Prospect Nation 2013: #19 OF Ender Inciarte – Phillies Nation
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Prospect Nation 2013: #19 OF Ender Inciarte

Swift footed outfielder Ender Inciarte was picked up by the Phillies this past December in the MLB Rule 5 draft. The lefty batting Venezuelan looked extremely promising in his days in the Diamondbacks system, which drew the interest of the Phils.

Signed as a amateur free agent in 2008, Inciarte began his professional career in the Dominican Summer League, batting .300 with minimal power (seven doubles were his only extra-base hits) while stealing 22 bases in 28 opportunities in 62 games.

The 5-foot-11-inch 160-pounder then moved on to the rookie level Pioneer League, where he batted .325 with 14 doubles, a triple and a homer in 66 contests for Missoula in 2009. He also stole 10 bases in 14 chances. The following year, Inciarte split time at low A and full season Class A, posting a .229 average with 13 doubles, seven triples and one home run while utilizing his speed even less, swiping seven in 12 chances.

In 2011, Inciarte spent the entire season with Class A South Bend of the Midwest League and continued to make progress. At the age of 20, he sported a .262/.333/.333 line with 26 steals, but was caught 15 times.

Last season, Inciarte looked like the offensive side of his game was really coming along, as he split time with South Bend and the Class A Advanced Visalia Rawhide. In 127 games, Inciarte posted a .307 batting average along with 28 doubles, 10 triples, two home runs and 46 steals in 58 chances. In addition to the improvements he made with his average and speed production, Inciarte also increased his walk rate and his OPS a considerable amount as well.

Compared, at times, to Gerardo Parra, who was held in considerable regard in his days as an Arizona prospect, Inciarte’s small frame does not project to develop very much power.

Inciarte’s bat will still need time to develop, as evidenced by his output in the Venezuelan League. He posted a .250/.315/.313 line in 48 games with Zulia, where he was teammates with Phils infielder Freddy Galvis.

Big league Rule 5 picks must stay on the team’s 25-man big league roster for the entire following season, or be offered back to their previous organization. With a surplus of potential outfielders, Inciarte will likely find himself as the odd man out, since the Phillies have six other players for what is likely five big league roster spots for their outfield. It is possible that, all along, the Phillies did not expect Inciarte to make their opening day roster and simply had hopes that when he is offered back to Arizona they would reject him, much like the way the Phils’ return offer of Rule 5 selection Shane Victorino was declined by the Dodgers in 2005.

On defense, Inciarte, who has spent considerable time at all three outfield positions as a pro, has great instincts and exceptional range with an ability to cover loads of land. If he did beat the odds and land on the Phillies roster this year, he could be a late inning defensive replacement and a reliable pinch runner.

The 22-year-old remains a player with a whole lot of upside and could make an impact in the organization, if the Phillies can hang onto him.



  1. Brian Michael

    February 1, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Comments are working again!

  2. Lefty

    February 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    OT- Not looking good for Arod right now.


  3. CS

    February 1, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    It would be nice if we could keep Ender. Also, it would be nicer if Gio goes away for 50 games.

  4. Ken Bland

    February 1, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I’d be pretty inclined to view Gio going down for 50 games as a possible blessing of sorts for the Nats. Obviously, you’d rather keep him around if your them, but…

    1/ as a starter, and number 2 in the rotation, meaning he’d pitch regularly, he’d miss about 13 starts. That’s siugnificant, but that’s a lot different than 50.

    2/the guy has pitched 200 innings each of the last 3 years. Physically, I could see a case for being stronger at the end of the year.

    3/ Assuming the Nats scedule is pretty typical, you can get by with 4 starters the first few weeks of the year. Between Strasburg, Zimmerman, Haren and Detweiler, that’s still pretty competitive.

    3/ The Nats, certainly in terms of lux tax avoidance space, are in great shape. Kyle Lohse, a Boras cliebt is still very available. Boras and the Nats have worked many deals in the past. As odds increase daily of a pillow contract being what he gets, he’d make about as good as you can get as a replacement for Gio.

    Should Gio go down, and for all I know, this might not happen until in season, which alters a couple of my points, a view of the complete picture, rather than a knee jerk reaction to the Nats losing a valuble piece doesn’t rule out a softer landing than we’d like to see the Nats have.

    I can think of more catastrophic developments for the Nats that would benefit the competition

  5. Bart Shart

    February 1, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Ender could be a valuable asset for this team. Our corner outfielders are not fielding stars, and he indeed could be useful as a late inning baserunner, as we are not blessed with great team speed. And, if he is a contact hitter, then he really does have a chance, especially if he is proficient at bunting.

  6. c schreiber

    February 2, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Please, he’ll be send back befdore ST is over..He’s scrap….

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