Ender Inciarte catching fire is what all Atlanta Braves fans need to hear. He is expected to play a major part of Atlanta’s success moving forward. Inciarte is one of the few players that John Coppolella will not trade away, due to his age and impressive potential. At only 26-years old, Inciarte still has not entered the prime of his career, and he just won a Gold Glove for center field defense. His defense is still strong this season with diving catches and directing the outfield where they need to be. The issue is this season has been one of the worse starts of his career offensively.
Ender Inciarte is Catching Fire
Inciarte played for Venezuela at the World Baseball Classic over the course of spring training. While he was not able to play games with his Atlanta teammates, Inciarte played live baseball for weeks. Many people believed this would allow him to be more than ready to start the regular season against the New York Mets. Unfortunately, this was not the case.
For the opening series, Inciarte went 1-for-13 with one walk and four strikeouts. Atlanta did face three great starters, but Inciarte appeared lost at times. He looked like his mind was elsewhere. He would barely swing the bat while taking pitches that were obvious strikes. On the flip side, Inciarte swung at balls that only Vladimir Guerrero would be able to hit.
Inciarte’s woes continued against the Pirates. The weather was not cooperating as Pittsburgh had snow leading up to the start of the series. However, he only went 3-for-15 with four more strikeouts. He could not get the bat going despite his consistently strong defense.
Then the Braves shifted to a two-game series in Miami against the Marlins. The first game of the series was a replica of Inciarte’s first six outings. He went 1-for-5 with a strikeout. Something clicked during the second game of the series. Inciarte would belt two homeruns in one of the deepest ballparks in all of MLB. That brought his batting average up from .143 to .189 going into the home stand.
Inciarte Loves Home
The first game ever at SunTrust Park was special to many different people. Inciarte might have the best experience of them all. He recorded the first hit in the park, the first run, and the first homerun, which secured the victory for Atlanta on opening night. Now Inciarte’s batting average sits at .220. He still has some work to do, but he is looking much better than the .143 average he was at just a week ago.
Whatever Inciarte is doing lately, this is what all Braves fans expected to see out of him. As the leadoff hitter, he is expected to set the tone for the game and be a hard out for an opposing pitcher. These past two games have shown he is capable of doing just that.
Luke Dabbs is a Kennesaw State University student. He enjoys the Falcons, Hawks, and of course the Braves.