Wednesday, September 4, 2013
First base begins with EE
By AJ Mass
He ranks third in the American League in home runs with 36. He ranks third in RBI with 102. He ranks fifth with a .925 OPS. While it may be unrealistic to think that Edwin Encarnacion will ever win the Triple Crown, especially while Miguel Cabrera is still in a major league uniform, the Toronto Blue Jays slugger could certainly take two out of three of those categories in 2014.
In fact, looking ahead to 2014, Encarnacion could well be the top first baseman in the American League, if not all of baseball. Sure, Chris Davis is flirting with a .300 batting average and 50 home run season, but its hard to imagine that he'll be able to sustain a career-high 30.9 HR/FB percentage along with his low (for him) strikeout percentage of 28.8 percent.
Encarnacion, on the other hand, has seen his batting average remain consistently in the .270-.280 range for three seasons now while steadily improving his BB/K rate to 1.37. While Davis seems prime for regression, Encarnacion looks to be the "safer" player in terms of a repeat 2014 season. Fantasy players, especially, should make sure his name sits near the top of all of their 2014 wish lists.