No one is expecting Ender Inciarte to start in center field and organize local charities and grow to love Philadelphia more than any place besides his Venezuelan home.
No one is expecting that, just because Shane Victorino was also a CF taken in the Rule 5 Draft by the Phillies. But we do want it.
The Phillies plucked the 22-year-old outfielder from the bowels of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system in the Rule 5 Draft this morning, sending personnel to drag him sobbing from his family and teammates within hours. His numbers:
- Low-A Midwest League (2010-12): 902 AB, 235 H, 44 doubles, 17 triples, 3 HR, 75 RBI, 49 SB, 23 CS, 92 BB, 125 SO, .260/.328/.365
- High-A California League (2012): 248 AB, 79 H, 12 doubles, 5 triples, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 28 SB, 8 CS, 22 BB, 32 SO, .319/.377/.419
- Venezuelan Winter League: 80 AB, 18 H, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 5 RBI, .225/.284/.288
Inciarte has some speed, playing center and stealing bases somewhat successfully. He also manages to hit, like, one home run a year, in a weirdly consistent way. That batting average has been sneaking upward since his entry into the Low-A, from .225 to .293 just before his promotion.
Hailing from Maracaibo in Venezuela’s northwestern sector, Inciarte was drafted in 2008 by the Snakes and, after some normal struggles due to acclimating with a new culture, host family, and English lessons, adjusted well. His native region is a known hotbed for simmering baseball talent, as his older brother won the Little League World Series with Maracaibo’s team in 2000.
“My agent called me at [midnight] and said ‘Ender, can I see you tomorrow? You’re going to sign a contract with the Diamondbacks. I was like, ‘What? Are you serious?’ I’ll never forget that day.”
Lastly, here is the first image released from the upcoming sci fi film, Ender’s Game.