Escobar Gets Moving For White Sox





CHICAGO—It shouldn't be surprising that Eduardo Escobar is advancing quickly through the White Sox system. It is encouraging, however, as it demonstrates that he has made some improvements at the plate.

Escobar, 21, was a revelation to farm director Buddy Bell when he reported to spring training from his native Venezuela in 2008. His play at shortstop was both creative and fundamentally strong, and he looked like he had a chance as a switch-hitter.

"Who is this guy?" was how Bell described his initial reaction.

Escobar backed up Bell's excitement by surviving at low Class A Kannapolis after beginning his North American career with a short stint in the Rookie-level Pioneer League. He returned to Kannapolis in 2009, and while he joined Drew Garcia in a double-play combination that keyed a strong season for his team, he hit .256/.300/.328. This only underscored questions about his upside at the plate.

Escobar made a statement in that regard in 2010. He hit .285/.327/.402 in 87 games for high Class A Winston-Salem, equaling his career total with three home runs.

The White Sox rewarded Escobar with a promotion to Double-A Birmingham, where he figures to be severely tested. He was hitting .200 through his first 12 games. While Escobar has never been ranked among the White Sox's top prospects (he came in at No. 19 last winter), the development he has shown as a hitter in 2010 suggests he's not done climbing the ladder.

CHI-LITES

• Outfielder Kenny Williams Jr. was activated in late July after his second stint on the disabled list with an injured right knee. The 24-year-old was hitting .253 with one home run and 16 RBIs for Winston-Salem.

• Lefthander Charles Leesman and righthander Kyle Bellamy joined Escobar in being promoted from Winston-Salem to Birmingham at midseason. Righthanded reliever Miguel Socolovich moved from Birmingham to Triple-A Charlotte.