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Ender Inciarte is the king of the deke, pulls off another one against the Phillies

Ender Inciarte is a phenomenal defender. With swift feet and quick reactions, his UZR last season was 14.5, while the Bill James Handbook had his runs saved at 29. But even those metrics fail to capture one of his other skills: The Deke. 

After showing off his sleight of hand against the Phillies last week, doubling up Carlos Ruiz at first base, he pulled it off again on Friday night. His opponent: again, the Phillies. 

In the bottom of the first inning, the Phils' Cesar Hernandez was on first when Maikel Franco blasted a line drive to left field at a Statcast™-measured 109.2 mph. Rather than race for the ball, Inciarte lined it up as if he was going to make the catch. Though the line drive blasted off the wall, the decoy slowed Hernandez enough to prevent him from coming around to score. 


Of course, given how hard that Franco hit the ball, it's possible that Hernandez wouldn't have had time to score anyway (though he did cross home plate on Ryan Howard's groundout a batter later). The point is, Inciarte is clearly in a stratum all to his own when it comes to the deke. I suppose you could call the move ... Ender's Game.  

The Atlanta outfielder has apparently inspired the rest of the league to follow suit. On Thursday night, Daniel Murphy got into the deke game and when the Rockies and Pirates squared off on Friday, Carlos Gonzalez used the art of deception to keep John Jaso from scoring on Andrew McCutchen's wall ball.