Although the Minnesota Twins have struggled to find consistency to start this season, there have been a few players who have been swinging a hot bat.
One of those players is Minnesota Twins utility infielder Eduardo Escobar. After losing starting shortstop Jorge Polanco, things could have quickly spiraled out of control. However, Escobar has filled in so well at short that it’s time to consider what his role will be with this organization after this season.
Escobar has been in the Majors for a while and while he has always been highly regarded, he had not lived up to expectations. That is until Escobar started putting it all together during the 2017 season. Entering the 2017 season, Escobar had all of 27 home runs through his first 490 MLB games, having reached double-digit homers only once.
However, Escobar must have been eating his spinach every day during last season because he transformed into Popeye. Although his average was a mediocre .253, Escobar drove in 73 runs while mashing a career-high 21 home runs. The Minnesota Twins were able to make an improbable run into the postseason a year ago and Escobar was a big part of that success.
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Has that success carried over into 2018?
Without question, Escobar has been able to build on the momentum he had going last season. He has been arguably the most consistent hitter in the Twins lineup and has been stellar at shortstop. Escobar has yet to commit an error at short through his first 132 2/3 innings defensively. On top of that, he has enough versatility that he has handled third base admirably while Miguel Sano has been on the disabled list.
We haven’t even talked about his performance at the plate yet, and that is where Escobar is having his most impact on the field. He already has 20 runs batted in while batting .313 with 22 extra base hits. Of those 22 extra base hits, Escobar has already clubbed seven home runs.
Beyond what he has done on the field, Escobar brings a certain amount of swagger to the clubhouse as well. He always has a smile on his face and it’s easy to see his passion for the game of baseball. Escobar is definitely well-liked within the Minnesota Twins clubhouse and a “glue guy” for this team.
Every successful team has a player or two just like Escobar. These are the players that help keep things loose in the clubhouse when things may not be going well. His ability to play multiple positions at a high level is a bonus for Minnesota as well.
Along with Brian Dozier and José Berríos, Escobar is one of the most important players on this team. He is a free agent at the end of this season so his future with the club is a little bit hazy. However, this writer hopes to see him in the Twin Cities for many years moving forward.