Saturday, March 25, 2006

Edwin Encarnacion: "This Guy Can Hit!"

Yankees ace SP Randy Johnson stood on the mound during a recent interleague spring game and read the letters on the back of the Cincinnati batter as he walked to the plate: E-N-C-A-R-N-A-C-I-O-N. Johnson thought he remembered the player from his days in the National League. Then he threw him a fastball and was taken for a ride on a moonshot over the left centerfield wall. That can't be Juan Encarnacion, Johnson later remembered thinking, because "this guy can hit!" That's right, it was rookie 3B Edwin Encarnacion, no relation to Juan of the Cardinals. And despite his rough transition to the majors last year, Edwin is leading the league in RBI with 18, is batting more than .400 and has six homers, second only to the Phillies Ryan Howard's nine.