|(Sept. 4, 2014 - Source: Jim Rogash/Getty Images North America)|
It's a question that popped into my head last night at Fenway Park, and one many have been asking since David Ortiz announced that the 2016 season would be his last.
Could Edwin Encarnacion be the Heir to Big Papi?
It specifically popped into my head last night because of the two rockets Encarnacion sent over the Green Monster to account for all of Toronto's 3 runs.
As everyone dreaded how Rick Porcello gave Encarnacion two meatballs to tee off on, I stood and had a small vision.
I imagined Encarnacion rounding the bases as a Red Sox.
And it made sense.
Encarnacion is a free agent after this year and with Jose Bautista being a free agent as well, Toronto may struggle to retain both sluggers. Even though Encarnacion is younger than Bautista by two years at 33, Bautista would be the one the Blue Jays would be more likely to re-sign due to his play in the field as well as at the dish.
In his career at Fenway, Encarnacion is batting north of .280 and has 12 home runs and 35 RBIs to go along with it.
The reason for Encarnacion's success at Fenway?
Look out into left field: there's a big green wall that's 310 feet from home plate. Encarnacion is a pull-hitter and has tremendous power from the right side. As long as Encarnacion puts some of that power into it and gets the ball up pretty high, the ball is headed straight for the 274 fans up on top of the Monster. And at the very least, he would hit the wall for a long single or double.
If the Red Sox were to sign Encarnacion, it could force them to spend a little bit more than they were hoping to. But at the age of 33, and no one else in the Red Sox farm system "primed" to be a Designated Hitter, Encarnacion is the perfect fit.
A right-handed bat with tons of power: alright.
A right-handed bat with tons of power who pulls the ball: keep talking.
A right-handed bat with tons of power who pulls the ball AND would play in a park that has a big green wall in left field at only 310 feet from home plate for 82 games a season: DEAL.
Is he David Ortiz? No. But with the options that the Red Sox have to replace Ortiz, he's the best one they've got.
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