When the New York Mets signed Eduardo Escobar to a two-year $20 million dollar deal I was excited. Escobar is a player I've had my eye on ever since he broke out with a 35 home run 118 RBI season in 2019 in Arizona. He's a well rounded, switch hitting third baseman with a lot of power.
Escobar isn't the kind of player who is going to be a consistent all-star or win an MVP, but he's the kind of consistent player the Mets have needed for awhile. I was happy that the Mets signed him to a cheap deal to provide something they lacked, power.
Eduardo Escobar has been nothing close to what I expected he'd be but has still been a really good pickup for the Mets.
I expected Escobar to hit around .240 or .250 with around 25-30 home runs while playing solid defense at third base. Through 19 games he's been an on-base machine with little power. He has just one home run in 81 plate appearances.
Something that has shocked me about Escobar has been his ability to get on base. Escobar has already drawn 14 walks in his 81 plate appearances. He's drawn walks at a 17.3% clip which puts him in the 95th percentile in all of baseball. Escobar has never drawn more than 52 walks in a season, that came back in 2018.
While he's drawing a ton of walks, I don't expect that to last. He's done a great job not chasing, as he's in the 65th percentile in chase rate, but he also just hasn't seen many strikes. I believe the reason for that is he often has Robinson Cano hitting behind him. Pitchers are much more comfortable pitching to someone like Cano than Escobar. Hopefully Buck makes that adjustment at some point as Cano is clearly done.
While Escobar hasn't hit home runs yet, he has hit for extra bases. His eight doubles are tied for second in the majors, just one behind Matt Olson. Again, it's unfortunate he has Cano hitting after him as he's only scored nine runs but hopefully that'll change.
Escobar has provided protection for Pete Alonso and despite his slow start in the field, he's been a really solid pickup. He's an amazing teammate and is a big part of the new culture that is clearly showing in Queens. He's the kind of place holder teams want right before a big prospect like Brett Baty is ready to take over. Eventually the power will come, hopefully the on base skills will stay.