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The Season that Was: Edwin Encarnacion

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Edwin Encarnacion had a very up and down 2010. Then his off-season was pretty eventful, he was picked up by the A's off waivers. He spent about 20 days as an Athletic before they let him go and we signed him again to a one year $2.5 million contract with a $3.5 million option year. 

Coming into spring training, we were told Edwin would be a DH, occasionally filling in at first. Then at the end of spring training it was decided that he would play third base. It might have been a good decision. I saw Jose Bautista taking ground balls at third during spring, and he really didn't look like a guy that wanted to play the spot, though it is possible I caught him at bad time, but I came away with the clear feeling that Jose would rather have been in RF. The team seemed to agree, 

The decision to put EE at third might have been the right one, but the timing of it was terrible. If there ever was a guy that needed a full spring to get everything working properly, it is Edwin. He didn't get it and, maybe predictably, it didn't go well. Predictable or not, when he did have troubles the team didn't have much patience, pulling him from third after a bit more than a month's worth of games and we were treated to the baseball stylings of Jayson Nix.

In our preseason predictions, we had guesses that were all over the board. Mine? .255/.330/.500 with 27 home runs in 550 at bats. Can't win them all:


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Edwin Encarnacion 134 481 70 131 36 0 17 55 43 77 8 2 .272 .334 .453

After a .235 BABIP in 2010, he had a far more normal BABIP of .292 this year. Fangraphs has him at a 1.5 WAR, giving him a $6.6 million value to the Jays. 

Comparing to 2010, Edwin walked about the same amount of the time (8.1% from 7.9%) and struck out slightly less often (14.5% from 16.3%). He hit more line drives (19.4% from 17.5%) partly explaining the jump in doubles. Fewer fly balls (44.2% from 50.5%). And had a few more pop ups (17.2% from 15.8%). He had a much smaller percentage of his fly balls go for home runs (9.4% from 15.1%).

Edwin hit lefties (.276/.341/.504) slightly better than right-handers (.271/.322/.436).

He hit a lot better at home (.289/.353/.537) than on the road (.255/.314/.366). Last year his home/road splits were pretty equal.

With RISP he hit .24/.314/.415. I think we all remember that he had troubles with bases loaded, .167/.238/.222. Only 21 plate appearances, so I wouldn't read much into it. 

By month Encarnacion hit:

April: .257/..282/.365.

May: .236/.257/.333.

June: .258/.313/.532.

July: .313/.377/.531.

August: .307/.407/.554.

September: .237/.310/.355.

I do wonder how his season would have gone if they hadn't made the last minute decision to put him in at third base. 

Favorite team to face? The Mariners, .387/.525/.710. Least favorite? The Twins, .217/.208/.217.

His longest hit streak was 13 games, longest on base streak was 17 games. Longest hitless streak was 6 games, but then 4 of those games he was a pinch hitter.

On defense, well, you know. He played in 36 games at third, making 8 errors (most of them in the first couple of weeks). Fangraphs has him at a UZR/150 of -37.0. He played 25 games at first base, making 4 errors for a .981 FA. Fangraphs had him at a -12.9 UZR/150 there. 

We have a team option on Edwin for 2012 for $3.5 million . I figure they will pick it up, he doesn't make the cut as a Type-B free agent, so there would be nothing more than money to be gained by letting him go. I don't know if it was just me but I think it smiled more this season, which I liked. 

If you have missed some of these, so far we have looked at Adam Lind,  Yunel Escobar  and Jose Bautista, click on the name to get the post.