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The Season That Was: Edwin Encarnacion

Edwin Encarnacion was picked up as a piece in the Scott Rolen trade. It was one of those pickups that we are supposed to like, buying low on a guy with tons of upside. He wasn't hitting a thing with the Reds, then picked it up some when he got here. Then he made news in the off season for taking some fireworks in the face. 

Coming into spring training I was figuring on a lot of work with Brian Butterfield to fix his footwork. When he got here, the first thing I noticed is that he wasn't very consistent with his feet. Third is the position you will see the most errors because it is the longest throw on the infield, most plays the 3B has to rush to make, so if the feet don't go right all the time things will turn out bad. Course an injury in spring cost the chance to work on that. 

Our preseason predictions for him were all over the place. Of course, since he's changed teams the SB Nation stats widget doesn't work, but he played in 96 games, had 332 at bats, 47 runs, 16 doubles, 21 homers, 51 RBI, 29 walks and 60 K for a .244/.305/.482 slash line. That would give him an OPS+ of 111, but then the trouble with OPS is slugging average is over rated. Fangraphs had him at a 1.8 WAR, putting him at a $7.3 million value.

Edwin was one of our few players that hit lefties well, .234/.367/.547 against LHP, .246/.288/.466 against RHP.

He hit better on the road, .256/.335/.552 than at home .231/.271/.406.

He didn't hit at all with RISP, .183/.245/.354.

Compared to 2009 he walked less (7.9% of the time compared to 10.9%). Seems like almost everyone on the team walked less last year. Struck out less (18.1% from 22.9%). He hit exactly the same percentage of line drives (17.5%). Fewer ground balls (32% from 36.7%), more fly balls (50.5% from 45.9%) and a lot more infield flies (15.8% from 10.5%).

Considering his line drive rate wasn't bad, he had terrible luck with BABIP, just .235.

His longest hitting streak was 10 games. He never went more than 3 games without a hit.

By month Edwin hit:

April: .217/.270/.406

May: .225/.333/.700

June: .167/.286/.313

July: .295/.331/.409

August: .265/.333/.456

September: .232/.279/.661

Not the model of consistency. 

Defensively, yeah he made a bunch of errors, 18 for a .932 FA. The start of the season was terrible, but as Butterfield got some time to work with him he improved. No third baseman is going to make no errors. He did show good range and soft hands. All in his UZR/150 was -2.3, so a little worse than your average 3B but a huge improvement over his number from 2009. I asked Butterfield about him and he figured Edwin was improving. 

His favorite team to play? I'm sure we all remember the series against the Diamondbacks, when he hit 5 home runs in the 3 games for a .545/.583/1.909 line. He also hit the Twins very well, .483/.516/1.241 with 7 home run in 8 games. His least favorite? He hit .125/.125/.125 in 2 games against the Indians. He had a bad series against the Padres too, .091/.167/.091 in 3 games. 

I'll always be a fan of guys that can hit home runs in bunches, hitting 21 in 96 games is pretty good. I'd like it better if he would have walked at his usual rate. He could have used a bit more luck in BABIP. I hope things work out for him in Oakland.