Tampa Bay Rays Interested in Edwin Encarnacion | The Process Report

Tampa Bay Rays Interested in Edwin Encarnacion

Per Ed Price.

Here’s what I wrote about the man nicknamed “E5” last month:

Loses 3B Edwin Encarnacion on waivers (to Oakland)

Encarnacion started at third base in 95 of the Blue Jays’ games last season. Dave Cameron covered his talents here pretty well. In sum, he hits for power and fails miserably whenever it comes to the other aspects of baseballing. For whatever it’s worth (and admittedly, it’s not much) Jose Bautista was the only other Jay player with more than 20 starts. Whether he’s sketched in as the potential starter or not is to be determined.

Encarnacion turns 28 in early January and bats from the right-handed portion of the plate. He does hit well (a career .258/.336/.453 slash line over more than 2,500 MLB plate appearances attests to it) and fields horribly, at least at third base. He saw two games at first base for the Reds in 2006, although that was too short-lived to make much of it.

With the Jays in2010, Encarnacion showed more pop than he previously had (.238 ISO, roughly Evan Longoria’s career mark) while walking and striking out less than his career averages. He’s someone who puts the ball into the air a lot (career 37% groundball rate) and has suffered through a low batting average on balls in play before, including the last two seasons below .250. Encarnacion’s bat is partial to lefties, with a career .264/.370/.470 mark and league average against righties.

How he would adjust to first base or designated hitting is anyone’s guess, but his power makes him tantalizing, particularly at the likely cost.

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