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Edwin Encarnacion joins the 40-homer club

Sep 14, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  v Toronto Blue Jays Getty Images

For the third straight season the Blue Jays have a 40-homer hitter, as Edwin Encarnacion went deep last night for the 40th time after Jose Bautista reached that mark in both 2010 and 2011.

Encarnacion has always had a ton of offensive upside, especially in terms of power potential, so much so that the Reds and Blue Jays lived with his mostly awful defense for seven years waiting for him to have a breakout season. And yet prior to this year he was a lifetime .260 hitter with a .789 OPS and career-high of 26 homers in 2008.

Now he has 40 homers in 138 games, along with a .279 batting average and .946 OPS that ranks third in the American League. And his defense is no longer an issue, because Toronto has used Encarnacion at first base and designated hitter.

Josh Hamilton leads baseball with 41 homers this season and at least a few other hitters from a group that includes Ryan Braun, Adam Dunn, Curtis Granderson, Miguel Cabrera, and Giancarlo Stanton figure to crack 40 homers by the end of the season. For now, though, Encarnacion is just the fifth right-handed hitter to reach 40 homers during the past six seasons, joining Bautista (twice), Albert Pujols (twice), Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Reynolds.

  1. stex52 - Sep 14, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    It’s obviously the drugs, right guys? / sarcasm

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM

      The Man in White. Which sounds like a euphemism for some kind of drug, but in Toronto it is just a man in white.

  2. APBA Guy - Sep 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    No comment from Cur? He must be working. The Beaver Men are doing much better since their guys returned from the DL, with Arencibia, Lawrie, and Rasmus back they look formidable again.

    • cur68 - Sep 14, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      That is because I’m on the 1st Tee box waiting for 4of the oldest guys I ever saw upright tee off, bless them. This is going to take a while….
      E5 has that swing: all pull all the time. Short & 2 handed follow thru, he uses pitch speed and conact to just drive it. Bautista relies on bat speed. JB needs to re tool his swing to be more like E5s . Otherwise the wrist ain’t gonna hold up.

      • APBA Guy - Sep 14, 2012 at 1:57 PM

        Have fun. When no one is looking, bomb the geezers from the tee box and see if they’ll let you play through. Otherwise it might snow before you finish your round. If they act up, tell them it must be the steroids giving you the extra distance :)

  3. proudlycanadian - Sep 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    The big difference in EE this year is that he is no longer getting himself out by swinging at bad pitches. He is taking his walks instead of swinging at everything. He is also hitting well when behind in the count. His home run yesterday was on a 1 & 2 count. He is hitting about .330 on 1 & 2 counts and a high percentage of his home runs have been on 1 & 2 counts. The Jays broadcast team had the exact stats on his performance on 1 & 2 counts but unfortunately, I did not write them down.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 14, 2012 at 1:31 PM

      bref has them (Splits > Count/Balls-Strikes)

      E5 is hitting:
      .357/.356/.829 in 1-2 counts for a 451 sOPS+ (OPS+ vs league average in that scenario, which is f’ing absurd) with 10 HR

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 14, 2012 at 4:24 PM

        Thank you. I knew that it was rather good.

  4. recoveringcubsfan - Sep 14, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    I understand why Cincy didn’t want to wait on him and his defense will always be pretty bad, but this has to stick in the Reds’s craw a bit.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 14, 2012 at 6:28 PM

      He is playing well at first base. His big problems when playing third base came when he had to throw to first. His throws to first were a tad inaccurate.

    • jaysjunkie - Sep 14, 2012 at 9:55 PM

      The “E5” tag on Edwin was well-earned, but he’s actually become an excellent first baseman.

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