Escobar with the Kansas City Royals
|Kansas City Royals – No. 2|
December 16, 1986 |
La Sabana, Venezuela
|September 3, 2008, for the Milwaukee Brewers|
(through 2016 season)
|Runs batted in||354|
|Career highlights and awards|
Alcides Escobar [al-see'-des / es-co-bar'] (born December 16, 1986) is a Venezuelan professional baseball shortstop with the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball. He was born in La Sabana, Venezuela. He previously played for the Milwaukee Brewers. His defensive prowess has earned him the nickname "El Mago".
In 2007, he split time between Single-A and Double-A, playing 63 games for the Brevard County Manatees of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League and 62 games for the Huntsville Stars of the Class AA Southern League. He batted a combined .306 with one home run and 53 runs batted in.
In 2008, Escobar played mostly for Huntsville. On September 1, 2008, when rosters expanded, Escobar was called up to the Majors for the first time and made his debut two days later as a defensive replacement at shortstop. He picked up his first hit in his first career at-bat in the same game, a single against Scott Schoeneweis of the New York Mets.
Before the 2009 season, Baseball America rated Escobar the 19th best prospect in baseball. In 2009, Escobar appeared in the All-Star Futures Game as the starting shortstop for the World team. During the game, he went 2-for-4 and scored the go-ahead run. On August 12, Escobar was called up to the Brewers from the Triple-A Nashville Sounds to replace J. J. Hardy, who had been optioned down. He made his first major-league appearance of the season that night, pinch running for Prince Fielder in the bottom of the 9th against the San Diego Padres. Escobar stole second base, also advancing to third on a throwing error.
After the end of the 2009 season, the Brewers traded Hardy to the Minnesota Twins, making Escobar the starting shortstop for the Brewers in 2010. Before the 2010 season, Baseball America rated Escobar the 12th best prospect in baseball.
Kansas City Royals
On December 18, 2010, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals with Lorenzo Cain, Jeremy Jeffress, and Jake Odorizzi for Zack Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt. He is currently the starting shortstop for the Kansas City Royals.
On March 15, 2012, Escobar signed a four-year, $10 million extension through 2015 with club options for 2016 and 2017 with the Royals. If both options are exercised, Escobar could earn $21.75 million. Escobar, who was slated to earn $519,500 in 2012, will instead earn $1 million in 2012 and $3 million a year from 2013-2015. His 2016 option is worth $5.25 million and has a $500,000 buyout. His 2017 option is worth $6.5 million and has a $500,000 buyout. The extension covers his final pre-arbitration season and his three arbitration-eligible seasons. The club options cover his first year of free agency.
In 2014, Escobar, along with Evan Longoria, Hunter Pence and Freddie Freeman were the only players in the MLB to start in all 162 regular season games for their respective teams. He finished the season hitting .285, with 74 runs scored, 50 RBIs, and 31 stolen bases. The Royals advanced to the 2014 World Series, where they lost to the San Francisco Giants in seven games.
During the 2015 ALCS, Escobar set a postseason record by getting a leadoff hit in four consecutive games in the series. He was selected as the 2015 ALCS MVP as he batted .478 throughout the series. In Game 1 of the 2015 World Series, Escobar hit an inside-the-park home run on the first pitch thrown by the New York Mets' Matt Harvey. It was the first time any player had hit an inside-the-park home run in a World Series game since 1929. He followed by driving in two runs and scoring once on two hits in Game 2 as the Royals took a 7-1 victory and a 2-0 series lead. In Game 5 of the World Series, the Royals were up 3 games to 1 and Escobar hit a double in the 12th inning allowing the Christian Colon to score to help the Royals defeat the New York Mets 7-2 in twelve innings making the 2015 Kansas City Royals World Series Champions. In the 2015 postseason, Escobar hit .329 with 70 at bats. He had 23 hits including four doubles and three triples, 13 runs scored, and 9 RBI. He was awarded the 2015 Rawlings AL Gold Glove for shortstops on November 10, 2015. On October 10, 2016, the Royals exercised Escobar's 2017 option. The Royals will pay Escobar $6.5 million in 2017.
- Escobar is cousin to pitchers Edwin Escobar and Kelvim Escobar, as well as nephew of shortstop José Escobar.
- He started playing baseball when he was barely four years old, and said he idolized fellow Venezuelan shortstop Omar Vizquel.
- Kepner, Tyler (October 12, 2014). "How A Disgruntled Ace Gave the Royals a Full House". The New York Times Company. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
- McCalvy, Adam (December 19, 2010). "Brewers add Greinke in deal with Royals". MLB.com. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
- Dutton, Bob (March 15, 2012). "Escobar agrees to 4-year extension with Royals for guaranteed $10.5M". Kansas City Star.
- Abrams, Max (March 15, 2012). "Kansas City Royals Sign Shortstop Alcides Escobar to Four-Year Contract". MLB Daily Dish.
- "Stats incredible! Numbers from the 2014 MLB season will amaze you". sportingnews.com. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
- Yahoo Sports
- "Alcides Escobar of Kansas City Royals wins ALCS MVP after clutch series". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
- "WATCH: Alcides Escobar Scores Inside-the-Park Home Run". Heavy.com. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
- CBS Sports
- "Alcides Escobar". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
- Miller, Doug (November 10, 2015). "Defensive standouts nab Gold Glove Awards". MLB.com. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
- Pelota Binaria website