The 2022 Toronto Blue Jays can’t seem to do a lot with the bats lately. It was almost shocking to see Bo Bichette park two balls into the seats on Saturday against the Cincinnati Reds. Back in May of 2014, fans witnessed one of the greatest months a player has ever had with the Blue Jays with Edwin Encarnacion.
Encarnacion was one of the only bright spots for the underachieving 2013 Blue Jays and was looking to replicate his success for the upcoming campaign.
On May 8th, Edwin took former Blue Jays Pitcher A.J. Burnett deep for his 200th career home run against the Philadelphia Phillies. In the same game, he took reliever Luis Garcia deep for another home run. For the week of May 5-11, Edwin had four home runs and 10 runs batted in with a .321 average. He was named American League player of the week for his efforts.
The former Toronto Blue Jays 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion had one of the best months in American League history with 16 home runs in a month back in May 2014.
Encarnacion would not hit another home run until May 15th for his fifth home run against Cleveland. Edwin would add another home run on the road against the Rangers before heading to Fenway Park to have back-to-back multi home run games against the Boston Red Sox. Returning home to Rogers Centre, Encarnacion was far from done. Edwin hit home runs on May 25 against the Oakland A’s and on the 26th and 27th against the Tampa Bay Rays.
There were other interesting statistics that stood out for Encarnacion besides the home runs in May of 2014. As per his Baseball Reference page, Edwin drove in 33 runs to go with his 16 home runs. He batted .281 with a .369 on base percentage. As you would expect, his OPS would be through the roof, finishing with a 1.132 for the month. Here is the on statistic that blew my mind. After one of the greatest months offensively for a player in team history, his batting average on balls in play was .195.
Encarnacion would tie Mickey Mantle for home runs in a month, slotting in third behind Rudy York who hit 18 with Detroit in 1937. Edwin’s first two came off of Cole Hamels on May 6th and Shawn Camp on May 7th. Mantle accomplished the feat in May of 1956. Sammy Sosa leads all players for home runs in a month with 20 in June of 1998.
This month would help elevate Edwin back to the All-Star game. Outside of the month of May, he collected 18 home runs and finished with 98 runs batted in for the season. Edwin would help the Blue Jays improve their fortunes from the previous season to an 84-78 record. I can’t imagine what would have happened if he didn’t have the month of May that he did.