Cleveland Indians: The Dynamic Duo of Santana and Encarnacion

The Cleveland Indians duo of Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion may be one of the best in all of baseball during the 2017 season.

If there was ever an ultimate combination in baseball, it would be Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion. While one will be impossible to get the ball past at first base, the other will be cracking bats as the Cleveland Indians’ DH, and vice versa.

Mike Napoli and Santana usually stayed away from swapping in 2016’s regular season, but with the Encarnacion upgrade, the old first and DH switch-a-roo will be something to fear, if you are not lucky enough to be on the Tribe.

Napoli had a solid 9.01 range factor at first base last year, and a .985 fielding percentage. Meanwhile, Encarnacion held a 8.39 range factor, but a better fielding percentage at .997.

Santana generally stayed as DH, but in the 43 games he did play as first base, he had a solid .991 fielding percentage, turning 48 double plays in the process. He also did great work in the outfield for a couple of World Series games at Wrigley Field.

Flashing back to the postseason, both Santana and Encarnacion saved their respective teams with their reliable playing and powerful swings. Santana was reliable at the plate all postseason while Encarnacion pushed the Toronto Blue Jays past the Wild Card spot and into the ALDS with a walk-off homer, then made a legendary second base slide that helped them win against the Texas Rangers in the ALDS.

Santana and Encarnacion have quite a few things in common. First, they each have an outstanding can-do attitude.

Second, they are both from the Dominican Republic. They will understand each other more than almost anyone else on that team. The Indians are said to have made it to the World Series based on great teamwork and not stats, after all.

Third, they are extremely versatile, especially under pressure. Santana is a switch-hitting, first base-ing, outfielding machine, and he is good at all three. All-Star Encarnacion played almost half of his games as the Jays’ first baseman, demonstrating his widespread talents as more than just a renowned slugger.

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