Kansas City Royals: Alcides Escobar was the magic touch

Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Kansas City Royals moved Alcides Escobar to the leadoff spot, most people were against it. So far it appears to have been a brilliant move.

Ned Yost decided that the Kansas City Royals were going to stick Alcides Escobar, a sub .200 hitter, in the leadoff spot last Monday. For many people, that represented an apparent submission to the fact the Royals just weren’t any good this year. However, since then, the team has won six of seven games, including a sweep of the Orioles.

Since Escobar took over the top spot in the lineup, the Royals bats have absolutely come to life. The team is hitting a combined .296 over those seven games, including 31 RBIs and 9 homeruns. That is the kind of offensive production it takes to win a lot of games in Major League Baseball.

However, it’s not as though Alcides Escobar has been a driving force through his own production. Escobar is hitting just .226 in that same stretch. He has scored only four runs, and driven in just one. He didn’t even draw a walk in those seven games, while striking out seven times. Realistically speaking, there isn’t any real tangible connection to Esky batting first and the Royals winning.

It’s just that since he has been leading off, that’s what the team has been doing.

Baseball players, coaches, fans, and analysts always talk about the “Baseball Gods”. It’s the reason for so many quirky rituals in the sport. For the most part, we all know that it is complete nonsense. However, every now and then, something happens that makes no sense at all…and all you can do is say the Baseball Gods will it. That seems to be the case with Escobar leading off.

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The Kansas City Royals are not out of it yet. The season is still young, and all of a sudden they appear to have turned things around. With Alcides Escobar apparently being the equivalent of a cheat code, the Royals can certainly get rolling and make a run at the AL Central.