. I’m not sure I wouldn’t rather be betting on Cale Iorg.
The asking price does not seem to have been as high, in the end, as we had thought. Although maybe it’s just a case of Dayton Moore valuing prospects more highly that the rest of the universe. We don’t have strictly comparable players, but this package doesn’t seem to be much stronger than one of Gustavo Nunez, Casper Wells, Andrew Oliver and Daniel Schlereth from my perspective – if it is, in fact, stronger at all. That deal, I would have made. (Though I wouldn’t have taken Betancourt.)