The LA Angels had a roller coaster ride of season in 2017 and Yunel Escobar was right there with them as he started hot, then he cooled off, and finally Escobar missed the final five weeks due to an oblique injury.
Yunel Escobar was acquired by the LA Angels in the winter of 2015 for reliever Trevor Gott it was a move aimed to solidify a position that had been an issue for the Angels for a number of years. Escobar had an excellent 2016 season hitting .304 with five homers and 39 RBIs. 2016 Escobar was the lead-off hitter all season.
In the 2017 season Escobar started out as the lead-off hitter but was switched out of that role midway through the season in favor of Cameron Maybin and later Kole Calhoun. Escobar was having a solid season until he went into a slump in early June when his averaged dipped from over .300 to around .270. When Escobar was injured he was hitting .274 with seven homers and 31 RBIs which is how he finished the season.
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Defensively Escobar would make the tough plays look easy, but then he would make the easy plays turn into an adventure. In two seasons Escobar had a below average .937 fielding percentage with 31 errors in 494 total chances. Even with that he still was a solid piece for the Angels during the last two seasons.
However, unless the Angels make a surprise move and re-sign Escobar who is now almost 35 years old, the team will be back to square one at third as their only options will be Luis Valbuena (.199) , Jefry Marte (.173) or Kaleb Cowart (.225) none of which are very attractive options.
Door #3 is to go after a free agent such as Mike Moustakas or Todd Frazier, but they will both command a lot of money as there are not many attractive options at third base. Whatever the Angels decide to do it most likely won’t include Yunel Escobar. Despite his many shortcomings (poor fielding, limited power, limited speed, and not a big run producer) you do have to appreciate the stability he gave the Angels at third base the past two seasons.
Good luck Yunel! Thank you for time here in Anaheim.
Yunel Escobar Grade: B-