We picked up Yunel Escobar with JoJo Reyes in a trade with the Braves, sending Alex Gonzalez, Tim Collins and Tyler Pastornicky their way. It is a trade that, if Alex Anthopoulos had suggested to the Braves before the season, they'd have laughed at him. But 261 at bats into the season they decided Yunel (and Gonzalez for that matter) wasn't the player he had been in the past. It was a great move by AA, capitalizing on a hot start that Gonzalez had.
Yunel hit .238/.334/.284 before the trade then .275/.340/.356 after coming to Toronto, still below his established level of play but with his glove, not too bad. I really enjoyed watching Yunel play, but then I like guys that have fun on the field. What I didn't like was him sacrifice bunting in the first inning of games whenever the lead off hitter got on. I'm hoping John Farrell puts an end to that.
His batting line as a Jay last year:
|2010 - Yunel Escobar
Fangraphs credited him with a 4.2 UZR/150 last year and gave him a WAR of 3.7.
His power seemed to dry up last year, getting a home run on 3.3% of fly balls compared to 10.1% the year before. He was also popping up much more, 10.6% infield flies compared to 3.6% each of the two years before. He didn't have as much luck with BABIP, .282 last year, .317 the year before, but if you are popping up the ball a lot more your BABIP will come down.
He clearly wasn't liked in Atlanta, which likely had some to do with the drop in his offensive numbers. Bill James sees him hitting .285/.366/.382 in 623 at bats with 8 home runs this coming season. I'd like to see a bit more of his power return. He'll be 28 this year, right in the prime of his career. I'll guess.290/.355/.410 with 12 home runs, 45 RBI in 600 at bats.
What do you think?