New York Mets third baseman Eduardo Escobar has struggled this season. Despite short bursts of success, his overall numbers are not pretty. He’s slashing .219/.271/.393/.664 with 12 homers, 20 doubles, 40 runs scored, and 42 RBI’s.
Most of Escobar’s struggles have come from the left side of the plate, which obviously is the side he hits from most often. From the right side of the plate, he’s been an entirely different, much more productive player.
One potential solution for Eduardo Escobar’s struggles is to stop switch-hitting for the Mets.
As a left-handed batter this year, Escobar is slashing just .199/.260/.328/.588. He’s got six homers and 11 doubles in 265 plate appearances from that side.
As a right-handed batter, Escobar is slashing .261/.293/.530/.823. He’s got six homers and nine doubles from the right side as well, but he’s done it in just 123 plate appearances. He’s an entirely different player when he hits right-handed.
These splits are not new either. His career OPS of .782 as a right-handed hitter is 62 points higher than his career OPS of .720 as a left-handed hitter. Sure, he’s got more counting stats as a lefty, but you have to consider the context that he has more than double the plate appearances from that side of the plate.
We’ve seen other hitters stop switch-hitting and have success. The most recent example is Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins. He switch-hit for his first three seasons in the league, but then in spring training of 2021, he decided to only hit from his better side, the left side. He would go on to have a career-year in 2021. Even though his numbers dipped this year, he’s still more productive than he ever was as a switch-hitter.
Obviously Escobar and the coaching staff will have to have conversations about this. If they can fix his lefty swing, switch-hitting is an advantage. If they can’t, then this change needs to be made. There are already rumors that he might lose playing time to Luis Guillorme against righties, who is also a better defender, so he needs to approach this with an open mind.