Originally posted on UmpBump.com  |  Last updated 6/5/12

Before this year , it may have been a requirement to refer to Edwin Encarnacion as ‘enigmatic’ or similar. With 17 home runs already this year, the man who’s iron glove garnered him the nickname ‘E5′ is well on his way to a career year heading into free agency.

In truth the enigma label was a little unfair on Encarnacion. Since his first full year in 2006, he has put up seasonal OPS+ numbers of 108, 101, 108, 91, 109 and 110, with the only real outlier being this year’s 145 mark. Up until this year’s breakout, Encarnacion could be relied upon to be a solid number 6 hitting in a good lineup, moving up against left handers to take advantage of his 100 extra career points of OPS against them. The defense was bad but there was enough in his bat for teams to be happy to run him out there everyday.

Plenty of people, and fantasy owners in particular, believed Encarnacion would one day show this sort of 30 home run power so this year’s output is not entirely unexpected, but any team signing him up this winter is likely going to be gambling that this is the new norm for E5. A player with an 800 OPS and a bad glove is fine to have around while he’s relatively cheap but not really someone many teams will want to commit significant years and dollars to. A player with a 900 OPS and a bad glove will always draw interest.

Clearly Encarnacion is going to have to keep this level of performance if he hopes to be rewarded with a big pay day. However, even if he hits at his usual levels for the rest of the year his hot start will still give him improved overall numbers and the two month power burst may further intrigue potential suitors. As an impending free agent he’s also a possibility to be traded if the Blue Jays aren’t in contention around the trade deadline.

Encarnacion’s profile is a real mixed bag and it will be interesting to see how teams value him over the winter. To throw an entirely speculative guess out there, I’ll say he gets a four year deal from the Dodgers to replace James Loney at first base but the rest of this year will shape what looks to be an intriguing winter for the Dominican slugger.


MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

U.S. Soccer hands Solo six month suspension for Olympic comments

Report: Josh Gordon will be restricted free agent after 2016

Chargers release statement on Joey Bosa situation

Yoenis Cespedes says he will not opt out of Mets contract

Zach Johnson unloads on Olympic golf

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Drew Brees says players do not trust league office, Goodell

Lawsuit over Hall of Fame Game refiled after McAfee comments

Report: Griffin plans to re-sign with Clippers, won't be traded

Report: Wentz unlikely to see any playing time this season

Minnesota Wild names Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ official goal song

Gabby Douglas joining judges for Miss America pageant

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron's 'Cleveland Hustles'

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

Revisiting the 10 biggest mistakes of the NFL offseason

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

Why people just can't get behind the Washington Nationals

Washington's Josh Norman speaks candidly about multiple NFL talking points

Derrick Rose: Knicks have chance to win every game

Ranking the MLB divisional races

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron James' 'Cleveland Hustles'

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

Why people just can't get behind the Washington Nationals

QUIZ: Name every player to win a championship with Kobe Bryant

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker