Ender Inciarte deserved to make the Philadelphia Phillies opening day roster this year. As a Rule 5 pick from the Arizona Diamondbacks Ender Inciarte proved his worth as a defender during spring training and batted a respectable .261, which is as much as you can hope from a rule five player.
Inciarte will never be a slugger. He is 5’10” and 160 pounds; and as such I believe his .261 average with six hits, a double, and a steal, and his low slugging percentage are an accurate measure of his worth, despite the miniscule sample size (23 at bats). He is quick, a base stealer who is a credit to the team defensively. If you’re looking for a comparison, think Juan Pierre from last year, a good fielder and decent hitter who can turn a single or a walk into a runner in scoring position with his legs.
Inciarte is a credit defensively on a team that needs all the help they can get, especially in the outfield. Excluding Ben Revere, who is one of the quickest, most reliable young outfielders in the game, the rest of the Phillies outfielders are sub-par defensively. Delmon Young is better suited as a designated hitter, Domonic Brown could get better with more experience, but as of now he has, in every year he’s played in the Major Leagues, posted negative defensive metrics. After those two there are John Mayberry who is a decent player who will never be anything more, and Laynce Nix who struggles to be even replacement level.
The Philadelphia Phillies have won the rule five lottery twice in the last six years, with Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth… have they done it again with Ender Inciarte? Only time will tell.