The Minnesota Twins playoff chances took a Minor hit when shortstop Jorge Polanco was suspended 80-games during Spring Training. However, hope is not lost, Polanco’s primary replacement is off to a good start through the first three weeks of the 2018 season.
Minnesota Twins infielder Eduardo Escobar has his limitations defensively at shortstop. However, he has been making up for that with solid production at the plate so far this season. The Twins will need Escobar to continue to swing a hot bat in order to contend in the American League.
Escobar has a .333 batting average with one home run through his first seven games. However, he has eight strikeouts already, to go along with zero walks. It’s still too early to panic about his on-base percentage, but it is a red flag.
So far this season Escobar has been flawless with the leather. He is errorless through his first 62 innings at shortstop. Although this is a small sample size, it is also a huge step in the right direction for Escobar.
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What the Twins need from Escobar
This is about more than just the 80-games Jorge Polanco will miss this regular season. Polanco is also ineligible for the playoffs this year so Minnesota will need Escobar to take hold of the position. He broke through with 21 home runs during the 2017 season and with a more defined role this season his input should be similar.
The Minnesota Twins are lucky to have not only Escobar but also Ehire Adrianza to help fill the void. Adrianza doesn’t have anywhere near the offensive potential that Escobar has. However, if Escobar falters, the Twins can turn to Adrianza and instantly improve the defense.
Defense will be the key for Escobar during this season. If he can play at a league-average level Minnesota will be in great shape. However, thankfully for Twins fans, if Escobar struggles there are other options available to the team.
Escobar will hit enough to stay in the lineup for the majority of games. Minnesota is a good defensive team and needs Escobar to step his game up in the field. If he does that, this team will be tough to beat all season long.
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