Kansas City Royals: Alcides Escobar Has Star Potential at Shortstop

Bill Robbins@bill_kc28Correspondent IFebruary 11, 2011

Royals' new shortstop Alcides Escobar has all the tools to be a great player in this league.
Royals' new shortstop Alcides Escobar has all the tools to be a great player in this league.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Earlier this offseason, the Royals made headlines when they traded away former Cy Young award winner and ace Zack Grienke, along with 2010 starting shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt.

In return, they were able to get four prospects, including the Brewers' starting shortstop Alcides Escobar.

While the other three players could make an impact on this team down the road, Escobar is the only one that is a sure bet to start at his shortstop position on opening day next month.

Escobar will bring some much needed speed to the Royals lineup, as he stole 10 bases last season with Milwaukee and also had 176 stolen bases spread out through six seasons in the minors.

With the speed, he also brings a lot of talent to that position as well.

In late 2009, Baseball America tabbed Escobar as their No. 1 prospect in the game and he quickly became on of the hottest names in the Brewers farm system.

After short stints with the big league club in both '08 and '09, Escobar finally got his first real shot at the majors last season, when he played 138 games at shortstop for the Brew Crew.

Although his .235 average and lack of power (four homers) didn't make for a good first impression, his star ability shined through many times on the field where the box score could not show it.

The Venezuela native made a number of spectacular plays, with several showing up on Baseball Tonight's web gems.

Royals GM Dayton Moore saw his rare talent at short and made sure that he was the centerpiece of the Greinke trade this offseason.

If Escobar can play anywhere close to the level of his former No. 1 prospect ranking, he could very well be the best shortstop in Royals franchise history.

He has the star potential, but can he unleash it this season?

Find out when he and the rest of the Royals begin their 2011 season March 31st against Detroit.


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