The Braves suddenly have a power-hitting shortstop they didn’t know they had: Yunel Escobar. Moving him down in the lineup seems to have unleashed an ability Escobar hadn’t shown before. He’s now up to 11 homers and a very good .857 OPS to go with average (not stellar) defense and a reportedly poor attitude. There’s time for him to come around in the last department if he keeps performing on the field the way he has been over the last few weeks.
I thought it would be interesting to see how his OPS has climbed this year with the increased power. His isolated power (slugging – batting average) this year is .177, more than 50 points higher than his career average entering the season.
Yunel’s batting average has stayed fairly close to .300 with a decent number of walks, so he’s getting on base regularly. You can see the recent power spike pushing him up over the .850 mark in OPS, more than 100 points higher than the league’s average hitter. If nothing else, this stretch will hopefully end the swirl of trade rumors that has followed him recently.