Incaviglia as a coach in the Detroit Tigers organization in 2005
|Born: April 2, 1964|
|April 8, 1986, for the Texas Rangers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 27, 1998, for the Houston Astros|
|Runs batted in||655|
Peter Joseph Incaviglia (born April 2, 1964), is an American former professional baseball left fielder, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for 12 seasons (1986-1998), for six different big league teams, also spending one year in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). Incaviglia was drafted in the first round (eighth overall pick) by the Montreal Expos in the 1985 Major League Baseball draft out of Oklahoma State University, but was traded later the same year to the Texas Rangers. He debuted in the major leagues on April 8, 1986, without having spent any time in the minor leagues. His last MLB game was on September 27, 1998.
Incaviglia was noted for his power hitting ability, but also for his tendency to strike out. During his MLB career, he struck out 1,277 times, while leading the league twice, 1986 and 1988. Incaviglia owns the several single-season National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) records, including home runs (HR) (48) and runs batted in (RBI) (143), respectively.
At Oklahoma State, Incaviglia became one of the greatest power hitters in College Baseball history. In three seasons he amassed 100 home runs (in 213 games) and had a career slugging percentage of .915. In 1983, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod Baseball League. In his junior season, he hit 48 home runs and finished the year with an NCAA record 1.140 slugging percentage. He also led Oklahoma State to the College World Series in each of his three seasons. He is still the NCAA Division I baseball all-time leader in home runs in a career and home runs in a season.
Incaviglia's rookie season came in 1986. Drafted by the Montreal Expos, he refused to play a day in the minor leagues. He was traded to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Bob Sebra and Jim Anderson. The Rangers would grant the request and make him the 15th player in Major League history to debut in the majors without ever playing minor league ball since the amateur draft began in 1965. He had the tenth most home runs in the league (30) and set a Rangers club record, but also struck out the most times in 1986, and currently holds eighth place on the single-season strikeout record. His rookie season set a standard that he would be unable to match the rest of his career. In 1987, his home run output decreased by three, but his batting average climbed 21 points, he had a better slugging percentage, and he cut down his strikeouts by 17.
Incaviglia hit at least 20 home runs in his first five seasons, all with Texas. His playing time and production dropped thereafter in single seasons with Detroit and Houston, but his career received a boost when he was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies before the 1993 season. He and fellow outfielder Jim Eisenreich were key acquisitions for the team that would go on to win the division and reach the World Series (one year after finishing in last place). In just 368 at-bats, Incaviglia hit 24 home runs and drove in a career-best 89 runs. He also posted career highs in OPS (.848) and WAR (2.9).
As a result of the Expos trading Incaviglia immediately after signing him, Major League Baseball instituted a rule whereby a team cannot trade a drafted player until he has been under contract to the club for at least one year. This was known as the Pete Incaviglia Rule. The rule was changed during the 2015 season, allowing teams to trade drafted players the day after the World Series concludes.
Incaviglia was announced as the first manager of the Grand Prairie AirHogs on October 24, 2007. The AirHogs began play in May 2008 in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball and reached the Southern Division playoffs in his first season as their manager. After five seasons as manager of the Laredo Lemurs--even winning the 2015 American Association championship--he returned to the AirHogs as hitting coach after the Lemurs shut down operations prior to the 2017 season.