Texas trades Escobar for Snyder.

The Rangers, having gotten Rule 5 lefthander
Ben Snyder through waivers, have reached an agreement with San Francisco to allow
them to keep the 24-year-old reliever.  Texas
has traded 17-year-old lefthander Edwin Escobar to the Giants for the right to
retain Snyder in the minor leagues.

 

Here’s what I wrote about Escobar in this year’s
Bound Edition, in which I’d ranked him as the system’s number 43 prospect:

 

Pitching in the Arizona League at age 17, lefthander
Edwin Escobar had an outstanding unveiling in 2009, giving up one run on five
hits and four walks in eight innings over his first three appearances, fanning
10.  Thereafter, first-inning troubles
(.345 opponents’ average, 8.25 ERA) would dog him, and he’d finish his debut
season with a 2-5, 5.00 mark.  But several
aspects of his season, including a 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (48 strikeouts
and 16 walks in 45 innings), were impressive enough to land Escobar just
outside the league’s top 20 prospects list compiled by
Baseball America.

 

A relative of Angels righthander Kelvim Escobar and
Brewers shortstop Alcides Escobar, the young Venezuelan sits in the low 90s and
may not project for much more, given his thick 6’1″ build.

 

Two weeks ago, after seeing him again on the
back fields, I wrote: “
I may be coming
around on lefthander Edwin Escobar a bit. 
Would I have written Francisco Liriano off because I didn’t like his
frame?  Rich Harden?  (Caveat: I’m not making a Liriano or Harden
comp.)
  My reservations about him stem from the lack
of projection in his stocky, six-foot-ish frame, but he’ll pitch most of the
2010 season at age 18 and already touches the low 90s.  Even if he doesn’t project for much more,
there’s something there.  He’s a
prospect.

 

But there are a couple dozen pitchers ahead of Escobar
on the Rangers’ prospect depth chart.  This
trade is a good example of the significance of having not only as many blue-chip
prospects as any franchise in the game, but also as much depth as any system.  Escobar may turn out to be a dependable big
league starter in four or five years, or he may never reach AA, which is where
Texas will send Snyder in hopes of further developing him as a left-on-left
weapon for the bullpen.

 

We won’t know for a few years whether this was
a good trade, but we know this now: the Rangers’ depth can be credited for
making the deal palatable enough to get done.

 


 

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