Sep 11, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (10) claps as he rounds first after hitting a two-run home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
#4: Edwin Encarnacion is still a bit of a secret.
From the outside looking in, the Blue Jays lineup may be even more incredible than we give it credit for. Again, it’s easy for things in baseball to become “normal” to a fan. A 16-game NFL season might keep you on your toes, but a 162-game baseball season allows you to sink back into the couch a little bit and get comfortable.
Toronto’s offensive prowess was obviously the lead story on all of these broadcasts, with AL MVP candidate Josh Donaldson being the top draw. Jose Bautista is also a name that has grown well outside of Toronto’s market, while Russell Martin and Troy Tulowitzki carry great pedigrees of their own.
One name that received a lesser attention, or perhaps just a different attention than I’d expected, was Edwin Encarnacion. The slugger, who has hit 149 home runs and driven 420 runners since the beginning of the 2012 season, remains somewhat of a mystery himself. He’s the player that would get secondary-star attention, something along the lines of “Don’t forget about Encarnacion, either. He’s been a power source at the heart of this order for a long time.”
I think that much of this has to do with personality. While Donaldson and Bautista are both very well-known individuals for their off-field personas, Encarnacion is arguably the most private member of the Blue Jays. Much of this has to do with a language barrier and Edwin being uncomfortable with his English, which has kept him a rung below the “media superstar” status of some of his teammates.
The brief flashes of Encarnacion that we do see in the media, however, are genuine and extremely likeable. His numbers aren’t too shabby, either.
Next: Lesson #3: They love themselves some speedy outfielders