The numbers were eye-opening. Eduardo Escobar, an All-Star last season, has never hit the way he hits this season. He works pitchers more than he ever has.
He fought on a 10-pitch walk against Carlos Rodon on Wednesday, taxing a starter the Mets wanted out of the game as quickly as possible. He came into play Thursday as the NL leader in doubles (with seven) and ninth best in baseball for draining opposing pitchers, with 4.53 pitches per plate appearance.
Then he added his first home run as a Met to his blistering start in the 6-2 win over the Giants at Citi Field on Thursday.
The praise, however, might be more telling.
“Great. Great,” repeated Mark Canha, himself considered for a disciplined approach, of Escobar. “He’s an amazing hitter, he really does it all. I think the more we can [work the pitchers] – I think there’s a time to do it and a time to hit early in the count, and you just have to feel it.
Escobar, 33, was better than expected after hitting 28 homers last season with the Diamondbacks and Brewers. He was never particularly good at finding his way on base, but a tweaked approach saw the infielder walk 12 in 13 games.
It took him 52 games last season to walk his 12th goal.
“I think that comes a lot with maturity and the experience of actually being here,” Escobar said through interpreter Alan Suriel, indicating that Mets staff have focused on that area of their career. game. “It’s been a lot of hard work, working with coaches and having that experience and playing, coming out with a plan.”
The plan gave him the second-best slugging percentage on the team (.591, only behind Francisco Lindor) and the second-best on-base percentage (.464, only behind Canha).
It also caught the attention of his teammates – although Lindor saw plenty of swings like the one Escobar made against San Francisco’s Anthony DeSclafani in the second inning for his first home run.
Lindor thought back to his own days in Cleveland, where he saw plenty of Twin Escobar in AL Central matchups.
“I’m not impressed with what he’s doing right now – I’ve seen it,” Lindor said of his pal. “I’m just super happy for him. I’m glad he’s by my side now.
After a difficult first season in New York, especially for Lindor, this year’s free agent crop immediately performed.
“I think it’s one of those things where we know the city we play for – no disrespect to any other city we’ve been to,” said Escobar, who signed a 20 million contract. dollars over two years. “But the one thing we can control is the work ethic we put into it.”
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