Monday, December 23, 2013

DrB's 2014 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #2 Edwin Escobar

Sorry for the slow pace of posting right now.  I've been hit by a back-to-back GI virus followed by a respiratory virus.  Hard to build up much enthusiasm for posting when every pain receptor in your body is firing full blast and you are coughing your brains out.  OK, in the words of the immortal Sweet Brown, "...ain't nobody got time for that!"

Edwin Escobar, LHP.  6'2", 200 lbs.  DOB:  4/22/1992.

High A  3-4, 2.89, 74.2 IP, 17 BB, 92 K, GO/AO= 1.00.
AA        5-4, 2.67, 54 IP, 13 BB, 54 K, GO/AO= 0.88.

Once I got past Kyle Crick at #1, I immediately faced 9-10 legitimate candidates for #2.  I felt Escobar got some separation from the other second tier pitchers by being the one who got the promo to AA midseason as well as some postseason kudos from Brian Sabean.  There were a few hitters to consider too as well as a couple of very high ceiling kids in Gustavo Cabrera and Keury Mella.  Ultimately, Escobar's proximity to the majors and high probability of making it, possibly as soon as 2014 won the day and I named him #2 prospect in the system.

Escobar came to the Giants in a trade with the Texas Rangers when they wanted to keep Rule 5 Draft pick Ben Snyder in the spring of 2010.  The Giants had scouted him in Venezuela prior to the Rangers signing him in 2008. He didn't do much in his first two seasons in the Giants organization, but turned it up a notch with Low A Augusta in 2012 with a line of 7-8, 2.96, 130.2 IP, 32 BB, 122 K.  He then backed that up with his terrific season for SJ and Richmond in 2013.

Bagg's scouting report from BA says he got serious about conditioning before the 2012 season which helped give him the strength to keep his elbow from dropping.  Once again, we see conditioning as being key to a player's performance.  He features a FB that goes 92-93 MPH with good location, a good slider that can be a "put away" pitch at times and a changeup that is average to plus.  With the 3 pitch mix, he should be able to hang as a starter at the MLB level.  I've also read that he has become skilled at altering speeds on his pitches never throwing the exact same velocity on two pitches in a row. I forgot where I read it, though.

I expect him to start the season in Fresno where he will be the #2 option after Yusmeiro Petit should the need for additional starters on the MLB team arise during the season.  If that does not come to pass, I expect him to replace Vogelsong in the rotation in 2015, but by that time there could be at least 2 or more other pitching prospects knocking on the door.


  1. It would be great if Escobar wasn't needed in 2014. The Giants are serious about this kid, proven by the comments from Sabean at the end of the year, as well as the fact that he's still pitching down in VZ right now. 26 IP down there has him over 150 for the season. I know some will say it's not a good move putting that many innings on his arm at this point, but I like the idea of giving him a taste of some solid competition (which is general what you see in the VWL). In fact, all 3 of the starting pitching prospects gained some nice experience this fall, with Crick and Mejia going to the AFL as well. The Giants want these guys to be ready when they are summoned, and I think Kickham and Heston's struggles this year are a big reason for that... not to mention, Crick, Escobar and Mejia are all more highly-regarded prospects than Heston/Kickham anyway.

    1. Just for fun... Escobar in the VWL: 26 IP, 18 G (3 starts), 3.46, 13 BB, 19 K, 2.06 GO/AO, .290 BAA.
      That puts him at 154.2 IP for the season.

    2. It seems like they are all on an accelerated program now.

      As for looking ahead to 2015, and that's a good exercise, are we looking at maybe 1, 2 or 3 openings, depending on how our guys recover from injury or fatigue, or reinvent themselves?

      That's life and that's baseball, I guess. You are always in need of something or will be soon or later.

  2. I read that about his velocity, too. Back in the middle of the season some guy did a sleepers write up for Sickles and said he saw Escobar uncork a 96 mph FB and followed it up immediately with one at 89 mph, and it looked purposeful. That probably drives hitters nuts! Seeing borderline plus velocity and then getting the exact same pitch 5-7 mph slower, talk about a timing nightmare.

    Hoping Bum teaches him that magic slutter in ST. Gotta love how this kid came out of nowhere and established himself. Only hardcore Giants prospect hounds mentioned Escobar last year, with some of the more bullish 'experts' tabbing him as a sleeper. Now he's one of the better LHP prospects in the game and a projected 2/3 ceiling. Not bad for Ben Snyder.

    1. Gotta love more of that kind of trades.

      If GMs are going to be reckless with money, some might be 'persuaded' to trade their prospects. There are your prudent GMs and there are 'more daring' GMs, looking to do something just for the sake of it, perhaps.

      Of all the Giants prospects tracked last year, who made the biggest jump? I think it's Escobar. Who made the biggest jump ever? I don't know.

      And DrB, glad you're feeling better. I had my flu shot earlier, but I don't know if that guarantees anything.

    2. Yeah I got my flu shot too. It definitely reduces your risk but.....1. It is not 100% effective. 2. Sometimes a strain sneaks into the viral mix that is not covered by the flu shot. 3. There are many viruses that have similar symptoms as the influenza that are not covered. Usually non-influenza respiratory viruses do not cause quite as severe an illness as influenza, which is a downright scary illness!