This post was almost titled, “Alcides Escobar, 2010 Fantasy Sleeper As Long As The Brewers Don’t Make A Boneheaded Decision To Start Hardy At Shortstop.” Lo and behold, the Brewers fermented their yeast and unloaded Hardy — Hardy knew you! — and have committed to Alcides. With him and Rickie Weeks up the middle in 2010 (at least for the first few days of the season until Weeks gets hurt), it could be an exciting time to be a Brewers fan, assuming you’re a fan of hitting; their pitching could be scary. Not scary good, but scary scary. So with Alcides Escobar playing full-time at shortstop, what can we expect of him for 2010 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
42 flippin’ steals in 109 games in Triple-A makes him a sleeper. Dur. You’re not liable to get much else from Alcides in 2010. Last year, in 38 games with the Brewers he hit .304. I wouldn’t trust that like I wouldn’t trust a drunk Christopher Walken on a boat. (<– Obscure reference compliments of the book I was reading in Barnes & Noble on Saturday (no idea why he didn’t name it Heart to Heart (and don’t ask me why I was reading it))). In a full season of at-bats, Escobar will probably be ranked in the bottom 20 hitters for walks to strikeouts. In 6 seasons of the minor leagues, he only walked 140 times in 2571 at-bats. Blech. So he needs to hit to get on base. He does beat the ball into the ground, which is a good thing for a burner. Still, I think you’re looking at a max .275 hitter in 2010. He can chuck in a few homers, as well. But you’re not drafting him for that. What you want is steals, and he’ll provide ‘em. I’d compare him to 2009 Elvis Andrus. Not much, not much, steals. Alcides Escobar is a 2010 fantasy baseball sleeper and exactly the kind of guy I’d look at late for MI.