Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion is having a crazy season:
.265 BA, 61 R, 26 HR, 74 RBI, 6 SB
Which is, well, a lot less crazy than Chris Davis’ or Miguel Cabrera’s seasons. What’s so wild about Edwin’s ride?
Encarncion has walked more times than he has struck out (48 to 45). You know how many other players have accomplished that in 2013? Six: Norichika Aoki, Marco Scutaro, Alberto Callaspo, Ian Kinsler, Dustin Pedroia and Coco Crisp. The highest ISO (isolated power) of these six players is Kinsler’s .154.
Encarnacion’s ISO is .273, which 1) is incredible, and 2) doesn’t really tell us much other than he arguably has the best eye of any power hitter.
But Encarnacion’s ISO is hardly crazy compared to his BAbip: .238.
For those unfamiliar, BAbip, or batting average on balls in play, can be used as a barometer to measure the luckiness (or unluckiness) of the balls batters put into play. A BAbip of .300 is about average, a faster player may register a .330 BAbip and a power hitter (more fly balls, more strikeouts, etc.) may register a BAbip closer to .270. Encarnacion’s career BAbip is is .276.
So, back to my original question: .238?!?!?
Encarnacion is having a better season this year than his 2012 breakout campaign (except for a tad fewer steals) — all while getting unlucky.
Of course, this is a bit of an exaggeration. His BAbip isn’t severely under his career number. However, given his very impressive K/BB ratio, his batting average should be closer to .290, not .265.
Encarnacion is ranked 14th and 16th on CBS Sports’ and ESPN’s player raters, respectively, and that’s good enough for most people. But he could be due for some regression — better luck — in the second half that could help vault him into fantasy baseball’s 10 best for 2013.