CINCINNATI -- Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte has not been shocked by the tremendous success Ozzie Albies has had during what is just the third month of his Major League career.
"When I got here in 2016, the first day I saw him, I was telling everybody, he doesn't need to play any games in the Minors," Inciarte said. "I said it right away that he needs to be here as quick as possible because that kid is the real thing. He never ceases to surprise me. He's so fun to watch."
Seemingly miles away from any of the concerns that might have surrounded him when he made his Major League debut in August, Albies, 21, has quickly legitimized the comparisons he has drawn to Astros MVP candidate Jose Altuve, who has spent the past few seasons proving being vertically challenged does not prevent a player from reaching great heights.
Albies recorded two more extra-base hits while helping the Braves claim a 7-4 win over the Reds on Thursday afternoon at Great American Ball Park. His two-run shot in the fifth inning was his eighth homer, placing him in tie for the Major League lead. His ninth-inning RBI double was his Major League-leading 19th extra-base hit, the highest total ever recorded by a Braves player before the end of April.
"The kid is one of the youngest guys in the league and has been his whole career," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "But the adjustments he keeps making and that confidence he has is unbelievable. That is the biggest thing, his mental makeup. He's so solid and confident and tough mentally, it allows him to perform."
With 20-year-old Ronald Acuna Jr. hitting his first career homer on Thursday, the last time a pair of teammates both Albies' age or younger who homered in the same game was on Sept. 23, 1978. Coincidently, the Braves' duo of Bob Horner and Glenn Hubbard accomplished this feat in a game against the Reds.
"That's a great thing," Snitker said. "That's fun to watch. It's so cool to come here every day and be around those young guys. They're just such upbeat, high-energy guys. It makes it fun to come here every day."