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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.

  1. One thing to be wary of if drafting Alcides solely to bolster steals: Ken Macha, the brewers coach isn’t particularly fond of the steal. While this may change a bit as the Brewers have no real threats on the basepaths in the past year- I wouldn’t expect an overload of production from Alcides in this department, especially if he gets caught 2-3 times in the first month of the season.

  2. GopherDay says:
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    What about Elvis for 1010?

  3. DrEasy says:
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    Your three levels of nested parentheses matched, I checked it.

  4. What in the name of Michael Jackson is up with Sammy Sosa?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/What-i%20n-the-name-of-Michael-Jackson-is-up-with-S?urn=mlb,200803

    GO LOOK AT THE PICTURES OF SAMMY SOSA ON THE WEB SIGHT

    What in the name of Michael Jackson is up with Sammy Sosa?

    Retirement, or something, appears to be changing Sammy Sosa(notes). He and wife, Sonia, were recently in Las Vegas for the Latin Grammys, which included a tribute on Wednesday to singer Juan Gabriel. Photogs caught the Sosas on the red carpet and Sonia looks fabulous as always. As for Sammy … well, there’s no getting around it, but Sammy looked kind of pale.

    His skin is undeniably lighter than at any time since he broke into the majors in 1989. Is it an illness, or a condition such as Vitiligo, in which depigmentation occurs? Is Sammy just bleaching his skin for fashion’s sake? (Heh, “just.”)

    I wonder if he is changing his look, simply because his eyes are a different color. Sammy was born with brown eyes. He’s taken to wearing green contact lenses and, quite frankly, they are extremely creepy. Is he co-starring in the upcoming “Twilight” sequel? The plastic suit also bothers me, just because it does.

    Sammy, who hasn’t played since 2007, has been accused of using modern chemistry to help him attain 609 career homers — including three seasons of 60-plus. Perhaps he’s turning to science to give him a different veneer as he approaches his 41st birthday. Below, check out a few

  5. Tony says:
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    can baseball start again already? i dont do football, and basketball just doesn’t have the same zest….

    com’n 2010!

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Old Reino: Fair enough, but he can’t be fond of losing either. With Carlos Gomez and Alcides, they only have so much to offer, steals being a big part of that.

    @mrbaseball: Wow, he looks like Martin Landau from Ed Wood.

    @GopherDay: I like him, probably good for 35 steals. I’ll go over him at some point.

    @DrEasy: Yes, sir.

    @Tony: I hear ya.

  7. GopherDay says:
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    @Grey: Thanks.

  8. sean says:
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    How about the other players affected by the trade?

    JJ Hardy: could he return to 2008 form with the Twinkies? Late flier for MI power on fantasy team with plenty of speed in the OF?

    Carlos Gomez: with an everyday spot in CF with the Brewers, can he be the player that, gulp, the Mets thought he would be? Unfortunately, I would think that Gomez can only give you the numbers that you would be looking for out of a MI. Who is getting on base for Fielder and Braun in that MIL lineup?!?

  9. @Sean
    A healthy Ricky Weeks would probably hit .270 in the 1 or 2 spot. The leadoff is a gap that could be filled by escobar/gomez. I believe Harts leadoff in the past as well, but will likely bat 5/6 after braun & fielder.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @sean: Yeah, I’ll probably go over Carlos Gomez in his own post, but I do like him for the steals. Probably will be a cheap Michael Bourn-type. You’re right about Fielder and Braun. Might only be a marginal impact, but the guys that will probably be in front of them don’t have the best OBP.

    re: Hardy — Eh, he is what he is. Some pop for an MI later in the draft, will hurt you a bit on average. Considering some of the guys the Twins have played for 150 games/season in their infield, Hardy will get every chance to play.

  11. Cheese

    Cheese says:
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    So what’s a reasonable line you expect as final numbers from Escobar?

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Cheese: 80/5/65/.265/30

  13. Tony says:
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    hardy was a major dissappointment this past year… he was kind of a piece in a deal i got at one point…. BLEH.

  14. eltoo says:
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    Have both Andrus and Escobar. Will probably keep Escobar over Andrus due to cost. I think Escobar may surprise with .280-.285 average, but the lack of walks is a big red flag.

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @eltoo: Not sure of the cost, but I’d prefer Andrus.

  16. eltoo says:
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    All things equal, I agree. I put Andrus in the $6-7 range and Escobar in the $1-2 based on comp players values last year. Only working with $22 in free cap this off season so I’ll be bargain hunting.

  17. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Grey: #1 will seth smith play every day (or 4 out of 5)#2 what kind of numbers do you expect from him in? a 7×7 he is worth more

  18. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @eltoo: Those dollar figures sound right.

    @AL KOHOLIC: He is worth more, he’s solid in OBP. I’d think he could hit 20 homers and steal 10 bases if he can get 450 ABs.

  19. Corey says:
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    Ryan Howard and Derek Jetaaaa for Grady Sizemore and John Lackey
    Who Wins?

    I was thinking push, but I’m thinking the Howard/Jeter side is topping out.

  20. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Corey: Howard side, not that close.

  21. big o says:
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    mlb-tv originally aired the arizona fall league’s “rising stars” game , live , a few days ago .
    since then they have re-broadcast that game a few times .
    if your cable company carries the mlb channel , then you’ve probably seen this game .
    it’s an interesting 1st look at many soon-to-be major leaguers .
    see it , if you can .

  22. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Grey: youve probably covered this already but whats your thought on colorados`s gonzalez??

  23. big o says:
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    @Grey:
    would you compare ibanez to tori hunter , and give your thoughts on why you prefer one over the other ?
    also , are both of these guys better than victorino ?? neither ???

    thanking you , in advance .

  24. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @big o: i like hunter,25 hr 100-100 and 20 sb`s while hitting 280 min, 300 tops,he will go 2 rnds later than ibanez basically for 10-15 less rbi ,5 less hr but 15-20 more sb if healthy,BUT grey doesnt like him and that scares me

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: Great upside on CarGo, 20/20, potential future star. He’ll have a post dedicated to him soon.

    @big o: Neither are better than Victorino. Ibanez gives no steals and he hit his career high homers at the age of 37. I wouldn’t expect a repeat. Hunter’s better.

  26. Stephen says:
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    @big o: I am super jealous you got to see that game!

  27. BrewersFan says:
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    @Old Reino: Escobar/Gomez aren’t very good at getting on base (I don’t think Gomez even knows where firstbase is). Weeks will be batting leadoff again next year.

    Also, I hope someone forces Macha to press the running game in 2010. Escobar/Gomez are blazin’, and people wouldn’t know it because Milwaukee hasn’t heard of the stolen-base yet, but Braun is very good on the bases if they would send him more (kind of hurts to bat in-front of Fielder). Weeks/Hart can run too.

  28. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Grey: sorry if i ask about past post,if i am then direct me to the appropriate post,have you ever tried to help raise (my 1st and only)grandson,rebiuld a finished basement and try to enjoy a drink or 3,it`s getting rough out here

  29. Cheese

    Cheese says:
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    Would you call him a poor mans Ryan Theriot?

  30. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: You can go through the 2010 keepers section, there’s a small blurb about him somewhere, but I haven’t post the full post about him yet.

    @Cheese: What’s wrong with calling him Elvis Andrus from last year?

  31. @BrewersFan
    Rickie Weeks may start leadoff- but I doubt he stays there all season- of the 4 or so leadoff options none of them look pretty:
    R Weeks: . 351 OBP
    A Escobar: .338 OBP
    C. Hart: .326 OBP
    C Gomez: . 292 OBP
    (all career numbers- not ’09)
    Given how streaky these guys are/ injury prone Weeks is I could see them being shuffled around a bit. Definately agree on the steals though, all 4 are capable of or have already had 20-25 steal years.

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Old Reino: Gotta play the cards you’re dealt, right?

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