Over at The Hardball Times, Aaron Gleeman (one of RNs favorite bloggers) is counting down his list of the top prospects in baseball. Number 18 with a bullet is Edwin Encarnacion. Here’s what Aaron has to say:

There are a ton of promising young third basemen around baseball these days and I think Edwin Encarnacion often gets lost in the shuffle. His offensive numbers aren’t as gaudy as some of the other top prospects at the position, but he is young, a solid defensive player, and has been very good at the plate on a consistent basis. The Rangers’ ninth-round pick back in 2000, Encarnacion was dealt to the Reds along with Ruben Mateo for Rob Bell in the middle of the 2001 season. Mateo is toolsy former top prospect who is a career .250/.303/.386 hitter in the majors and Bell has an ERA of 5.58 in 608 big-league innings, while Encarnacion, an afterthought at the time, may turn out to be the best player in the deal.

Encarnacion hit .282/.339/.458 in 2002, his first full season in the Reds’ organization, smacking 53 extra-base hits and stealing 25 bases as a 19-year-old at Single-A Dayton. He spent the 2003 season between Single-A Potomac and Double-A Chattanooga, hitting a combined .294 with 41 extra-base hits, 15 steals, and a .433 slugging percentage in 125 games. Encarnacion stayed at Double-A last season and put together his best year yet, hitting .281/.352/.443 with 13 homers, 49 total extra-base hits, 17 steals at an 85% clip, and a very solid 79-to-53 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Joe Randa is currently keeping the hot corner warm for Encarnacion in Cincinnati.

As I’ve said before, I hope Encarnacion (we must come up with a good nickname for him; typing that name every time is going to get old in a hurry) is a fixture at third base by mid-season.

About The Author

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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5 Responses

  1. Harry the Horse

    The Devil Rays have made some offers for D’Angelo Jimenez. Mainly prospects Joey Gathright, Jonny Gomes and a relief pitcher Jorge Sosa and 1st baseman Josh Phelps. Also Devil Rays GM was looking at Jacob Cruz, Javier Valentin and Jose Acevedo whom they think will be on the waiver wires next week. Jimenez is the most marketable this season because Ryan Freel seems destined to start sometime this season, although the Reds don’t want to move anybody until the usual injuries shake out.

  2. Harry the Horse

    Kazmir is untouchable, unless the Cardinals want to give the Devil Rays Albert Pujols. Kazmir is reminding a lot of people of a young Don Gullett. A Explosive fastball and a developing off speed pitch. All at the age of 21. What were the Mets thinking??

  3. redjen

    Having had the pleasure of watching Edwin at Chattanooga for the last season and a half, I am sad and happy to see him go. Sad for me, because he was some ball player. Happy for him because hopefully he is very close to being where he belongs, 3B for the Reds. His numbers may not be gaudy, but he is consistent and his defense is great. We’ll miss and wish him well. The Reds could not do better than to give him a chance