The Season that Was: Edwin Encarnacion

David Richard-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

A look at Edwin Encarnacion's 2012 season.

Edwin Encarnacion is one of those guys that always has drawn strong opinions around here. This year, Edwin was easily our MVP and should get some AL MVP votes. I've always liked him, but I didn't figure we'd see this sort of season from the guy.

It was nice that the team brought him into spring training with telling he'd be 1B/DH and then didn't change their minds at the end of spring. We all do better with a little consistency in our lives. I asked Dwayne Murphy what the difference was between Edwin this year and the past and he said:

He's a better hitter. You learn each year. I really thought, when we first got him, basically everything was to oppo field, trying to hit the other way. He kind of turned the field around on him. We tried to teach him how to go to the middle of the field instead of oppo field. Now the barrel's getting there, and I just think it took a little over a year for him to learn, to learn to hit. And he knows how to get the barrel out there on the ball.

There probably is a lot to this, if he is think of hitting the ball up the middle, he'll get the bat there quicker and get better contact. I guess we'll see if he can keep this up.

When we did our preseason predictions for Edwin, we all came up well short of what he actually did. I had him down for a 140 game, 25 homer, .275/.330/.475 season and I thought I was being optimistic.

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2012 - Edwin Encarnacion 151 542 93 152 24 0 42 110 84 94 13 3 .280 .384 .557

Defensively, I hope they have enough smarts not to put him in the outfield ever again. I really don't understand why they thought that was a good idea. After he hurt himself, diving for a ball, we didn't see him out there again. They gave him a start at 3B too, which won't be happening again.

He played 82 games at DH and 68 at first base. He made 3 errors at first base. Fangraphs had him at a -14.1 UZR/150. He didn't look all that bad at the position to me, and UZR is not all that useful for first basemen, but he still has a fair bit of work to do before he's good at it.

Fangraphs had him at a 4.4 WAR, up from 1.4 in 2011. He had a fairly low BIBIP, .266 down from .292 last year and .280 for his career.

Compared to 2010, Edwin walked a lot more (13.0% up from 8.1%). He was taking a lot more pitches, but some of it was likely due to the fact teams didn't want to pitch to him. He struck out about the same amount (14.6% from 14.5%. He hit fewer line drives (17.6% down from 19.4%), fewer ground balls (33.0% from 36.4). A lot more of his fly balls went for home runs (18.7%, up from 9.4%).

Edwin, as usual, hit lefties (.301/.417/.669) better than RHP (.273/.372/.520).

He hit better at home (.284/.410/.596) than on the road (.277/.359/.524). He hit better at home last year too.

He was terrific with RISP, .311/.467/.613.

By month Edwin hit:

April: .322/.376/.678, 8 home runs, 21 RBI.

May: .234/.303/.505, 9 home runs, 21 RBI.

June: .322/.427/.540, 5 home runs, 13 RBI.

July: .308/.461/.615, 6 home runs, 17 RBI.

August: .270/.373/.510, 7 home runs, 18 RBI.

September: .238/.396/.513, 7 home runs, 20 RBI.

He really was amazingly consistent, even being a bit banged up at the end of the season, he managed a .889 OPS.

His favorite team to face: He hit .385/.429/1.077 in 3 games against the Brewers. He also hit well against the Mariners (1.151 OPS), Red Sox (1.102), Tigers (1.080), Twins (1.012), A's (1.018) and Rangers (1.032). Least favorite team to face? He hit .091/.167/.182 in 3 games against the Nationals. Among AL teams he hit worst against the Angels, .192/.353/.192.

His longest hitting streak was 10 games, at the end of June to the start of July. Longest on base streak was 19 games. The longest he went without a home run was 11 games. His longest hitless streak was 5 games in early May.

He is signed for the next 3 seasons, with an team option for 2016. He'll make $8 million next year, $9 million in 2014, $10 million in 2015 and $10 million in 2016, if they pick up his option.

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