Thursday Thought: Eduardo Escobar has become more patient at the plate

New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies
New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The New York Mets are off to a nice start after the first week of games, leading the National League East with a 5-2 record. Overall the team is looking good, but the offense in particular stands out after all the moves made to bolster the lineup over the winter.

One of the new Mets that has made his presence felt early on is Eduardo Escobar, largely due to his newfound patience.

Escobar was known for his power bat and defensive versatility coming into this season. He was expected to hit plenty of homers and doubles, but not really be an on-base guy. However, he has become much more disciplined at the plate, and he’s putting up numbers to back that up. 

Over the course of his career, Escobar’s on-base percentage is .310. Not great, but he’s getting on-base at a .481 clip to begin this season. He has walked eight times, including three walks in a game on April 13th and two walks in a game on April 8th. For perspective, last season he walked a total of 48 times. He’s already walked 8 times this year, so he’s 1/6th of the way to beating last year’s total.

Escobar is chasing 6% less pitches out of the strike zone. He’s in the 64th percentile in chase rate, and the 94th percentile in walk rate.  He looks very comfortable in the box. He’s clearly got a plan or a pitch to look for in each at-bat, and he’s not giving in until he gets it. Even with the extra patience and discipline he’s displayed, he’s still showing the extra-base power with three doubles and a triple. 

I’m very happy with the discipline that Escobar is showing. I expected him to be a guy who would slug the ball and drive in runs, but with this rise in his on-base percentage, he can also provide opportunities for the hitters behind him like Canha and McNeil. This lineup is very deep, and I’m looking forward to the numbers they can put up over a full season.

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