Inciarte playing way into mix for next season

Inciarte playing way into mix for next season

WASHINGTON -- There's no other way to say it: Ender Inciarte did not have a very good start to his big league career.

The D-backs outfielder had a .450 on-base plus slugging figure after his first 99 plate appearances this season.

Rather than be discouraged, though, the rookie dug in and in the 194 plate appearances that followed, he had a .736 OPS and a .298 batting average.

"I think it tells you a lot about the kid," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's kind of developed his game on this stage. He's finding the confidence to continue to make it better and not be scared that -- you get asked to do something and it makes you uncomfortable and it's hard to push through it, but he's really trusted it. To his credit, he's played really well for us."

With their playoffs hopes long since gone, the D-backs have turned their attention toward using the remaining games to figure out who can be a part of their team going forward.

And the way Inciarte has performed in the outfield as well as the leadoff spot has certainly put him in the conversation for 2015.

"I think one of the big things and the most interesting is when I moved him to leadoff," Gibson said. "He's a different player up there. I think it's showed more of his aptitude for the game. It's like it was a different position and he understood it. I think he's really excelled up there."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.