MLB's most unheralded player

Edwin Encarnacion hits like an MVP but garners a fraction of the hype

Updated: January 4, 2014, 6:51 PM ET
By Mike Petriello | ESPN Insider

Edwin EncarnacionAbelimages/Getty ImagesEdwin Encarnacion ranks third in the major leagues with 78 homers over the last two seasons.
If you think about the five most dangerous hitters in baseball (as ranked by wOBA) over the past two years, you'll certainly come up with the top two (Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout) pretty easily. The No. 3 (Joey Votto) and No. 4 (Andrew McCutchen) bats probably wouldn't be too difficult to discern either. But which player would round out the top five: Robinson Cano, Buster Posey, Giancarlo Stanton?

That trio and many others are valid guesses, but none of them make it into the top five, and if not for the big picture at the top of this article giving it away, you might have been cycling through names in your mind for hours before coming up with Edwin Encarnacion. Often thought of as not even being the best hitter on his own team, the truth is that the soon-to-be 31-year-old Toronto slugger is one of baseball's elite bats and still is almost certainly the sport's most underappreciated power source.