Edwin Encarnacion Signs With Chicago White Sox

Edwin Encarnacion
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 05: Edwin Encarnacion #30 of the New York Yankees reacts after his RBI single off Randy Dobnak #68 of the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of game two of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 05, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Edwin Encarnacion has agreed to a one year contract 12 million dollar contract with the Chicago White Sox. This was reported first by Jon Heyman. The deal also has a 12 million dollar club option for 2021.

Encarnacion, who will turn 37 in January, will bring his 414 career home runs to Guaranteed Rate Field. 

2019

Encarnacion dealt with a fractured wrist and an oblique strain in 2019, that limited the slugger to 109 games. When he did play, however, the power was still there. The right-handed-hitting veteran hit 34 home runs, splitting time between the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees. He slashed .244/.344/.531 mostly at DH, although he did log 57 games at first base.

Looking beyond his low batting average, Encarnacion shows serious value as a hitter. He is above-average with his strong walk rate and remains well above-average with his exit velocities. A 129 wRC+ and 132 OPS+ all point to a hitter that provides better than league average production. 

It’s safe to say the Encarnacion is not slowing down, even at his advanced age. While he should probably stay off the field on defense, his bat will surely continue to produce at high levels in 2020.

Career

Edwin Encarnacion has been very consistent for the last ten seasons. He hasn’t hit less than 30 home runs since 2011 and has maintained 10% or better walk rates for the same amount of time. Never known for his defense, Encarnacion brings value with his ability to produce extra-base hits and get on base. 

Encarnacion’s career started out with the Cincinnati Reds, but he enjoyed his best seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2017 he signed with the Cleveland Indians, where he had two more 30 home run seasons.

Another trait that Encarnacion has shown consistently is his ability to drive in runs. Although not the most predictive stat, the slugger has averaged over 100 RBI for the last eight seasons. His slash lines over his career also point to prove his ability to drive in runs. With no runners on he has a slash line of .255/.343/.490. However, with runners in scoring position that slash line jumps to .272/.378/.499. With over 6,000 at-bats worth of data, it’s safe to assume driving in runs in something that Encarnacion will continue to provide.

Throughout his career, Encarnacion is up to 34.9 bWAR. He is surely still capable of being a middle of the order presence, even if his batting average remains low. While he should stick to DH, the veteran is still a nice addition to the lineup.

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