Back on August 9th Luis Encarnarcion turned 16 years old and the Phillies were able to sign the Dominican international free agent to a contract reportedly for a million dollars. Not bad for a 16th birthday present.
Today, about six weeks later at Brighthouse Field against the Baltimore Orioles Instructs, Encnarcion made his Phillies debut in the Florida Instructional League. The first time up he struggled and struck out swinging but in a later at bat he showed why the Phillies are so high on him when he lined a single to center. To see the hit, click HERE. Later he made a nice bare-handed pickup of a bunt and made a strong accurate throw to almost get the runner at first. To see the play, click HERE.
When the Phillies signed Encarnarcion he was rated the fourth best international prospect and one of the best Latin American hitters in that category according to Baseball America. They questioned his defense though at third but he showed great skill on the bunt in today’s game.
The Phillies continue to build depth at third base with Cody Asche, Maikel Franco and Zach Green, all under 24 years old and major league prospects. Luis Encarnarcion showed today that be belongs in the discussion too as a Phillies third baseman of the future.
Who knows which player will up at the hot corner for the Phils in the future. Right now Cody Asche has the inside track for next year. Maikel Franco has already been worked out at first base for Reading and Baseball American projects Encarnacion as a left fielder or first baseman. In any event Encarnacion showed today he can play and hit with the best of them at Instructs. After all you get only one chance to make a first impression and Luis passed the test at third base and with the bat in his debut in a Phillies uniform..