It’s been a great season so far for Christian Encarnacion-Strand and that continued last week as the Louisville Bats faced off against the Columbus Clippers. He was so good in the series that he was named as the Triple-A International League’s Player of the Week.
There were only five games in the series thanks to Sunday’s game being cancelled by rain. Despite that, Christian Encarnacion-Strand had 10 hits in his 19 at-bats. Those 10 hits included three home runs and two doubles. Encarnacion-Strand scored nine runs, drove in eight, walked six times, and he struck out just three times. All of that led to a .526/.640/1.105 line – that’s good for an OPS of 1.745.
While the entire season hasn’t been THAT good, this is just a hotter streak on top of a hot streak that’s lasted all season. Through his first 42 games of the season with Louisville, Christian Encarnacion-Strand is hitting .362/.427/.735 with 13 doubles, a triple, 17 home runs, 41 runs scored, and 46 runs batted in. Yes, he is averaging more than a run batted in per game this season.
For Christian Encarnacion-Strand, it seems that he’s been taking things to an even different level over the last two-and-a-half weeks. In the first 28 games of the season he hit .347 and slugged .694. Those are just outstanding numbers. But that also came along with three walks and 36 strikeouts in 28 games.
On May 26th he walked twice in a game (and also doubled and homered in that game) against the Syracuse Mets. And ever since he’s been an an absolutely hilarious tear through the International League. He’s played in 14 games since that date and has hit .396/.536/.830 with five doubles and six home runs. But the big difference has been that he has walked 16 times and struck out just eight times in 69 plate appearances. It is as if almost overnight he decided he was going to start walking at an elite rate and stop striking out almost altogether. And then just went out and did it.
Here are the other Players of the Week this season from the farm system:
- Andrew Abbott – Southern League – April 10-16
- Blake Dunn – Midwest League – April 24-30
- Noelvi Marte – Southern League – May 1-7
- Matt McLain – International League – May 1-7
- Noelvi Marte – Southern League – May 16-21
- Tommy Eveld – Southern League – May 22-28
- Christian Encarnacion-Strand – International League – June 5-11
- Connor Phillips – Southern League – June 5-11