Moonshots and Strikeouts. Nope, this weeks edition isn't everyone's favorite Weapon of Minuscule Power, this week's Former Nats Great is reserved for a former Mets top prospect acquired by Jim Bowden (and why not, being the prototypical "5-tool" player that JimBo so desperately desired).
The Nationals organization acquired Escobar from the White Sox in a February 2005 trade that sent superstar Jerry Owens to the South Side. Who is Jerry Owens? I have no idea. Starting the year in AA Harrisburg after failing to win a job in Spring Training, Escobar hit over .300 in the month and a half in the minors before getting the call. He made his Nationals debut on May 20th in the Battle of the Beltway and immediately made and impact, getting 3 hits in his first 8 ABs with the big club. Just as soon as he arrived, however, he was gone. To the disabled list with a Hamstring issue.
After about a month off, he was able to spend a week at Rookie ball and AA rehabbing his leg before returning to the Nationals, finally joining them July 6th against the Fish. Escobar spent the rest of the season on an absolutely tear, solidifying his place in the lineup for years to come...
Or so we thought.
On August 25th Escobar slid awkwardly back into 1B trying to avoid a double play, jamming his right shoulder in the process. Shoulder surgery followed a few days later and he was done for the season.
In 87 At-Bats with the Nationals he had 31 Hits, 4 HR, 14 R, 18 RBI, while striking out 18 times. Escobar also was able to rack up a .356 AVG, .969 OPS, and a 0.2 WAR in his 33 Games.
The three-years-in-a-row Top Mets Prospect, according to Baseball America, was able to agree with the Nationals on arbitration in 2007, though he was never again able to crack the big club due to his constant DL-stints. Same goes for 2008. He was finally released in July of 2008, after spending over 3 years in the Nationals' system.
He was a ton of fun to watch when he was with the club, especially when he was hitting 2 pinch hit Home Runs in the span of a week in August of '06 (both coming for Livo, I believe). You were had the ability to play like Valdimir Guerrero, but more often than not you just played patient.
Take care Alex, we hardly knew ye.