I tend to think this kind of stuff is… pretty much crazy, actually, but here we’ve got another rumour about the Jays and their willingness to move Yunel Escobar. And this time from an actual respectable source! Ken Rosenthal’s latest at Fox Sports.
The Jays are willing to move Escobar, sources say, in part because of their belief that Triple A shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is ready to play in the majors. Hechavarria, 23, is batting .314 with an .805 OPS in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
OK, so Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail has been on the “move Escobar now” train too– though maybe not necessarily based on sourced information about trade talks, but rumblings of a souring on Yunel from within the organization– and I’m not going to disparage his info (um… today), but this stuff still strikes me as a little pecuiliar.
Sure, Kevin Goldstein was saying late last month that Hechavarria’s making real progress at the plate. And yes, the numbers look good, absent the giant wad of context that is the PCL. But… um… GIANT WAD OF PCL CONTEXT!
Hechavarria’s .363 on-base is behind 11 teammates with a minimum of 100 plate appearances, ahead of only Chris Woodward and tied with Mike McCoy. His .127 ISO puts him tenth on the team, which is where he’s at in wRC+ and wOBA, too. His SLG of .442 ranks him ninth, behind Lind, d’Arnaud, Dan Perales, Snider, Thames, Cooper and Moises Sierra.
I realize that such an analysis doesn’t account for the quality of his at-bats, and that it’s possible the Jays view Escobar as a declining asset in the field and at the plate, regardless of the team-friendly contract– and perhaps an excellent trade candidate because of it– but… I’m just going to have to take an “I’ll believe it when I see it” approach to the notion that the Jays really think Hechavarria is really ready to hit MLB pitching, and that they think the gap between his bat and Escobar’s has closed significantly enough to make the defensive upgrade Hechavarria would reputedly bring somehow significant.
Maybe that’s really it. Or maybe we’re hearing the prospect being pumped up so that he can be dealt before he gets a chance to fail spectacularly in the Majors. Or maybe we’re really actually hearing nothing of worth at all…
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