Blue Jays 2015 Year End Awards: Best Hitter

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Honorable Mention: Edwin Encarnacion

Edwin Encarnacion is a man who is paid solely to hit baseballs. In 2015, he did just that.

Despite battling a sore knuckle in his left hand for the majority of the season, Encarnacion was still taking his parrot for walks with a frequency that would alarm even the most trusting of cul-de-sac residents. The Dominican battled to a .277/.372/.557 slash line while blasting 39 home runs and knocking in 111 runs from the clean-up slot. It was Encarnacion’s fourth straight year with at least 30 dingers, and even with the injuries problems, he was able to appear in 146 games.

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The player option on Encarnacion’s contract has already been exercised by the Blue Jays front office for a cool $10M. If he is able to swing the bat without pain in 2016, there is no reason why he won’t be able to make it five straight seasons of 30 long shots and earn a larger contract.

Given he’ll turn 34 next offseason, it’s possible this will be his last season in Toronto as President Mark Shapiro is known for being adverse to giving longer deals to older players, particularly ones who don’t offer any value in the field. Unless there is a major drop from the 4.3 average WAR that Encarnacion has posted in his past four seasons, there’s no reason not to bring him back to continue to trot around the base paths.

Next: Runner-Up: Can't Be a Best Hitter Without the Bats