Edwin Encarnacion
Edwin Encarnacion
36-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Seattle Mariners
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Encarnacion's seven straight seasons of 30-plus homers represent the longest such streak in the majors, but that kind of consistency is getting increasingly harder for him to maintain. He's aged gracefully as a slugger thus far, as his ISO has dipped only gradually year by year instead of plummeting harshly. The same had mostly held true for his on-base and contact skills, too -- until 2018. Encarnacion's batting average and OBP fell to .246 and .336, respectively, with a 5.5-point rise in O-Swing% and a career-high 10.8 swinging-strike percentage backing up the notion that his plate discipline has slipped. These things don't tend to improve for mid-30s players, so barring some BABIP magic, Encarnacion seems more likely to see his average slip further than have it recover in a meaningful way. His offseason move to a Seattle club seemingly in rebuilding mode could result in his run and RBI counts taking a hit as well. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a three-year, $60 million contract with the Indians in January of 2017. Traded to the Mariners in December of 2018. Contract includes $20 million team option ($5 million buyout) for 2020.
Scuffles at plate in spring
1BSeattle Mariners
March 19, 2019
Encarnacion hit just .129 (4-for-31) with a double and an RBI in Cactus League play, but he's projected to serve as the primary designated hitter in 2019.
The veteran slugger's spring struggles notwithstanding, he enters his debut Mariners campaign with no shortage of long-ball and RBI upside if his body of work with the Indians during 2018 is any indication. Encarnacion drove in 107 runs for the second straight campaign while also eclipsing the 30-homer mark for the seventh consecutive season. For a team that lost Nelson Cruz and his 37 homers and 97 RBI to the Minnesota Twins this offseason, Encarnacion's power bat is one that should prove close to indispensable near the heart of the order during the coming campaign.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .836 514 75 25 78 4 .237 .383 .453
Since 2016vs Right .869 1433 194 87 263 3 .262 .348 .521
2018vs Left .739 146 19 6 19 2 .217 .356 .383
2018vs Right .831 432 55 26 88 1 .255 .329 .503
2017vs Left .857 220 33 10 33 2 .249 .400 .457
2017vs Right .891 448 63 28 74 0 .262 .366 .525
2016vs Left .902 148 23 9 26 0 .242 .385 .517
2016vs Right .881 553 76 33 101 2 .268 .349 .532
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
Since 2016Home .877 976 125 51 176 3 .265 .371 .506
Since 2016Away .846 971 144 61 165 4 .247 .344 .502
2018Home .845 305 39 16 60 1 .260 .361 .484
2018Away .771 273 35 16 47 2 .231 .308 .463
2017Home .838 333 38 15 50 1 .254 .378 .460
2017Away .922 335 58 23 57 1 .262 .376 .546
2016Home .943 338 48 20 66 1 .282 .373 .570
2016Away .834 363 51 22 61 1 .246 .342 .492
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Stat Review
How does Edwin Encarnacion compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
After a slow start with his new club, Encarnacion did what he always does: surge to surpass 30 homers and 100 RBI. He's now hit 34 or more home runs in six consecutive seasons and he's driven in 100-plus in five of his last six, finishing at 98 in that other year. He exceeded 100 walks in 2017 for the first time in his career, ranking fifth among qualified hitters in walk percentage. Further, Encarnacion kept his strikeout rate under 20 percent, so seemingly every skill is holding firm as he enters his age-35 season. Thankfully, he got 23 games at first base last season, so he maintains 1B eligibility with the luxury of playing most of his games at DH, and he has one of baseball's better lineups around him. As far as consistency from a power standpoint goes, Encarnacion has virtually no peers in today's game, and consistency is usually undervalued at the draft table. Act accordingly.
With free agency looming, Encarnacion managed to put together his most productive campaign at the age of 33. In his 12th major league season, the slugger piled up career highs in runs (99), hits (158), extra-base hits (76), RBI (127) and walks (87) while tying his career-best mark of 42 home runs. His 19.7 percent strikeout rate was his worst mark since 2009, but of the eight players with 40 home runs last year, only Nolan Arenado posted a lower strikeout rate (14.8 percent), so he remains excellent at making contact relative to his contemporaries. Nelson Cruz's move from Baltimore to Seattle serves as a recent example of how the importance of a home ballpark can often be overstated when talking about the elite sluggers in the game. Encarnacion's move to Cleveland in the offseason might provide a similar narrative, as Progressive Field skewed more favorably for both runs and power than Rogers Centre did in 2016.
Encarnacion played 146 games last season, only the third time in his career he’s played that many or more games throughout his whole career. While he was slowed by a variety of minor ailments, he still managed to hit for a .277/.372/.557 line with 39 home runs and 111 RBI. Furthermore, despite missing four games during the month of August, he still managed to put together one of the most impressive months in memory. He collected a hit in all 23 games he played in, hitting for a .407/.460/.919 line with 11 home runs and 35 RBI. It is that kind of month that showed just how valuable he can be to the heart of the Toronto order, as they went 21-6 during that month. Alongside Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Bautista, Encarnacion helps form one of the most formidable trios in all of baseball and any of the three are liable to ignite a big inning at any time.
The Home Run Parrot was out in full force once again in 2014 as Encarnacion hit at least 34 home runs for a third consecutive season, despite playing in just 128 games. He fell two shy of equaling his 2013 home run total in nearly 80 fewer plate appearances. Encarnacion takes plenty of walks and rarely strikes out, and when he puts the ball in play, he is trying to smoke it to the left side as nearly all of his home runs in recent seasons have been to left field. He has low BABIPs because he is often overshifted, but Encarnacion still hits for a good average because of the amount of balls he hits over the fence that no shift can prevent. He is a two category stud, three if you play in an OBP league, and contributes in four categories. With a talented lineup around him and a hitter-friendly home park, Encarnacion is a safe early investment on draft day.
With a second big season under his belt, Encarnacion can officially be labeled as a late bloomer rather than a fluke. He followed up his breakout 2012 campaign with an impressive 2013 season that saw him slash .272/.370/.534 on the strength of 36 home runs and a 13.2% walk rate. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Encarnacion's profile is that he's lowered his strikeout rate in each of the last four seasons, peaking at a 10.0% mark last season. With Jose Bautista expected to enter 2014 at full health, the Blue Jays should field one of the league's most formidable lineup pairings, and Encarnacion should be primed for another huge season provided that he recovers as expected from offseason wrist surgery.
Doing his best Jose Bautista impression, Encarnacion became the latest Blue Jay to value into the fantasy elite with a power surge. In 2012, Encarnacion set career highs in home runs (42), runs (93), RBI (110), walks (84) and steals (13). His HR/FB rate doubled from 2011 to 18.7 percent last season, causing concern for regression, but his walk rate increased and his BABIP was actually lower than his career average. While some of his home runs will likely turn into doubles, fantasy owners should be more worried about his injury history than a complete drop-off.
Encarnacion rewarded his owners with another solid season and even chipped in eight stolen bases and played enough games at both third base and first base to qualify at both in most formats. He did have a .292 BABIP, easily his best mark since his days in Cincinnati so a regression of his batting average is quite likely but the power should remain. The Jays picked up their $3.5 million option on him and while Brett Lawrie figures to see most of the action at third base, Encarnacion should still get ample time at first base and DH with an opportunity for occasional time in left field as well.
Encarnacion started slowly last year following offseason wrist surgery and later dealt with a shoulder injury, hitting just .221 with 10 homers in the first half of the season. He rebounded a bit in the second half (.262 average with 11 homers) and was brought back by Toronto after the A's claimed him off waivers and subsequently non-tendered him. There's 30-homer potential here if you squint hard enough, and he'll enjoy an eveyday role with the Jays as the team's DH/1B.
Encarnacion needed a change of scenery and got one with a midseason trade to the Blue Jays. He didn't fare much better with the Jays, hitting .240 with eight homers and 23 RBI in 42 games. He did have offseason surgery to remove a bone spur from his left wrist and suffered facial injuries in a New Year's Eve fireworks accident, but Encarnacion is expected to be fully recovered in time for spring training. He'll get a chance to be the team's everyday option at third and is entering his age-27 season. He's only a year removed from a .251/26/68 campaign and could regain that form in a full-time role with the Jays.
Encarnacion added power (25 homers) last season, but at the expense of his batting average (.251). The big question for him is what position he'll eventually play -- there are many in the Reds' organization that believe he needs to be moved off third base, though there's not really an in-house alternative that will be ready in 2009. At age 26, he's still approaching his peak years at the plate.
Encarnacion was an early bust, but after his punitive early-season demotion, he rallied to have a pretty decent season, hitting .309/.360/.488 with 10 homers after the All-Star break. His occasional defensive lapses have gotten him into the doghouse with former manager Jerry Narron, but in fairness many defensive metrics suggest that he's not that bad at third base. Encarnacion turns just 25 in January - it would be a mistake for the Reds (or for Encarnacion's fantasy owners) to write him off.
This was a good growth season for Encarnacion. He maintained his batting eye and improved his ability to hit for average, while cutting down on his strikeouts. His defense is still a question mark, and it causes Reds manager Jerry Narron fits of pique every once in a while. Still, his work ethic on improving his defense has been noted, and now that Rich Aurilia is gone, the Reds don't really have a viable offensive option to replace him. He should finally see a 500 at-bat season.
Encarnacion will open the 2006 season with the starting job at third base and absent moving Ryan Freel from second to third, he has precious little real competition for the job. There's still room for growth, particularly with his glove and his plate discipline, but he also has youth and raw upside on his side. Look for his batting average to suffer, but he could see a power spike.
The Reds aren't as high on Encarnacion as some analysts outside the organization. As early as July, Reds GM Dan O'Brien flatly dismissed the possibility of a September call-up for Encarnacion, despite the team's needs at third base. He isn't expected to be in the running for the job in spring training this year. Some in the Reds organization have cited maturity issues in explaining their lack of enthusiasm for him.
Perhaps the Reds' best (and possibly only) hitting prospect, which might say more about the Reds than it does about Encarnacion. The Reds have given up on converting him to shortstop, instead leaving him at third base. Given the struggles that Brandon Larson has had at the major league level, we may see Encarnacion pushed aggressively in 2004, provided he gets off to a good start at Double-A Chattanooga. He turns 21 in January, so there's still time for him to grow into the power potential for which most scouts have him pegged.
Encarnacion hit .282 with 17 homers as a 19-year old at Single-A Dayton in 2002. Encarnacion's upside would get a major boost if his potential move from third base to shortstop sticks. Even if it doesn't, Encarnacion is a possible future 30/30 guy if his plate discipline improves. Encarnacion came over to the Reds in the Rob Bell-Ruben Mateo deal. Check back in two years – he might have the brightest major league future of the three players involved.
More Fantasy News
Debuting at DH on Monday
1BSeattle Mariners
February 25, 2019
Encarnacion will make his Mariners debut Monday in the team's Cactus League contest against the Reds, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. He'll serve as the designated hitter and bat third.
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Dealt to Seattle
1BSeattle Mariners
December 13, 2018
The Indians traded Encarnacion to the Mariners in exchange for Carlos Santana on Thursday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. In addition, the Tampa Bay Rays sent Jake Bauers to Cleveland while receiving Yandy Diaz and a player to be named later from the Indians, per Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times.
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Not in Thursday's lineup
1BCleveland Indians
September 27, 2018
Encarnacion is out of the lineup against Kansas City on Thursday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
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Goes deep, drives in four
1BCleveland Indians
September 26, 2018
Encarnacion went 3-for-4 with a home run, four RBI and a strikeout in Wednesday's win over the White Sox.
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Back in lineup
1BCleveland Indians
September 19, 2018
Encarnacion (ankle) is back in the lineup as expected Wednesday against the White Sox.
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