Rather than testing the free-agency market, third baseman Eduardo Escobar re-signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks for three years and $21 million in October 2018. At the time it was seen as a team-friendly deal because, according to baseball insiders, Escobar could have made more money had he waited and tested the open market. However, Escobar said from the day he was traded to the Diamondbacks and was welcomed by everyone that he felt like he had found his home. He was at ease with the players, coaches, front office, and even the fans. As much as the game has changed, fitting in and feeling welcome sometimes goes a long way for a player.
Eduardo Escobar Arrives in Arizona
After playing for the Minnesota Twins from 2012, Escobar was traded to the Diamondbacks last July for three minor leaguers. In 54 games with the Diamondbacks, 51 of which he started, he hit .268 with eight homeruns, 21 RBIs, and a .772 OPS. (Between both teams in 2018, he hit .272 with 23 home runs, 48 doubles, three triples, and 84 RBIs.) He became an instant fan favorite in late September in a game against the Dodgers. Even though they were already out of a playoff spot, Escobar came to the plate to lead off the bottom of the ninth and sent a solo blast off Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda to give his team the victory.
Always a Hard Worker
Escobar has always been known to be a hard worker and his teammates like him. He has jokingly called himself the funniest guy in the league and takes pride in giving people joy. Bringing people together not only helps the team bond, but it helps them play better. That is the kind of culture the Diamondbacks organization fosters and the kind Escobar can help them build and maintain. (Maybe this is what a hometown discount really is.)
His Home Run Numbers
His home run numbers are beginning to show his power. Through Tuesday’s game, he has 17. That puts him on pace for 39 homers and would shatter last year’s career-high of 23. Escobar has worked with hitting coaches Darnell Coles and Eric Hinske. They have worked on his hand-eye coordination, making contact, and being patient at the plate.
It appears that this is a great extension that is going to work out well for both Escobar and the Diamondbacks. As valuable as Escobar’s clubhouse presence can be, the 30-year-old also brings versatility to the field. He has been the regular third baseman and has seen time at second as well. He is a good defensive player with good range, good fielding hands, and an excellent arm. This gives Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo some flexibility when injuries occur or other players need days off. With his strong start to the season, both on offense and defense, the rest of Escobar’s 2019 season should continue to be a good one.
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