Edwin Encarnacion‘s hot streaks are more than just a player swinging the bat well. They are historic.
It’s become a known commodity around Major League Baseball that when Edwin Encarnacion is swinging a hot bat, it’s tough for pitchers to escape a ballgame without turning around and seeing a baseball cruise into the seats.
It seems as though the “when Edwin gets hot, he’s hot” conversation has become an annual event. He is always a threat to crush baseballs and holds his own in the conversation with David Ortiz as the most dangerous designated hitter in baseball.
But the thing is, when Edwin Encarnacion gets hot, he’s hot. Like, really hot.
The familiar feeling of talking about one of his remarkable hot streaks rings a bell because it really has happened every season since his first all-star worthy campaign with the Blue Jays in 2012.
Encarnacion has put together an absolutely torrid stretch where it looks like he is seeing baseballs come his way in slow motion in each of the past five seasons — just like he is currently doing in June.
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In the last seven games, Encarnacion has six home runs. He is also batting a cool .481 with three doubles and eight walks. It’s been an incredible week for the 33-year-old, and the streak may not be over yet. Even the best hitters in baseball can’t put streaks like this together more than once in a career, if that — Edwin does it every season.
August 2015 was a magical month for Encarnacion. He crushed nine home runs in 11 games, hitting .409 and driving in 26 runs in that span. The power surge was actually at the tail end of a 26-game hit streak.
The two-week stretch from May 15 to May 29 in 2014 is hard to forget. Encarnacion took the parrot for a walk 12 times in 14 games. Just a week before his streak began, he hit four home runs in three games, giving him 16 long bombs in one month. It was likely the most impressive stretch of his career as he tied Mickey Mantle for the most home runs hit in the month of May.
For the vast majority of baseball players, these stretches would be once-in-a-lifetime moments — not for Encarnacion.
In April of 2013 the slugger belted seven home runs in just as many games. At the end of the season he hit a home run in four consecutive games. Back to April 2012, Encarnacion hit five home runs in six games. Smaller streaks like these went on and on throughout his career.
But the unbelievable hot streaks that Encarnacion has put together over the last few seasons are even more impressive when put into context with some of the best power stretches, by the best power hitters, in the history of the game.
The Major League record for consecutive games with a home run is eight and is shared by Dale Long in 1956, Don Mattingly in 1987, and Ken Griffey Jr. in 1993. Edwin’s personal record for consecutive games with a home run is — surprisingly — just four. He accomplished the feat in 2015, 2013, 2012, and 2010.
So while Edwin’s consecutive home run streak cannot stand up even close to the eight by Griffey, he does have something to hang over the head of one of the greatest hitters of all-time. While Encarnacion notched 16 round trippers in May of 2014, Griffey’s personal best 15 home runs in May of 1994 falls just short. While Griffey hit five home runs in four game stretches consistently throughout his career, aside from his eight game streak, he never came close to the insanely hot power streaks Edwin registered in May 2014 and August 2015.
Obviously, this is not to take a shot at “The Kid”, but to show just how rare and spectacular Encarnacion’s hot streaks really are.
When he turns it on and gets going like he is now, he is unstoppable. What’s more intriguing is he seems to be getting more dangerous, powerful, and relentless with age. If the longevity of David Ortiz at the designated hitter position is any indication, Encarnacion, who is seven years younger than Ortiz, could be putting together streaks like this for many years to come.