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The season that was: Edwin Encarnacion

A look at Edwin’s 2016 season

MLB: AL Wild Card-Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays
Likely the iconic moment of the season.
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Edwin came into 2016 following 4 very similar, very constant seasons in a row. From 2012 to 2105 Edwin had OPS totals of .941, .904, 901 and .929. It would be hard to find someone that has been that consistent over 4 seasons.

I did wonder if being in his free agent season would play on his mind enough to cause his numbers to fall.

Year   Age   G  PA  AB  R   H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
2016    33 160 702 601 99 158 34  0 42 127  2  0 87 138 .263 .357 .529 .886  133

It didn’t.

Baseball Reference had Edwin at a 3.7 WAR. FanGraphs 3.9, making him worth $30.8 million to the Jays.

In the playoffs Edwin hit .286/.359/.571 with 3 home runs and 9 RBI.

His wOBA was .373 (down from .392 in 2015) and his wRC+ 134 (down from 150).

His walk rate was almost exactly the same as last year (12.4%, up from 12.3). His strikeout rate was way up 19.7% (up from 15.7).

Edwin’s line drive rate was up (20.4%, up from 19.3), fly ball rate down (41.4%, down from 44.5), ground ball rate up (38.2%, up from 36.1). More of his fly balls left the park (21.5%, up from 19.9).

His BABIP (.270) was right around last year’s (.267) and right around his career mark (.272).

He hit RHP (.268/.349/.532) about the same as LHP (.242/.385/.517).

Edwin hit better at home (.282/.373/.570) than on the road (.246/.342/.492).

He hit .250/.338/.476 with RISP.

Edwin played 75 games at first base and hit .281/.365/.568. He played 86 games as DH, hitting .247/.349/.494. Last year he hit better as a DH.

He hit slightly better in the first half (.267/.358/.541) than the second half (.257/.356/.515).

Edwin by month:

  • April: .250/.298/.396 with 3 home runs and 15 RBI in 25 games
  • May: .232/.326/.491 with 7 home runs and 25 RBI in 29 games
  • June: .308/.448/.736 with 11 home runs and 30 RBI in 26 games
  • July: .284/.347/.580 with 7 home runs and 19 RBI in 23 games
  • August: .260/.363/.538 with 8 home runs and 17 RBI in 28 games
  • September: .255/.354/.464 with 6 home runs and 21 RBI in 29 games

Aprils have never been kind to Edwin. Sometimes I think it takes him longer than most to get his timing down. Other times I think that he plays better in warm (or hot) weather.

Defensively, FanGraphs has him at a 3.5 UZR/150, that’s down a bit from his 5.1 last year. I don’t really trust UZR for first basemen, I thought he looked better at first base this year. He’s, in my view, gone from being a pretty poor first baseman to an average first baseman. He made just 2 errors at the position, giving him a .997 fielding average, a little better than the league average of .994.

FanGraphs has him at 2.1 runs worse than the average baserunner.

Edwin’s longest hitting streak was 8 games, his longest on base streak was 18 games. His longest homerless streak was 11 games.

His favorite team to hit against? In 3 games against the Rockies (in Denver, I was at those games) he hit .500/.643/1.200 with 2 home runs. Among AL teams, he hit best against the Astros, .370/.419/.926 with 4 home runs in 7 games.

His least favorite? He hit just .095/.240/.238 with 1 home run in 6 games against the Tigers.

Edwin has always been a favorite of mine. I’ve loved watching him become a star, an amazing thing considering he was DFAed by both the Blue Jays and the A’s.

I’ve also enjoyed watching him ‘loosen up’, having more fun on the field and more fun with his teammates. His reaction after hitting the game winning home run in the Wild Card game was terrific.

It has been nice to see more glimpses of his personality as the years go by.

Edwin turns 34 in January. Odds are the contract he signs this winter will overpay him for his declining years and will be for more years than I would be comfortable giving him. And still I’m kind of hoping the Jays are the ones that give it to him.

Edwin had the majors 14th longest home run of the season (and the longest home run by any Blue Jays player) on July 20 in Arizona: