Third baseman Eduardo Escobar has been one of several impactful offseason additions for the Mets in 2022. His offensive abilities at the plate and stellar defense in the infield have helped the Mets significantly thus far.
However, his spot in the batting order has not always been the same each day. While guys like Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor, and Pete Alonso each have fairly consistent spots, Escobar bats anywhere from 5th to 8th.
In order to see how well Escobar has performed this season, we need to take a look back at the last several months.
Having said that, let’s investigate the question at hand: What do the Mets need to do with Eduardo Escobar?
On November 27, 2021, Escobar signed a 2-year, $20 million contract with the Mets. The veteran infielder was one of several free agency signings that day, alongside outfielders Mark Canha and Starling Marte.
Escobar was signed to replace Jonathan Villar, who elected for free agency after a year in New York.
Escobar began his first season as a Met going 19-for-75 in the month of April. During this time, he had five multi-hit games; this included a two-hit, two-RBI performance on April 19 in Game 2 of a doubleheader vs. the San Francisco Giants.
Escobar completed the first month of his 2022 campaign slashing .253/.378/.427 over 21 games.
Defensively, Escobar started at third base for 19 of the Mets’ 22 games in April. He recorded 15 putouts and just one error on 36 defensive chances, while also turning two double plays.
In May, Escobar’s numbers were fairly similar to that of the previous month. He went 22-for-104 during the month, giving him a .212 batting average for the month of May and a .229 batting average overall.
Escobar’s best game of the month came in a 13-12 loss to the Giants on May 24; in the game, Escobar went 4-for-5 with a double and a run in a high-scoring duel out in San Francisco.
By the end of May, Escobar’s slash line had dropped to .229/.310/.374.
Despite his offensive struggles, Escobar continued to be an anchor in the infield, starting 24 games at third base. He tallied 18 putouts and three errors on 42 defensive chances. In addition, Escobar turned two double plays.
As the calendar turned to June, Escobar continued to shine as a Met. Escobar started 21 out of the Mets’ 24 games at third base, as well as one game as the designated hitter.
On June 6, Escobar hit for the cycle in an 11-5 win over the San Diego Padres. In doing so, Escobar became the first Met to accomplish the feat since Scott Hairston did so against the Colorado Rockies in 2012.
Later in the month, however, Escobar’s bat had cooled off. Escobar went 0-for-18 from June 12-19, walking once and recording an RBI sacrifice fly vs. his last team, the Milwaukee Brewers. During this time, Escobar was absent for two games due to a non-workplace event that had him hospitalized.
After June ended, Escobar was hitting .222/.283/.375.
In the infield, Escobar registered 13 putouts and three errors on 54 defensive chances. On top of this, Escobar also turned four double plays, a monthly high for 2022.
July started out strong for Escobar, as he immediately began to get better at the plate.
From July 1-3, Escobar was a major contributor against the Texas Rangers, homering in all three games and tallying six RBIs. With the help of Escobar’s power bat, the Mets secured a 2-1 series win over the Rangers.
The next two series saw Escobar’s offense taper off a bit. He went 2-for-25 in six games against the Cincinnati Reds & Miami Marlins, with one RBI and no extra-base hits.
Despite this, Escobar has improved over the last four games. In the series finale vs. the Marlins and an important three-game set with the Atlanta Braves, Escobar went 4-for-16. Just yesterday, Escobar got the Mets on the board by launching a solo home run off of Braves starting pitcher Charlie Morton.
As of now, Escobar is hitting .217/.273/.387.
Escobar has started at third base in all 13 games of the month so far. During this time, he has gotten six putouts on 30 defensive chances.
Conclusion: What should the Mets do with Escobar?
Escobar should continue to start at third base, and Buck Showalter should continue to give him a consistent place in the batting order. The third baseman has batted 7th in four out of the Mets’ last five games, which has helped him begin to improve on offense.
Escobar carries a four-game hitting streak into the Mets’ four-game series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.