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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Edwin Encarnacion

By Brian Brunk

Edwin Encarnacion: A ninth round pick in the 2000 Draft, Encarnacion began his pro career with the Texas Rangers and despite posting solid numbers the Rangers traded him to the Cincinnati Reds earlier this month. The play of Hank Blalock likely had something to do with the Rangers feeling Encarnacion was expendable, as well as the team needing to improve in other areas. Regardless, at the time of the trade Encarnacion was doing everything in his power to achieve top prospect status. Through 170 ABs with the Savannah Sand Gnats (Low A-ball) this 19 year old 3 rd baseman had a .306 BA which was first on the team and was among the team leaders in Rs, RBIs, and hits.

The trade to Cincinnati should benefit Encarnacion in terms of organizational opportunity. There was very little chance that he’d ever surpass Hank Blalock on the Rangers depth chart but the Reds are a different story altogether. Aaron Boone hasn’t proved to be anything special at third base and their current top 3 rd base prospect, Brandon Larson, is stinking it up in the minors. Encarnacion should immediately take over the title of 3 rd baseman of the future for this organization with his biggest obstacle being the Coach’s son. However, it will likely be at least three years until this kid will be ready for his shot so by then Boone may no longer be coaching the Reds and Aaron won’t have as much job security.

So what’s in store for Edwin Encarnacion? Well, the Reds want to let this kid develop so he should finish out the season in low-A and begin 2002 at high-A. If the Reds let this guy develop as they should by allowing him to jump one level each year he’ll still only be 22 when he’s ready to challenge for a spot on the Opening Day Roster in 2005…. although, a lot can happen between now and then.


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