Encarnacion's emergence is somewhat surprising, but this start was not impossible to foresee. He has been in the big leagues since 2005, and has hit over twenty home runs twice. From 2010 through 2011 he was hitting one home run every 21 at-bats which is a better rate than Adrian Gonzalez had last season. And since the all-star game of last season (85 games) he has 55 runs, 17 home runs, 55 RBI, 10 steals, and a .294 average. That is a relatively large sample size and the kind of numbers that would enable him to finish the season close to or at the top of the third base position (newly third base eligible players Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez included).
I would not sell high on this guy. He is hitting a ton of fly balls, and does not have an abnormal fly ball to home run rate. In some ways, he may improve as the season progresses (K rate should drop and line drive rate should climb). Here are some other nuggets of info:
- Scott Boras has said that Bryce Harper's stay in the Majors is more than likely not going to be permanent.
- Ryan Howard is heading to Clearwater to finally do baseball activities. This is very important for the fantasy owners of guys like Jimmy Rollins and Hunter Pence. Both players are off to tough starts.
- The American League's leading hitter is David Ortiz. Ortiz has a career 1.121 OPS against Gavin Floyd whom he faces today.
- Ron Washington is going to be giving Elvis Andrus a day off on Wednesday next week and claims he killed him the last couple of years when Andrus played in 148 and 150 games. You know there was a time when a certain shortstop played 162 games every season.
- Carlos Lee is expected to be out of the lineup for the Astros today with a sprained ankle in cold weather. He did not play yesterday either.
- Blue Jays number three prospect Jake Marisnick has had four straight multi-hit games for the Blue Jays Class A affiliate.
- Hanley Ramirez ended an 0 for 26 streak with a game-winning hit against Arizona.
- Daniel Murphy is hitting third in the Mets order, but it is only temporary according to Terry Collins who is waiting for Ike Davis to get it going.