When you get into a conversation about MLB aces, you won’t probably hear Sandy Alcántara’s name among the first ones. They’ll go with Jacob deGrom, Gerrit Cole and Shane Bieber at the top, and by any measure, Alcántara is a tier below them. But he continues to close the gap with one excellent start after another.
Alcántara has become an ace and he isn’t getting the recognition he deserves. People are still missing José Fernández—can’t blame them—or waiting for top prospect Sixto Sánchez to live up the hype. Meanwhile, Alcántara is already here to be watched and enjoyed every fifth day leading the Miami Marlins rotation.
In case you don’t believe me or if you have any doubts about what I’m saying, take a look at how Alcántara has performed in his 10 most recent outings against teams with other well-known aces on the mound:
- 4/1/2021—6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K vs. RHP Tyler Glasnow (Rays)
- 9/20/2020—6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K vs. RHP Max Scherzer (Nationals)
- 9/5/2020—6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K vs. LHP Blake Snell (Rays)
- 8/30/2020—4 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K vs. LHP Blake Snell (Rays)
- 7/24/2020—6 2⁄3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K vs. RHP Aaron Nola (Phillies)
- 9/24/2019—7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K vs. RHP Noah Syndergaard (Mets)
- 8/22/2019—7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K vs. RHP Mike Soroka (Braves)
- 8/10/2019—7 2⁄3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K vs. RHP Mike Soroka (Braves)
- 7/31/2019—4 2⁄3 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 5 BB, 5 K vs. RHP José Berríos (Twins)
- 7/26/2019—6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K vs. RHP Zack Greinke (Diamondbacks)
Summing up, that’s eight quality starts, four of three or fewer hits allowed, and five of one or zero earned runs. Basically, there are just two bad outings (vs. Berrios and vs. Snell).
Just for you to have a reference about how good Alcántara has recently been, 12 of his last 14 outings have qualified as quality starts going back to September 2019. In that span, he’s 5-5 with a 2.44 ERA and 84 strikeouts over 88 2⁄3 innings pitched. That ERA ranks 13th among starting pitchers with a minimum of 30 innings in that period.
This year it hasn’t changed at all for Alcántara. Even though he’s 0-1 after his first two starts, he’s compiled 17 punchouts in 12 frames against the Rays and Cardinals. So far, he’s surrendered only six hits and two earned runs.
Keep it up, Sandy!!!
Is Sandy Alcántara in your top 5 of MLB aces?
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No, not yet (How close is he? Tell us in the comments)