Edwin Encarnacion had a monster breakout year in 2012 walloping 42 home runs and setting career highs in almost every offensive category possible. However, the burning question among Toronto Blue Jays fans is…. Can he do it again?
Enacarnacion eclipsed personal bests in home runs, runs batted in, hits, stolen bases, OPS, OBP, SLG, runs and base on balls. The Jays had a disappointing injury prone 2012, but Encarnacion was the one bright spot in an otherwise bleak season.
Encarnacion and company now have a supporting cast around them entering the 2013 season in the likes of newly acquired players Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera and others.
Encarnacion will again be slotted cleanup in the Blue Jays batting order providing protection for home run king Jose Bautista.
The success Encarnacion experienced in 2012 was not only limited to personal bests as he led the entire Major Leagues in fewest at bats per home with 12.9.
Encarnacion also feasted on left handed pitching leading the American League in Slugging versus left handed pitching at .669 and OPS versus lefties at 1.086.
As impressive as all the offensive accolades are Encarnacion has transformed himself into a decent defensive first baseman, long gone are the error filled days at the hot corner or the painful attempts at throwing across the diamond.
If the Blue Jays are going to live up to the steep expectations placed upon them this season Encarnacion will need to be front and center crushing baseballs at a torrid clip.
And there is no reason why he shouldn’t.
Clayton Richer covers the Toronto Blue Jays for Rant Sports. Follow and interact with him on Twitter at @MLBHotCorner.