August 18, 2009 at 2:38 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Quotes
There’s a nice section in a Rosenthal bullshit column about Yunel Escobar, which extensively quotes Chipper Jones. And I quote:
Chipper on Escobar: “Do not give up on this kid”
On June 14, Braves manager Bobby Cox removed shortstop Yunel Escobar from a game due to a lack of focus. His attitude was infuriating not only Cox, but also opponents and teammates. But Escobar led the NL in OPS in July, and seemingly has turned an emotional corner.
Ask Chipper Jones.
“Escobar, I feel, is one more notch mentally from being the best shortstop in the National League,” the Braves’ third baseman says. “He’s got the defensive game, the offensive game. Mentally, he’s not quite there yet. But he’s about to elevate himself into one of the top one or two shortstops in the league.
“That’s when sometimes reading news clippings might help you. It will piss you off. He got hacked off at what people were saying about him. Maybe that’s what it takes to get the message through. Nobody appreciates being bad-mouthed in the press. And he was getting it.
“Anytime Bobby Cox pulls you off the field in the middle of a game, it’s bad. He wanted to make a point. He made that point. But I harp on the people of Atlanta: Do not give up on this kid. He’s the best shortstop I’ve ever played with.
“He’s young, hungry, a good player, a good kid. We just need to tone him down just a little bit, get him not to make mental mistakes.”
I basically agree with everything. The column also speculates (what Rosenthal does best!) about managers and there’s a blurb about Neftali Feliz that I didn’t read because all this hype is making me nauseous about the Teixeira trade.
Escobar is an impressive physical specimen who plays gold-glove defense at SS. He has potential to hit for average, plus power, and already possesses good plate discipline. He’s 26 years old and his best days are ahead of him. If all of the Braves prospects pan out and we’re looking at a future line-up including McCann, McLouth, Escobar, Heyward, Freeman, Schafer, Chipper, and KJ/Prado, this team is going to be very good for awhile.