Runner up

We have all engaged in the discussion of who are the best players at their respective positions. When discussing the position of shortstop I think the obvious answer is Hanley Ramirez. He does it all. He hits for average as well as power. He drives in runs and steals bases. He even plays good defense. He is easily the best shortstop in the game. But who is number two? I’m going to make the case for Yunel Escobar of the Atlanta Braves.

Yunel EscobarEscobar plays solid defense but where he really shines is at the plate. Escobar has improved his contact hitting this year by sporting the 6th best .305 average. He has also shown he can provide the long ball with his 3rd best 11 home runs and drive in runs with his 58 RBI which also rank 3rd. The power numbers aren’t a product of a free swinger either. Escobar has shown excellent bat control and advanced plate discipline. He strikes out just 10.6% of the time which is only beaten by Orlando Cabrera (9.4%) and Miguel Tejada (7.6%). He is also the owner of the 3rd best SO/BB ratio with 0.80.

Escobar ranks 5th in OBP (.370), 5th in SLG (.471), 5th in OPS (.841), 7th in WAR (2.5), 7th in RC (55.8) and 4th in clutch factor (0.49). Escobar is in the top 10 in some of the most important statistics. He is among the best hitting shortstops as well as the most valuable to his respective team.

Yunel EscobarHe has a respectable 4.3 Range Factor when you look at the defensive aspect of his game. One thing that isn’t shown in a statistic is his strong arm. Many Braves fans were spoiled when Rafael Furcal would rifle throws across the field. Escobar’s arm is just as good if not better.

There are a handful of shortstops that have a legitimate shot at being the runner up to Hanley Ramirez at the position. Yunel Escobar has a pretty good argument.

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13 comments

  1. matttan7

    I sure agree with Yunel Escobar being amongst the best shortstops of the NL. He’s sure hitting for power with his 11 home runs and 58 runs batted in. Hopefully the Braves can make Escobar’s good plays worth it.

    Matthew T
    http://matt7.mlblogs.com/

  2. matttan7

    I sure agree with Yunel Escobar being amongst the best shortstops of the NL. He’s sure hitting for power with his 11 home runs and 58 runs batted in. Hopefully the Braves can make Escobar’s good plays worth it.

    Matthew T
    http://matt7.mlblogs.com/

  3. tomatalk

    I think you make a great case for Escobar. Frankly, I think Han-Ram’s defense is not all that great, but I think it’s passable, and there’s no question he’s an offensive force. I’d probably be tempted to still slot Jimmy Rollins ahead of Escobar, but shortstop isn’t the position it was about 5 years ago. In terms of upside, Escobar’s far and away the most interesting. He’s been poorly slotted as a 2-hole hitter for so long that we’re just now seeing the development of his game. He also seems to me to be a guy who might gain a bit of maturity simply by being counted on. I appreciate the link to my page….now that bar studying is over with I should be back and writing again.

  4. matttan7

    I sure agree with Yunel Escobar being amongst the best shortstops of the NL. He’s sure hitting for power with his 11 home runs and 58 runs batted in. Hopefully the Braves can make Escobar’s good plays worth it.

    Matthew T
    http://matt7.mlblogs.com/

  5. thefanofbaseball

    hey nice blog ask the management if i can write for MLBCenter i e-mailed them and they’re not answering thanks!

  6. raysfanboy

    I agree that Escobar is a pretty up-and-coming player these days. I don’t know how many can’t-miss short stops are out there anymore. It seems like a watered down position. I think that when you get a guy with the skills Escobar has, you hang on to him and build. That seems like what the Braves are doing.
    http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com/

  7. ncbravefan82

    ok if escobar is such a good player which he is why were the braves trying to move him to san diego for peavy or talking moving him during the season well beigning of the season just bc of a lil tirade he had with bobby and the scorekeeper in washington. well someone needs to step and tell bobby hes F*cking up this team. trading escobar for anyone is stupid unless ur getting someone to fufill shortstop someone like hanley or a better player like i wouldn’t have mind sending him and frenchy to bosox for elisbury and lowery.

  8. bburrows@lhup.edu

    They were considering trading him for Peavy because it takes quality to get quality. Although Escobar is an exceptional talent he has personality issues as in he is immature and doesn’t put in the effort that is expected. That tirade was completely unprofessional and childish. You can blame Cox all you want but he is still the one running things for a reason. You don’t get as many wins as he has by being stupid.

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