We’ll get used to hearing that pick-me-up shouted from the dugout whenever our young shortstop steps up to the plate.
It pained me to see Fookey go to LA after 2005…
and I’ll admit I was a little sad to watch Renteria pack his bags and head north this past offseason.
But I definitely think we’re richer in the middle infield with Yunel Escobar stepping in to start full time.
If you’ll recall, all the 25 year old Cuban did last year when filling in for the injury riddled Renteria was hit .326 in 94 games and proved to be a veritable doubles machine with 25 of them last year.
Decent speed, doubles production, and he can hit for average; that’s exactly what I’d like to see in the number 2 spot this year.
With 11 errors in three different positions (although he was .977 at shortstop his natural spot) there’s a little room to grow.
However, if you ask anyone who watched Yunel around the diamond in ‘07 they can tell you he’s got the talent, the promise, and the energy to make Braves fans want to keep him around the clubhouse for a long time.
Side Note: I was lucky enough to see Yunel play in Single A ball up in Rome in 2005, while Chipper was on one of his rehab stints. I remember thinking back then that I was sure we’d see him hustle up to Atlanta rather quickly. It’s pretty neat to have the chance to see a kid from early in his career in Rome move up to an everyday starting spot in Atlanta.
I’ve never before been given the opportunity to see our farm talent develop until these past few years now that our Single A team is just in Rome. I’m looking forward to next year when we have the Gainesville Braves so we can just head up 85 and see how our Triple A boys are doing on the farm.
End of digression.
With a lot of heart and and real competitive fire, Escobar makes this generation of the Braves’ middle infield an exciting one to watch. Needless to say, for me it’s gonna be fun to see “Yuney” in his first full season at short. Who else is excited?
Count down to Home Opener: 16 days
JB in ATL