It looks like Charlie Manuel will have a new option for his 2013 outfield. With the conclusion of the Winter Meetings today, all 30 teams took part in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft. The Philadelphia Phillies may have found their next center fielder of the future during that draft. The Phillies selected 22-year old Ender Inciarte from the Arizona Diamondbacks‘ organization.
According to Baseball America, Inciarte has all the qualities that a team would want in a young center fielder. He has plus speed, plus defense, and has a plus arm. This is something that the Phillies have not had in their outfield since when they first acquired Shane Victorino. Inciarte is a left-handed hitter who also throws left-handed as well.
Inciarte was originally signed as an amateur free agent by the Diamondbacks in 2008. In 456 games in the minor leagues, the Maracaibo, Venezuela native batted .283 with 81 doubles, 23 triples, 135 RBI, 260 runs scored and 111 stolen bases.
Last season, Inciarte played 127 games that were split between single-A South Bend and single-A Visalia (A+ minor league baseball). He hit .307 with 28 doubles, 10 triples, two home runs, 47 runs batted in, and 46 stolen bases. The big liability for Inciarte is his bat. Despite the fact that he is a good contact hitter, Inciarte lacks the power of an everyday center fielder.
Inciarte will likely compete for a roster spot with the Phillies during Spring Training. It is too early to tell whether or not Inciarte has all the tools to be a every day center fielder, but the future does look bright for the Phillies and their new acquisition.
David A. Cattai is the Featured Writer for the Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia Flyers, MLB, NHL, and NFL with Rant Sports & Featured Beat Writer covering the Philadelphia Phillies and Philadelphia sports for Buzz On Broad.