Opposing pitchers might want to think twice before giving Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion anything to hit, at least in the near future. The Blue Jays slugger is crushing baseballs into the outfield stands seemingly on a nightly basis.
On Thursday night, Encarnacion tied Mickey Mantle's American League record for most home runs in the month of May with his 15th and 16th homers against the Kansas City Royals. And he still has two more games left to break Mantle's mark. The major league record for most homers hit in a single month was set by Sammy Sosa with 20 as a member of the Chicago Cubs in June 1998, via Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com.
Even Royals manager Ned Yost said after their 8-6 win that "Encarnacion is probably the hottest hitter on the planet right now," per the Associated Press.
Based on these stats and fun facts, that sounds about right.
- His five two-homer games in May ties the record for most multi-homer games by a player in one calendar month. Harmon Killebrew of the Washington Senators set the record in May 1959 and Albert Belle tied it as a member of the Cleveland Indians in September of 1995, per Elias Sports Bureau.
- His 16 homers in May have traveled a distance of 1.26 miles, per ESPN Stats & Info.
- Encarnacion has more home runs in May than the Royals (11) and Cardinals (10).
- Through May 29, Encarnacion has the second most homers in the majors (18) behind Baltimore's Nelson Cruz (19) despite only hitting two through May 5.
- Encarnacion's 16 homers in May is the most in any monthly split since Barry Bonds hit 16 in September and October of 2001, per MLB Stat of the Day.