Additional biographical information can be found in EdE's entry in Red Hot Mama's Human League.
As a hitter, EdE is a guy who consistently puts up excellent OBP numbers, which is a real plus for a hitter as young as he is. He does strike out now and then, but in general his walks have made up for that in the minor leagues. Last year, he seemed to rediscover his power stroke, slugging 0.548 and hitting 15 home runs in only 330 plate appearances in AAA. While his overall numbers sagged quite a bit when in the big leagues, his power production remained high, as did his walk rates--very good signs for what we can expect from him this year.
His strikeouts skyrocketed, however, far beyond his K-levels in the minor leagues. Watching him early this year, part of the reason for that may be the lack of a solid two-strike approach. Instead of shortening up his stroke, he seems to use the same swing when down two strikes as when he's up 2 balls, no strikes. A key to his continued development will be to refine his two strike approach and get more balls hit into play.
One aspect that is rarely discussed about EdE is his running game. While not exactly a speedster, Encarnacion has stolen between 10-15 bases a year at a great clip, often over 80% success rate. Like many of his other tools, this gives the Reds an extra weapon. If EdE can get a pitcher's move down, he's very capable of stealing a base in a key situation.
2005 MLB Splits
|Pos.||Year||Level||DI's||Dewan+- (plays/yr)||Dial ZR (runs/yr)||Gassko (runs/yr)||D*G (runs/yr)||Pinto (runs/27ot)||Davenport (runs/yr)||Bunt (+/-score)|
I expect EdE to have a good season and a very good career. He really does have the potential to be a right-handed Eric Chavez, hitting 25-30 homers a year while maintaining a 0.350ish OBP. He might not quite get there this season, but should be ready for that level production in 2007...all the while playing good defense in our otherwise defensively-challenged infield. At 23 years old, I'd like to think we might see him at the hot corner for the next 10-12 years. He's one of the real bright spots on our team, and is the hitter that I'm most looking forward to seeing develop this season.
Baseball Cube, The
Baseball Prospectus '06 Annual
Baseball Think Factory
Hardball Times '06 Annual