Monday, March 14, 2011
By Brett Ballantini
GLENDALE, Ariz. The official second round of Chicago White Sox cuts wont be announced until after todays game vs. the San Diego Padres, but leading the list is rising infield star Eduardo Escobar.
Escobar confirmed to CSNChicago.com had been sent down Monday morning.
I havent had the conversation with manager Ozzie Guillen yet, but they have just sent me down, Escobar said, in high spirits in spite of wheeling his own equipment out of the major league clubhouse early on Monday. But they keep telling me Ive been working hard and improving, so Im just going to keep on working.
Escobar made the first true splash of his career by dominating the Arizona Fall League in 2010, recording an .889 OPS with four doubles, five triples, four home runs and 15 RBI in 28 games for the Peoria Saguaros. He continued his strong offense this spring, with just a .455 OPS in 21 Cactus League at-bats, but with his batting average jumping to .300 if counting his outstanding offense in two B-Games.
My confidence has definitely increased, especially working with Omar Vizquel and Alexei Ramirez, Escobar said. Theyve given me some good advice, things Ive taken into games, so my concentration is higher. Each day, as hard as Im working, my confidence is increasing.
His peers have noticed. Ramirez had Escobar on his radar before his offensive breakthrough last fall.
I got a great impression from him last year when I saw him, the starting Chicago shortstop said. The skys the limit for him. He has great fundamentals and a great work ethic, so hes going to go far.
As for Escobars quick click in as a hitter, Ramirez wasnt too surprised about his success for Peoria, either.
Once you get to play every day, thats when things start clicking, he said. Its just about getting at-bats.
Escobar has never played above AA ball, but has been told he would be reporting to AAA Charlotte to begin the season, something Guillen as much as confirmed much earlier in camp, in order to give Escobar the reps he needs to stay sharp and keep improving.
Im not frustrated, Escobar said. Its actually the opposite. Im learning so much from these guys about what it takes to be a player at the major-league level. Now Im going to go to AAA and play a little third base and second, playing all three positions so the opportunity will be out there for me at some point.
Additional player cuts will be announced after todays game.
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.