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The Season that Was: Edwin Encarnacion

A look at Edwin Encarnacion's 2015 season.

Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Edwin Encaracion, coming into 2015, had 158 home runs as member of the Blue Jays and had teamed with Jose Bautista to make up maybe the best middle of the order in baseball.

Adding Josh Donaldson looked to make the team that much better.

We pretty much expected another good season from Edwin and that's what we got:

Year   Age   G  AB  R   H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
2015    32 146 528 94 146 31  0 39 111  3  2 77 98 .277 .372 .557 .929  153

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Baseball Reference credits him with a 4.7 WAR, FanGraphs 4.5. FanGraphs figures he was worth $36.1 million to the Jays.

He was pretty good in the playoffs too, hitting .275/.383/.400 with 1 home runs and 5 RBI.

Edwin had a .392 wOBA and a 150 wRC+.

Compared to 2014, his walk rate was up a little (12.3% from 11.4) and his strikeout rate was up a little (15.7% from 15.1).

His line drive rate was up (19.3% from 16.4), ground balls down slightly (36.1% from 36.4) and fly balls down a bit (44.5% from 47.2). More of his fly balls left the park (19.9% up from 18.2).

His BABIP was .267, right about his career mark of .273. I remember thinking, in the middle of the season that he seemed to have bad luck, he seemed to have more hard hit balls find gloves than anyone. Jasper took a look at his "lack of luck" a month ago.

Edwin hit right-handers (.280/.375/.575) better than lefties (.260/.356/.480). He has had reverse splits the last three seasons. Maybe it has something to do with seeing so much right-handers.

He hit pretty much the same at home (.273/.369/.562) as on the road (.280/.375/.552). Maybe the Man in White isn't his friend.

He was good with  RISP, .274/.383/.585.

Edwin had a much better second half (.336/.433/.700) than in the first half (.233/.326/.452).

Edwin by Month:

  • April: .205/.258/.352, 4 home runs, 10 RBI in 23 games.
  • May: .225/.333/.510, 8 home runs, 22 RBI in 29 games.
  • June: .303/.382/.553, 4 home runs, 15 RBI in 22 games.
  • July: .241/.384/.405, 3 home runs, 9 RBI in 22 games.
  • August: .407/.460/.919 with 11 home runs, 35 RBI in 23 games.
  • Sept/Oct: .289/.412/.598 with 9 home runs, 20 RBI in 27 games.
He has been a slow starter most of his career.

Edwin hit much better as a DH (.301/.397/.595) than as a first baseman (.239/.329/.486) which is flipped from 2014, when he hit better when playing first.

His defense at first base, seemed ok to me. FanGraphs had him at a 5.1 UZR/150 (the first time they have had him at a positive UZR, at first base, in his career). I don't think UZR does a good job on first basemen. But, all in, I'd say Edwin was a slightly below average defensive first baseman, but not terrible.

He made 3 errors, for a .994 Fielding Average, exactly league average for a first baseman.

FanGraphs has him 2.2 runs worse than the average base runner.

His longest hitting streak was 26 games, running from July 26, ending August 31st. His longest on base streak was 51 games. The longest he went without a home run was 16 games.

His favorite team to hit against? He hit .350/.500/1.000  with 4 home runs in 6 games against the Tigers. He was very good against a lot of teams. He had OPS of over 1.000 against the Angels, Marlins, Astros, Yankees, Phillies, Mariners and Rangers. His least favorite? He hit .182/.269/.182 in 6 games against the White Sox.

Edwin will always be a favorite of mine, but then I tend to like any player that people call lazy. I really have enjoyed watching him become a star. I've always thought the best part of watching baseball was watching players reach their potential.

It would have been nice if he would have had one more home run to give us three guys reaching 40 home runs, but getting 120 home runs out of Josh, Jose and Edwin was pretty good. I wonder what the over/under on the total home runs from the 3 would be next year.

Edwin was slowed up a fair bit by a few nagging injuries so getting to 39 home runs was pretty great. He had 'jammed fingers' which hampered him for a good part of the season, he had a sore back, a bad shoulder and had hernia surgery after the season was over. And he seemed to be  suffering some leg troubles at the start of the season.

He turns 33 in January and is going into the last season on his contract. A healthy year would make everyone feel better about offering another contract. Edwin seems to like being here, so maybe he would give the Jays a discount, or allow for team options in his next contract. I'm not sure how confident I'd be with giving him a contract that took him through his mid-30's.

I also would like to have the DH spot open to rest regulars more, but then Edwin can play first base enough to give guys like Bautista a day off, now and then.

Whatever happens, I'm going to enjoy watching him next year.

Edwin is moving up the franchise leader board in many categories. He's 11th among position players in bWAR (20.7, he'll past George Bell at 21.1 early next season to get into the top 10). He's 4th in slugging average (.521). He is 6th in home runs (197), 27 more will get him into the top 3. He's 8th in RBI.

Edwin had the Jays longest home run of the season, 471 feet.

But my favorite Edwin moment of the season, is the celebration after his walk-off home run, with him telling his teammates to be gentle on his shoulder.