It has taken longer than expected, but the Cleveland Indians big-name splash in free agency, Edwin Encarnacion is beginning to round into mid-season form.
Encarnacion, who signed a three-year $60 million deal with the defending American leaguer champions this winter, is currently batting .246 with 12 home runs, 26 RBI’s and 51 hits.
While there were early-season concerns over his slow start, where at one point the 34-year-old former Toronto Blue jays slugger was hitting .216 and moved down from his normal cleanup spot to fifth, Encarnacion has since batted .350 for the month of June with seven hits, one double, two home runs, four RBI, four runs score in 20 at-bats.
Over the last seven days, Encarnacion has been even better in hitting .462 with six hits, one double, two home runs, four RBI’s, scored four runs in 13 at-bats.
For those worried about Encarnacion being potential free-agent bust, we are 60 games into a 162-game season.
Relax! It is a long season, with lots of games to be played, and lots of chances for Encarnacion to prove that Cleveland’s investment in him is not foolhardy. Seemingly more locked in at the plate now, and finally stepping up, Encarnacion could play a big role in Cleveland defending their AL championship.
A career .265 hitter who is projected on his current pace to hit 32 home runs and 70 RBI’s, with the weather getting hotter, what may be the hottest thing for the Tribe is the man who loves his parrot in Encarnacion. And once he gets rolling, opposing pitchers had better watch out.
With Encarnacion appearing to have finally settling nicely into Cleveland’s vaunted lineup that includes Jason Kipnis, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley and Jose Ramirez and Austin Jackson providing him protection, look for him to have a monster second half, and have a say in Cleveland’s chances of returning to the World Series in October.