In his young Major League Baseball career, Yunel Escobar has gathered a bit of a reputation. It seems that some say he has “maturity issues in the clubhouse”. That is extremely vague but it probably suggests a myriad of little things that have happened over the years. The Tampa Bay Rays traded a minor league shortstop prospect to the Miami Marlins to get Escobar. Some say they are taking too big of a risk. For a team that needed a full time major league shortstop though, it was a deal worth risking.
If you look at the player only, it seems like a no brainer to bring in Escobar and carve out a locker for him for the next decade. He has the ability to put up MVP type numbers. In 2009 he even received a few votes while placing twentieth in the overall tally. He is solid defensively with a strong arm. Escobar has no problem in a good year hitting over the .300 mark for average and he has long ball power as well. Add in his still quick feet and he has all of the tools a player should need to be really good at the very least.
As far as the maturity issues go, this guy is well into his twenties now. There are things in all of our lives we regret and I’m sure Escobar has learned from some of his mistakes. Another plus is that Rays manager Joe Madden has a kind of history for being able to help immature guys that play for him realize their potential. Factoring in all of the good and bad possibilities I really find myself looking forward to seeing what Escobar does this season. I think the Rays made a wise move to bring him in.