Edwin Encarnacion Best Hitter on Free Agent Market

Edwin Encarnacion is baseball’s most powerful slugger on the market in free agency for this offseason. His consistent bat in the Toronto Blue Jays lineup for the past five seasons will have a number of suitors on his heels during the offseason buying period.

Encarnacion helped lead Toronto to its second straight trip to the American League Championship Series. While his 42 home runs are all certain teams might need to consider him an important acquisition, he is much more than just a home run hitter.

Encarnacion has been one of Major League’s most productive players on offense over the last five seasons. He is the only player in MLB to hit 30 or more home runs in each of the last five seasons, of which two of the five were seasons with 40 or more home runs.

His home run total of 193 over that period is No. 2 in baseball behind just the 197 of Chris Davis. During that time, Encarnacion has a batting average of more than 20 points higher than Davis does and he strikes out 50% less than the Baltimore slugger does.

Along with his home runs, come RBIs and Encarnacion is an RBI machine. The slugger has driven home 550 runs over the last five seasons including an AL leading 127 during the just concluded 2016 season. His total trails just the 569 of Miguel Cabrera as the most in the Majors.

Encarnacion is one of only three MLB players with four seasons of 100 RBIs or more over the last five years. That group includes just Cabrera as well as David Ortiz.

For being such a strong power hitter, Encarnacion remains disciplined when at bat. Of the 48 hitters in baseball with a minimum of 100 home runs dating back 2012, the 12.5% rate of walks he has is the 9th best and his 15% rate of strikeouts is No. 6.

Just 9 players have 60 walks or more over the last five seasons and one of them is Encarnacion. Since 2012, he has 392 walks, which is No. 8 in baseball.

Although he did have more strikeouts this past season at 138,  it was only the first time he struck out 100 times during a seasons since becoming a member of the Blue Jays in 2009.

He does play designated hitter more often than first base, but his defensive skills rank him above average amongst players to have played a minimum of 1,000 innings since 2015 at their position.

 


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