As a Toronto Blue Jays fan you are used to watching meaningless games in September. If you pay any attention to the American media coverage of baseball, you are also used to Blue Jays players not getting the full recognition that they deserve when they have a big season.
If we’re talking career longevity, Fielder and Cabrera have been the two of the most consistently dangerous hitters in the last 6 years. If we’re talking 2012 and the foreseeable future, don’t go giving them the best hitting duo title just yet.
All season long people had said no other hitting duo even comes close to Cabrera and Fielder ignoring, what Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion were doing for the Blue Jays. You can debate this during the season but at the end of the season the numbers tell you the truth. Unfortunately with Jose Bautista’s injury, Cabrera and Fielder were the best hitting duo.
Was it not even close? Think again.
In 2012 Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion were as deadly a hitting combination as there was. Bautista and EE combined to hit 69 home runs while Cabrera and Fielder combined to hit 74 home runs. The Blue Jays duo fell just 5 shy of the Tigers duo and Bautista missed the last two and a half months of the season. If Bautista stayed healthy they would have easily had the best home run total. You can’t give Bautista credit for something he didn’t do but there’s a very good chance Bautista could have hit at least 40 home runs which would have made Bautista and EE the first duo since David Ortiz (47 home runs) and Manny Ramirez (45 home runs) in 2005 to do that.
Cabrera and Fielder combined to walk 151 times while Bautista and EE walked 143 times, just 8 shy of the Tigers duo. Like the home run totals, if Bautista had stayed healthy he and EE would have easily had the most walks. That shows Bautista and EE had better at bats and pitchers were more afraid of challenging them then they were of challenging Cabrera and Fielder.
2012 was a breakout season for Edwin Encarnacion so there’s no guessing what he’ll do in the coming seasons. He is just turning 30 though so he is in his prime. If 2012 wasn’t just a fluke and Bautista stays healthy there’s a very good chance they will be by far be the best hitting duo in baseball and it won’t even be close whether the American media wants to admit it or not.