Keith Allison - Flickr
- 3B, 1B, DH
- January 7, 1983
- 6' 2"
- 230 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 6-24-2005 with CIN
Edwin Elpidio Encarnación (born January 7, 1983), is a Dominican Republic professional baseball third baseman with the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball in the United States. The 6 ft 2 in, 235-pound Encarnación bats and throws right-handed.
Although born in La Romana, Dominican Republic, he spent much of his youth in Puerto Rico and attended Manuela Toro High School in Caguas.
Encarnación was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the ninth round of the 2000 amateur draft and signed with them. On June 15, 2001, he was traded along with Rubén Mateo to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for pitcher Rob Bell. He made his big league debut on June 24, 2005 and saw action in 69 games. He finished with a .232 batting average and nine home runs.
In 2007 Encarnación started the year slowly, struggling to bat over .200. He was frequently benched in favor of multi-position speedster Ryan Freel, which gave Josh Hamilton, who was attempting to resurrect his career after it was derailed by drug problems, more starts in center field. Encarnación was benched again at one point by then manager Jerry Narron for not running out a fly ball.
On Thursday, May 10, 2007 Encarnación was demoted to the Reds' Triple-A affiliate in Louisville, Kentucky, the Bats. He was recalled to the on May 22, 2007. He finished the season batting .289. The 2008 season saw Encarnación commit 23 errors in 143 games, although he hit a career-high 26 home runs.
For the 2009 season, Encarnación stated that he wanted to be more consistent as a hitter who did not try to hit home runs in every at bat.
"I want to try to stay more to the middle. Last year, I tried to pull too many balls and hit more homers. That's why my average went down. I will be more consistent as a hitter. I know I can do it. I've done it before. I know I can hit better than that and I just have to keep working".
Through May 1, Encarnación had the lowest batting average in the major leagues for the 2009 season, .127. From the end of April until the beginning of July, Encarnación was sidelined due to a broken wrist. However, he saw some immediate success upon his return; his batting average rose from .125 to .228 over the span of 12 days.
 Toronto Blue Jays
Encarnación, along with right-handed pitchers Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart, was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Scott Rolen on July 31, 2009.
Encarnacion suffered first- and second-degree burns to the forehead and the right side of his face when a rocket firecracker hit him in the jaw and exploded near his mouth. After initially being treated near his Dominican Republic home, Encarnacion was transferred to a Miami hospital. He was discharged less than two days after the incident.
Encarnacion missed 30 games through April and May with a right arm injury, before returning on May 18, 2010. He hit a home run in his first at bat since the injury against the Minnesota Twins. On May 21, he had three home runs against the Arizona Diamondbacks, homering in three straight at-bats. On June 20, after a loss to the Giants, Encarnacion was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas. However, in a surprise move, he was designated for assignment the next day by the Blue Jays. Encarnacion was eventually assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas on June 23, 2010, but was later called up to the Blue Jays again on July 3, 2010 after a struggling performance by Encarnacion's replacement, Jarrett Hoffpauir. He hit his 100th career home run against the Minnesota Twins on the last day of the season, and also became the Jays' 7th player of the 2010 season with 20 or more home runs.
On November 12, 2010, Encarnacion was claimed off waivers by the Oakland Athletics. On December 2, he was non-tendered by the Athletics, making him a free agent. He would later rejoin the Blue Jays on December 16, 2010 to a new one-year deal worth $2.5 million plus a club option worth $3.5 million in 2012. He is expected to be the Jays starting DH while also occasionally spelling Adam Lind at 1B.
2. Encarnacion out to shake 'homer-itis'
3. explodes near infielder's face
6. Blue Jays sign Edwin Encarnacion