One of our voters (*cough* Publisher *cough*) had this young man in their top ten voting on their ballot. Dominican, Alfonso Alcantara, is a starting pitcher who throws some serious heat. American baseball was harsh to him in his first season, but he showed that he has outstanding potential and could be a Major League threat in the future.
"Alcantara has everything you want in a young pitcher. A fastball that is fast with a lot of movement, a slider with a big break, and a developing changeup that could turn in to something special."
The scout that was quoted above told us about Alcantara's fastball as his best pitch. It sits in the mid to high 90's, anywhere from 94-97, and touches 98-99 on occasions. It has good movement with a slight two-seam notion, breaking away from left-handed batters and in on right-handed batters. It fools batters, which is outstanding.
Alcantara throws his slider from the same standard arm slot as his fastball. Alcantara's slider has a good sweeping motion, and late dropping movement, but has movement that is noticeable out of the hand. The good thing is Alcantara can throw it in any count and batters see it and still don't know what to do with it.
Alcantara has a changeup that needs work. It has promise but right now is only a "something different" pitch from Alcantara.
As for his mechanics, they're better than most. Alcantara has a 3/4 delivery and throws all three pitches from the same arm slot which makes him very deceptive. He has a over the head start in to a high kick and long follow through. He rarely drops his arm slot and hardly ever shows signs of wariness, even in the late innings.
He needs to work on his command and control, which is standard for any young pitcher. With time, he'll learn to place his pitches better and could hurl back and put a little more "oomf" on his pitches. With that, and body growth, he has potential to throw in the high 90's, possibly touching triple digits at a later point in his career.
Alcantara tore the Dominican League apart in 2012. Keeping batters to a .199 batting average, and posting a 2.13 earned run average were with the league leaders in the Dominican Summer League. Alcantara also had a 10 strikeout performance at the midway point of the season, and in his third to last start, went six innings of no run ball, including five scoreless innings while striking out eight.
Alcantara's first stint in America and Rookie Ball wasn't necessarily outstanding. A 7.47 earned run average and 1.83 WHIP weren't something to boast about, but Alcantara showed promise as the season started winding down. He was removed from the rotation for his last six appearances, but had a five inning start where he allowed just one hit while striking out five.
EXPECTED OF THE FUTURE:
After a weak 2013, it's almost certain that Alcantara will return to Rookie Ball and Orem in 2014. He may not be the ace of the rotation but the Angels would like to keep Alcantara as a starter. He should learn to work counts to his liking, and could become a late season callup to Low-A near the end of the season.
Alcantara is a young pitching project for the Angels, so his future with the Angels is hard to say. His estimated time of arrival for the Major Leagues is set for late 2018, or possibly out of Spring Training in 2019. However, the Angels do like the young man, and see him as a future Major League talent, and possible four-slot starter.
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