Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion hasn't exactly lived up to his lofty draft slot. While there are typically many reasons to remain patient with your studs, Encarnacion's offseason wrist surgery made the lack of pop more concerning. Those concerns are slowly fading, as Encarnacion has looked more like himself over the past two weeks.
Encarnacion didn't hit his first home run until the 20th game of the season. Since that game, he's posted a .259/.358/.586 slash line over the next 15 games. In that period, he's clubbed 10 extra base hits, including five doubles, a triple and four home runs. During this same stretch, he's posted an 8:9 walk to strikeout rate. Prior to hitting his first home run, Encarnacion posted a .230/.313/.324 slash line. His walk to strikeout rate was an awful 9:19. It's pretty clear that he's started to settle in at the plate.
I'll be the first to admit that you don't want to overreact to small samples or arbitrary end points. At the same time, what Encarnacion has done in the past two weeks is what owners expected when they selected him. The Fantasy Baseball Today crew gets a lot of questions about how to handle struggling stud players early in the season. My general approach is to do nothing. We're at the point in the season where a poor 15 games stretch, like the one E5 had to open the year, can drag down a line enough to make him look like a bust. If he had a similar slump in August, Fantasy owners would hardly notice.
Unless there's something really off with a player's peripherals or approach, I'll preach patience. It's part of the reason I encouraged owners to stick with Adam Jones a few days ago. More often than not, studs come around. Encarnacion is the latest example of that.