Sandy Alcántara signed with the St. Louis Cardinals during the 2013-2014 international free agency period and was regarded as a pitching prospect who had a massive amount of upside.
The right-hander reached the major leagues with the organization in 2017, but was then traded to the Miami Marlins this past offseason. The deal—centered around Marcell Ozuna—also brought three other prospects to Miami (OF Magneuris Sierra, RHP Zac Gallen, RHP Daniel Castano).
Alcántara currently stands at 6-foot-4 while weighing 170 pounds. He just turned 22 this past September. According to MLB Pipeline, he currently ranks as Miami’s No. 2 prospect as we progress through the youthful 2018 season.
When admiring the right-hander’s assets, his fastball is the tool that sticks out the most. Since being signed, his velocity has increased by a few miles per hour. He often hits triple digits while sitting around the 97-99 mph range with his heater. Alcántara’s tall and skinny frame gives him leverage to throw that fastball as hard as he does, but also the movement he puts on it makes the pitch almost unhittable when located in the right spot.
The 22-year old also has two breaking balls, a curveball and a slider. They are considered to be average pitches at best. His slider is the stronger offering with wipeout potential, but he is not all that consistent with it.
The right-hander also throws a changeup, an above-average pitch that he can use in his tool belt. But that also lacks consistency compared to his electric fastball.
You can see most of Alcántara’s repertoire on display in this matchup with Jacob Nottingham (Colorado Springs) from April 12:
As Alcántara progresses through the system, the hope is that he can develop one or more of these secondary pitches.
The main reason that the flame-thrower hasn’t been able to have great success overall is due to his lack of control. That could eventually force him to transition to the bullpen at the next level, where he could be an uncomfortable at-bat in high-leverage situations.
It will certainly be interesting to see where Alcántara ends up as he progresses through his career. When called up by the Cardinals last season, he was used coming out of the bullpen. Since being traded, however, Alcántara has been used solely as a Triple-A starter where he is winless so far in five starts with a 3.81 ERA.
The hope is to have the right-hander as a big league mainstay by 2019, but we are just going to have to wait and see.
In a Marlins system that has numerous intriguing prospects, Sandy Alcántara sticks out as being one that could make an impact either in the Marlins rotation or bullpen sooner than you may think.