The Atlanta Braves’ Ender Inciarte has been awarded the 2016 Gold Glove award for center fielders. The award is Inciarte’s first and solidifies Inciarte as one of the best center fielders in the league.
The Atlanta Braves have another gold glove winner in center fielder Ender Inciarte. The Braves center fielder is picking up right where former Braves Jason Heyward and Andrelton Simmons left off. The Braves’ center fielder has drawn comparisons to former Braves’ shortstop Andrelton Simmons for his ability to find and and create outs taking out base runners and making catches that few center fielders have the ability to make.
Inciarte is a much better hitter then Andrelton Simmons however, leading the league in hits after the all-star break. After struggling in the first half of the season offensively Inciarte caught fire and helped the Braves offense surge in the last two months of the season.
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Nick Markakis (the Braves right fielder) was up for the award as well but lost out to former Braves’ right fielder Jason Heyward. Heyward signed with the World Series winning Cubs last off-season and played above average defense, despite regressing significantly at the plate.
The Braves will have Markakis and Inciarte both returning next season with left fielder Matt Kemp completing the outfield. The Braves seem content to keep their outfield together after the impressive run their offense went on at the end of the season. The Braves were expected to attempt to trade Nick Markakis or possibly Ender Inciarte to make room for Mallex Smith and add a pitcher in the hypothetical trade.
The Braves will instead wait for Mallex Smith to prove himself and attempt to improve their pitching from the free agent market. Keeping a outfield group together that has played so well is a good move and should help solidify the Braves’ offense in the seasons to come.
Ender Inciarte is well deserving of the Gold Glove Award and the first center fielder to win the award for the Braves since the Andruw Jones.