Jun 21, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Yunel Escobar (5) celebrates at home plate after hitting a three run home run during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
There may not be a word in the English language better suited to describe Yunel Escobar this season than underrated. The Nationals infielder has taken the leagueby storm, hitting .318/.369/.410 with 17 extra base hits, 27 RBIs, and 40 runs scored. It is his first time hitting over .300 since his rookie season with the Atlanta Braves back in 2007, when he finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting.
Officially classified as a second baseman on the All-Star ballot, Escobar is currently sitting fifth in the fan vote at a little over 2 million votes. He is still four million votes behind the Marlins’ second baseman, Dee Gordon, the leading vote getter at the position. He is very unlikely to catch up in time. Able to play three infield positions, Escobar would bring versatility to the NL All-Star Team that not many other reserve players would have.
In his nine-year career, Escobar has never made an All-Star appearance, despite being a .279 career hitter. He has been a workhorse, playing in at least 133 games every season other than his rookie year. On the Nationals, he has been the steady performer that has righted the ship when the team struggles.
He has also sustained a team-high five HBPs, continuing to work through soreness and has missed eight total games. With many players out due to injury, Escobar has stepped up and filled in for whichever position the team needed. He has hit in the No. 3 spot in the lineup, seeing tougher pitches due to batting in front of Harper.