Despite setting a career high in plate appearances, Alcides Escobar tied his career low with 57 runs scored. That'll happen when you carry an on-base percentage of just .292. Even running into a career-high seven homers didn't help the slick-fielding shortstop's tallies. Speaking of running, Escobar registered 17 pilfers for the second straight campaign after swiping at least 22 from 2011 to 2014, averaging 28.5 per year over that span. Escobar's strongest suit is durability, which keeps his counting stats palatable for single-league formats. Escobar usually finds his way onto a mixed-league squad once injuries thin the player pool. But with such a paltry walk rate and paucity of power at a time where there's an influx of power-hitting shortstops, Escobar is reserve-round fodder in mixed-league drafts, especially since he's a candidate to be dropped to the bottom of the lineup, further dampening production.
Escobar went 3-for-4 with the game-winning walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning in Sunday's 1-0 win over the Angels. The game-winner came off Angels closer Cam Bedrosian. Escobar is hitting only .244 after his three-hit performance, and it was just his third multi-hit game of the season. Of his 10 hits in 2017, only two have gone for extra-base hits (both doubles). Now that Escobar is no longer hitting leadoff for KC and his stolen base attempts are likely to suffer, his fantasy value is on life support. He has just two runs scored and no steals so far in 12 games.
Escobar went 1-for-4 with a double, his first hit of the season, in Thursday's 5-3 loss to Minnesota. Despite reaching base for the first time in 2017, Escobar missed out on the chance for a big game. The shortstop came to the plate without many opportunities to be had in the team's first two games, but Escobar stranded five runners in Thursday's tilt. He remains without an RBI or run scored through his first 10 plate appearances this season.
Escobar went 9-for-24 with two extra-base hits and four RBI for Team Venezuela during the World Baseball Classic. After a productive stint with his home country, Escobar will presumably return to Cactus League action with the Royals in the near future as he prepares for Opening Day. The Royals have been deploying Raul Mondesi or Alex Gordon as their leadoff hitter for much of the spring and did so in several games earlier in Cactus League play when Escobar was available, so it's conceivable that the shortstop may have to settle for a spot in the bottom third of the lineup to begin the season. If that's the case, Escobar's stolen-base and run-scoring opportunities could be suppressed.
The Royals picked up their option on Escobar's contract for the 2017 season, Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball reports. Escobar has been a pillar of the Royals' infield since he joined the team in 2011, so their decision to exercise their option on his contract comes as no surprise. However, he turned in another disappointing season at the plate and hit to the tune of .261/.292/.350 over 162 games.
Escobar hit a three-run homer, his fourth, in a 1-for-4 game in Monday's win over the Yankees. After homering twice in his first 126 games, Escobar now has gone yard twice in his past five games, a stretch in which he has also doubled thrice and knocked in seven runs. This isn't Escobar's game, of course. With four home runs, he topped his marks from 2014 and 2015 and is now just one off from his career high set back in 2011.
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