Through one week of the season, who has been the best player on the Arizona Diamondbacks? Not Paul Goldschmidt. Not A.J. Pollock. It’s a guy that wasn’t even on the team at this time last year. In fact, there was some questions in Spring Training about exactly how much time he would receive. Given his hot start, there is no doubt that Ender Inciarte has moved himself into the discussion as a starting corner outfielder.
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The 24-year old Inciarte (along with Goldschmidt) has scored a team-high six runs and has 11 hits in 28 at-bats, a .393 clip. I didn’t think this would have been possible a week ago. Silly me. My thoughts were putting David Peralta in right and Mark Trumbo in left with Inciarte playing a Gerardo Parra-type role: a guy that can play all three outfield positions and get 350-400 plate appearances. With his hot start and the early struggles of Peralta, Inciarte has earned himself a starting spot with no reason to check the lineup card each day to find his name. In addition to his fine glove work, he also has the most extra-base hits on the D’backs with four (three doubles and a triple).
I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised about Inciarte’s performance. His numbers over the final two months of the 2014 season suggest he was comfortable with Major League ball after an unheralded Minor League career. His batting average was .308 with an on base percentage of .355 in August and September. After last night’s 4 RBI performance, we could be looking at the Snakes’ leadoff hitter and a mainstay in the outfield for the foreseeable future.