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2010 Sleepers: Alcides Escobar
Nate Bartling,

Lately, we have been featuring some older players that we expect to rebound in 2010; this time let’s turn our focus on a young player ready for his first full season in the majors.

An August call up last year, Alcides Escobar hit .304 in 38 games for the Brewers. With J.J. Hardy moving on to the Minnesota Twins by way of a trade, Escobar will begin the 2010 season as the Milwaukee’s starting shortstop.

Mostly known as a defensive shortstop when signed as an undrafted free agent in 2003, Escobar has developed into a multi-tooled offensive threat. In his last two years in the minors he stole 34 bases and 42 bases respectively. Hard to say if the Brewers will allow him to attempt to steal as many bases in the majors as he was only successful about 75% of the time.

So what can you expect from Escobar in 2010? He has always been a great hitter and his speed will be an asset at the top of the Brewers order. His .762 OPS in AAA is similar to players like Jimmy Rollins and Alexei Ramirez.

Escobar won’t hit for much power but could hit close to .300 in his rookie season and will be hitting at the top of an order that features Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, which should ensure he scores plenty of runs.

When thinking about whether or not to take a chance on Escobar, consider that very few rookies will get as much playing time as Escobar this year. Escobar, the #3 rated hitting prospect in our rankings for 2010, has an average draft position of almost 250 on MockDraftCentral. That is the 20th round in 12-team leagues!

For a 23 year-old with 30 SB and 80 run potential, he is a steal in the 20th round (no pun intended). At that low of a price, and with his upside, Alcides Escobar is more than worthy of taking a chance on in any league and he is a must-have in keeper leagues.

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