Edwin Encarnacion
Edwin Encarnacion
38-Year-Old DHDH
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2021 Fantasy Outlook
This is what the cliff looks like: dropping from .244/.344/.531 to .157/.250/.377. Granted it was only 181 PA for Encarnacion in 2020, but with Encarnacion now 38 years old, there's reason to think his days of mixed-league relevance are behind him. He's put together a great career and up until recently was among the most consistent producers in the game, hitting 30-plus homers in eight straight seasons from 2012-19. He managed to reach double-digit HR with the White Sox, but his strikeout rate got close to 30% after sitting in the teens for most of his career. He's become an extreme flyball hitter with a FB% north of 50% the past two seasons, and all those flyballs combined with a 30% K-rate is a recipe for disaster in the BA category. If he can cut it back down close to a 20 K%, perhaps Encarnacion can make it work for one more season. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#590
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $12 million contract with the White Sox in December of 2019. White Sox declined $12 million team option for 2021 in October of 2020.
Still looking to play
DHFree Agent  
March 23, 2021
Encarnacion has continued working out every day in hopes of signing with a MLB team, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports.
ANALYSIS
Encarnacion batted .157/.250/.377 last season after hitting 30-plus homers for eight straight seasons from 2012 to 2019. At age 38, he hasn't found a team willing to bet that last year was an aberration. He may need to wait until the Triple-A season begins in May before signing with a team to add depth and prove he can still play in the majors.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+19%
OPS vs LHP
2021
No Stats
2020
 
 
+22%
OPS vs LHP
2019
 
 
+15%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019vs Left .920 164 29 14 25 0 .221 .354 .566
Since 2019vs Right .775 498 70 30 80 0 .221 .307 .468
2021vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2021vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Left .744 36 6 3 3 0 .133 .278 .467
2020vs Right .608 140 12 7 16 0 .167 .243 .365
2019vs Left .969 128 23 11 22 0 .245 .375 .594
2019vs Right .842 358 58 23 64 0 .244 .332 .510
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+16%
OPS at Home
2021
No Stats
2020
 
 
+20%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+14%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019Home .876 307 45 23 55 0 .237 .339 .538
Since 2019Away .755 354 54 21 50 0 .208 .302 .453
2021Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2021Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Home .703 77 7 6 10 0 .147 .247 .456
2020Away .588 98 11 4 9 0 .172 .255 .333
2019Home .935 230 38 17 45 0 .268 .370 .566
2019Away .820 256 43 17 41 0 .223 .320 .500
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Edwin Encarnacion
The Z Files: The Fallacy of Stabilization and an Early Look at Home Runs
73 days ago
Todd Zola offers some thoughts on early-season trends, including the home run surge led by Nick Castellanos and the Reds.
Rounding Third: Lindy Stats
87 days ago
Tony Gonsolin became a target for Jeff Erickson in his leagues after taking a look at a metric suggested by former NFBC Main Event overall champ Lindy Hinkelman in a podcast last summer.
Rounding Third: Alternate Site Players
136 days ago
Andrew Vaughn could end up getting the lion's share of DH at-bats for the White Sox despite not playing in any games after spring training in 2020.
Collette Calls: The Impact of the Universal DH
252 days ago
Jason Collette examines the impact of the Universal DH on this year's 60-game National League season and whether we're likely to see it again next year.
MLB Postseason Cheatsheet
267 days ago
Mookie Betts and the Dodgers have the best record in baseball and the best chance to reach the World Series. See where he ranks in our postseason rankings.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
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Encarnacion has worn four different uniforms over the past four seasons but the change of scenery has not slowed down his assault on baseballs. The 36-year-old joined the Yankees in a mid-June trade from Seattle and belted 34 home runs between the two clubs despite missing most of August and September with wrist and oblique injuries. While Encarnacion's ability to make contact has declined over the past three seasons -- his swinging-strike rate jumped to above 10% in 2017 and has remained there since -- he continued to hit the ball out of the park in 2019 due in part to a 22.5 degree average launch angle that ranked among the top five in the league. Encarnacion is unlikely to hit for a high average, but he will be a solid bet to extend his eight-year run of 30-plus homers in 2020 if he lands a full-time job. The Yankees declined his $20 million option.
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.
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
Option declined by White Sox
DHFree Agent  
October 30, 2020
The White Sox declined Encarnacion's $12 million club option for 2021 on Friday.
ANALYSIS
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On bench again for Game 3
DHChicago White Sox  
October 1, 2020
Encarnacion returns to the bench for Game 3 of the Wild Card Round against Oakland on Thursday.
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On bench for Game 1
DHChicago White Sox  
September 29, 2020
Encarnacion is not in the lineup for the first game of the Wild Card Round against the Athletics on Tuesday.
ANALYSIS
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Reaches double-digit homers
DHChicago White Sox  
September 20, 2020
Encarnacion went 1-for-4 with a solo home run and three strikeouts in Sunday's loss to the Reds.
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Belts ninth homer
DHChicago White Sox  
September 17, 2020
Encarnacion went 1-for-3 with a solo home run in Thursday's 4-3 win over the Twins.
ANALYSIS
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