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Edwin Encarnación (born January 7, 1983 in La Romana, Dominican Republic), is a third baseman in Major League Baseball who plays for the Cincinnati Reds. Listed at 6'-1", 195-pound, Encarnación bats and throws right-handed. Although born in the Dominican Republic, he spent much of his youth in Puerto Rico and attended Manuel Toro High School in Caguas.
Encarnación was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the ninth round of the 2000 amateur draft and signed with them. On June 15, 2001, he was traded along with Rubén Mateo to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for pitcher Rob Bell. He made his big league debut on June 24, 2005 and saw action in 69 games. He finished with a .232 batting average and nine home runs.
Many baseball pundits and Reds fans alike believe that Encarnación has the ability to become a potent offensive third baseman, but needs to overcome fielding deficiencies — as evidenced by his 25 errors during the 2006 season. The general consensus is that Encarnación makes the difficult plays, but botches too many routine ones and makes ill-advised or errant throws. However, it is often pointed out that possible Hall of Fame Reds shortstop Barry Larkin also had a similar reputation as an erratic fielder early in his career, but later became a three-time Gold Glove Award winner.
In 2007 Edwin started the year slowly with an average barely above .200 in mid-May. He was frequently benched so Ryan Freel could take 3rd giving Josh Hamilton more starts in center. He was at one point yanked mid-game for not running out a fly ball.
On Thursday, May 10, the Cincinnati Reds demoted Edwin to their Triple AAA affiliate, the Louisville Bats, for his low batting average and shaky defense, he was recalled on May 22 and has been a solid contributor since.
- Selected by Texas Rangers in the 9th round of the free-agent draft (June 5, 2000 - signed June 12, 2000).
- Traded by Texas Rangers with Ruben Mateo to Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Rob Bell (June 15, 2001).
- Encarnacion is the fiancee of Jennifer Pena, the eldest daughter of Yankees' bench coach Tony Pena.