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Christian Encarnacion-Strand

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Christian Lee Encarnacion-Strand

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Biographical Information[edit]

Corner infielder Christian Encarnacion-Strand was drafted twice, the first time out of junior college in the 34th round of the 2019 amateur draft, by the Seattle Mariners, and the second time in the 4th round of the 2021 amateur draft, by the Minnesota Twins out of the Oklahoma State University. He had hit .361 with 15 homers and 66 RBIs in 56 games in his only season at Oklahoma after transferring from Yavapai College.

He began his professional career in 2021 with the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels in what was then called the Low-A Southeast, hitting .391 in 22 games, while slugging .598. The Twins moved sent him to the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Midwest League to begin 2022, where he hit .296 in 74 games, then promoted him up to the AA Wichita Wind Surge in the Texas League. He was hitting .333 after 15 games when on August 3rd he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with Spencer Steer and Steven Hajjar in return for P Tyler Mahle. He moved over to the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern League, hitting .309 in 35 games. Overall, his batting line with the three teams was .304/.368/..587 in 122 games, with 31 doubles, 32 homers and 114 RBIs.

In 2023, he began the year in AAA with the Louisville Bats of the International League after missing the first few weeks of the season to an injury. On May 4th, he had a three-homer game against the Omaha Storm Chasers that gave him seven home runs in his first ten AAA games. In that game, teammate Matt McLain hit for the cycle in what was an extremely rare combination; all of the hits were needed as Louisville squeaked by Omaha, 12-10. He became the player with the longest name to appear in a major league game when he made his debut with the Reds on July 17th, beating out Simeon Woods Richardson whose first game had come the year before. On August 18th, he brought to an end a great pitching duel between the Reds and the Toronto Blue Jays at Great American Ball Park with a solo homer off Jordan Hicks with one out in the bottom of the 9th, breaking a scoreless tie. He finished the season at .270 in 63 games, with 13 homers and 37 RBIs for an OPS+ of 113. He split time between first base, DH and third base, but heading into 2024, with the Reds having declined to re-sign long-time first baseman Joey Votto to a new contract, was set to inherit the position, giving him big shoes to fill.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Jesse Borek: "Cycle AND a 3-homer game? Triple-A Louisville brings the lumber: Reds' Nos. 5 and 6 prospects combine for seven hits, nine RBIs on double milestone day", mlb.com, May 4, 2023. [1]
  • Mark Sheldon: "Encarnacion-Strand to lean on Votto's influence at first base: 'I don't think anyone can really replace Joey,' says 24-year-old slugger", mlb.com, March 1, 2024. [2]
  • Andrew Simon and Sarah Langs: "The new longest name in MLB history? He has arrived", mlb.com, July 17, 2023. [3]

Related Sites[edit]