There are players who the mere mention of their name causes cursing under your breath. Justin Turner’s performance in the NLDS merits the distinction. Cesar Hernandez is a Nats killer and Ender Inciarte will cause lost sleep.
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Inciarte already has four home runs on the ledger as of Monday afternoon with seven RBI. The speedy centerfielder flags down nearly anything hit his way and will steal a bag when needed.
Although not one to draw walks by the carload, he owns a good batter’s eye and strikes out rarely. He is not a power hitter, but will slash triples. His home run total this year is two off his career-high. It is April 17.
Did we mention his Gold Glove last year?
As individual pieces, there is not one thing you can point to with Inciarte and worry about. He hits for average, but will never threaten for a batting crown. When you add everything together, he is the type of outfielder who will find ways to beat you.
Mind you, he drove in 29 runs last year but had a WAR score of 3.8. Traded for Shelby Miller with Dansby Swanson—it is ok if you laugh at this point—Inciarte just fits the new Braves.
Last year against the Nats, he posted his best numbers in the division. In 15 games, his slash line of .344/.403/.459 kept pitchers off balance. He scored 13 runs, had 21 hits and walked six times. Those are the best against any team in 2016.
The hard part of watching a player who has your number is realizing he is that good. In Inciarte’s case, it is true.