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arismendy alcantara tennesseeThe accolades have been piling up for second baseman Arismendy Alcantara this winter, and deservedly so. Coming into the year, Alcantara was pretty well known to those who regularly follow the Cubs prospect scene, but he was not a player commonly discussed. Now, fresh off claiming a place on the MLB.com Top 100 list, Alcantara is rapidly on his way to becoming a household name.

Before we break his season down, though, we have to cover the series background. The goal here is not to re-rank the prospects (that comes soon) or to assess the strengths and weaknesses of farm as a whole (that also comes soon). The goal for this series is to take each prospect individually, study the progress made so far, and see what we can learn about the future for that player.

In any other farm system, and even with the Cubs in any other year, Alcantara would be the story of the season.  With the Cubs in 2013, though, he was somewhat left out of the spotlight.  Even though he was generally overshadowed by his second half double play partner, Alcantara had a very impressive season of his own and is worth some attention as he head into spring training.

Arismendy Alcantara, 2B
Born: October 29, 1991
Acquired: The Cubs signed Alcantara as a free agent in the fall of 2008.

Season Summary

There really is not much to criticize here. If you like old school counting stats, you’ll love the 15 homers and 31 steals out of a second baseman. If you like newer analysis, you’re dreaming on that 132 wRC+. The batting average crowd should be content with a .271 in the Southern League, and the OBP fans are loving his .352. Like power? He had an ISO of .180. Like speed? Those 31 steals came in just 37 tries. A fan of defense? Let me come back to that one.

By the end of the season, Alcantara had set career highs in games played (133), walk rate (10.9%), ISO (.180), OBP (.352), SLG (.451), and steals (31), and he did all that despite having the lowest BABIP of his career (.332). His home run total for 2013 (15) was greater than his career home run total entering the season. He finished with a wOBA of .365 and a wRC+ of 132.

And he played every inning of it in Double A. The jump to Double A is supposed to be the toughest in minors, but Alcantara pretty obviously had little trouble with it.

I should note that he was also learning a new position. He began the year as the primary shortstop for the Smokies, but once Javier Baez joined the roster, Alcantara became the primary second baseman. The transition from short to second is generally seen as a fairly easy one for most players, but the fact remains that Alcantara had a career year while in the middle of that transition and while facing the toughest competition of his life.

That’s a good year. Were it not for guys named Baez and Bryant, that’s arguably an organizational Player of the Year season. It easy to see why he was recently ranked the No. 4 second base prospect in all baseball.

And to top it off, he was young for Double A. Alcantara did not turn 22 until October.

Glovework

I’ve watched Alcantara play both short and second, and to me he looks much more comfortable as a second baseman. At shortstop he seemed to rush a little more than he had to, and the result was a few too many errant throws and misplayed grounders. He still had his fair share of errors at second (13 in 64 games), but I did not see the same tendencies to play too fast. High error rates are normal for young infielders, and I think Alcantara will be no exception over the next two or three season. In time, though, I suspect he’ll emerge as a better than average second baseman.

With fellow infielders Castro and Baez ahead of him, it is entirely possible that this new position will be filled before Alcantara has a chance to claim it. If that happens the only other place that makes sense for Alcantara’s glove given the capabilities of his bat is center field. He has the speed and the arm to handle that position, but we don’t know how well he would read fly balls off the bat. It is possible that he’d be quite good in center, but for now that’s about the best we can say – that it is possible.

I suspect the outfield debate will prove nothing but an idle exercise, anyway. I think Alcantara has found his long term position at second base and that the Cubs will more than likely look to keep him there.

Prognosis

Alcantara will continue to be overshadowed by the bigger bats in the farm system, but I see this switch hitter as a potentially important part of the Cubs future success. While there are a lot of power bats coming up through the farm system, there is a lack of players with a high OBP. Doubles and home runs are great for a team to have, but they are even better when there is someone on base. Just ask the 2013 Cubs. That team was 8th in the league in team SLG, second in home runs, and third in doubles, but finished next to last in runs scored in large part because they finished next to last in team OBP.

Alcantara projects to be a solid OBP guy. Combine that tendency with his blend of power and speed and I think he could emerge as a 15 HR, 35 SB threat at the top of the Cubs lineup, with most of that damage coming from the left side of the plate against right handed pitching. He won’t be hitting those numbers in the majors in 2014, but after a year in Iowa I think he has a good chance to claim a slot atop the Cubs lineup for 2015.

Things to watch in 2014 in Iowa for Alcantara start with his defense at second. I think in time he’ll be just fine there, but it would be good to show some progress. I’ll also be looking to see if he can repeat something close to that career high 10.9% walk rate. That number is more than twice his previous career high, and that raises the possibility that it is simply an outlier and not representative of his skill set. If he can repeat that, or even post a BB% north of 8%, I’ll be a happy fan.

If all goes well, Alcantara has a chance to claim a position as part of the Cubs emerging young core. I like his chances.

  • Jon

    Show this article to Barney when he’s pining for 2.8 million…. :)

    • nate1m

      Way to steal that line

  • cubzfan

    The only other thing I’d bring up about AA is that he probably needs more time in the minors than it might seem, because he had a big platoon split. In 2013, he hit .280/.359/.478 as a LH batter and .246/.333/.377 from the right side. In earlier years, he didn’t have a platoon split to speak of. So it’s possible he is taking longer to develop the skills to handle breaking balls from lefties, which only makes sense given he would see them less. Facing tougher pitching, he looks like the stronger half of a platoon. Give him a full year or 1.5 years in AAA, and he might get up to equivalent performance from both sides of the plate.

    • Norm

      .246/.333/.377 is fine for a switch hitter from the right side when he’s so productive from the left.

      • cubzfan

        I agree it’s “fine.” My point is that he never had a platoon split before, so maybe with a little more time he can be better than fine from that side of the plate, too. He’ll be 22 starting in AAA. I don’t see the Cubs promoting him to stay if he declines any more from the right side in his first year at that level. Maybe just a September cup of coffee.

        • hansman

          And you may be seeing an artifact of sample size issues.

          I can’t easily find the platoon splits listed online but this is where you would want to see his BABIP against LHP to see if maybe he had 5-6 hits that, previously, found gaps but in AA they didn’t. It might be a difficulty adjusting to AA pitching while hitting from the right side.

          As usual, need moar data.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            minorleaguecentral.com usually has splits for most minor league players, if you can’t find it elsewhere. They are a newer site, but I haven’t caught any serious issues with their data yet.

            Alcantara had 150 PA against lefties as a right handed batter last season.

  • waittilthisyear

    i like this. too bad the only nicknames his initials beget involve drunks or batteries

    • Brocktoon

      Guess we could trade him to Philadelphia.

      • SenorGato

        At the beginning of the offseason I wanted a Biddle/Alcantara deal very badly. Still down really…

        • David

          Who’s Biddle?

          • SenorGato

            One of the best LHSP prospects in the minors.

      • Cizzle

        That’s the best line I’ve seen in a long time.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Switch hitter? Mueller will love it- another reason for Barney to give it a try as I’ve argued previously

    • TWC

      I get the sense that you’re becoming increasingly desperate for attention, what with all the other static across this board of late.

      • Diehardthefirst

        I have all I can handle – this is a nice escape – lighten up you’ll live longer

        • TWC

          I’m so light I’m high.

          • Cizzle

            Me three!

  • Cubsin

    Three things very much in Alcantara’s favor are his ability to lead off, steal bases and hit left-handed against RHP’s. All of our other top prospects hit right-handed, except Candelario (who’s behind Olt, Baez and Bryant at 3B) and Vogelbach (who’s behind Rizzo).

  • SenorGato

    By far the best second tier prospect in the system. Hell, I think hes closer to Soler than anyone will care to admit. He needs AAA time for sure but his tools and skills are very, very interesting stuff.

    Of course I think Baez would kick his ass for 2B if the Cubs let it happen. The good news is that Alcantara’s value in a trade could be impressive, if that plays out.

    • cubsnivy56

      Or we trade Castro and its Baez and Alcantara up the middle.

      • another JP

        I like the way you think cubsnivy…. thunder & lightning up the middle. A batting order of Alcantara, Almora, Baez, Bryant, Rizzo, Soler, Olt, & Castillo would rock. Olt can’t cut it, then sub Villanueva or the Candalerio.

  • Blackhawks1963

    I’m big fan of Alcantara. Would be wonderful if he could be the second coming of Delino DeShields.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    IMO having an asset that can switch hit with high OBP and potential to swipe 40 bases in a year makes it pretty certain that Alcantara will be the second baseman of the future. And I can see Almora right behind him in the 2 spot. Envision this: Alcantara on first and taking a long lead. Pitcher keeps throwing to first. With that distraction pitcher hangs one in the zone. Almora crushes it into the gap scoring Alcantara from first. And then Baez in the three spot with Bryant and Rizzo to follow. If that doesn’t get your juices flowing then nothing will. I think Barney knows his days are limited so he might as well get as much as he can before he leaves.

  • thrilho

    I’m as high on Alcantara as anyone I’ve talked to, but I think you have to mention his 22% strikeout rate.

    • hansman

      He has a career 19% K rate and a 22% K rate coupled with a 10% walk rate is pretty decent.

      • thrilho

        The walk rate is great, but you’ve got to make some separation between approach and ability to make contact. An extreme example is Adam Dunn. His walk rate is great, but his inability to make contact significantly cuts down his productivity.

        22% K rate isn’t horrible, but it’s not good. Junior Lake has a career 23.4% K rate, and people have been writing him off for years citing the strikeouts as the issue.

        One nice thing about Alcantara is that he had a good contact year in 2012, batting .302 with a 17% K rate. He also only had a 5.3% walk rate that year though. So here’s hoping the jump in K rate was due more to the change in approach vs the higher level of competition.

        • hansman

          Junior Lake also has a career 6% BB rate to go with that 23% K rate. In prospectdom, a low BB rate and a high K rate is really bad, unless you have plu-plus power. Then it’s just bad.

          The problem is, not only do you have no idea if the pitch is going to be a ball or a strike, you also have problems contacting that ball. Historically, prospects that have that profile, haven’t done well.

          If you can be like Giancarlo Stanton and supplement your power with the ability to take a walk, that helps your productivity. Sure your SLG might be depressed .025 by the increase in strikeouts, but because your OBP is .025 points higher because you can take a walk, you are suddenly just as valuable.

          • thrilho

            True that a high BB% and power improve the value of a player with contact issues. My only point was that any write up on Alcantara should bring up the Ks.

            Another example would be Kris Bryant. He walks, he’s got lots of power, has shown a high batting average so far, but that doesn’t mean the 27% K rate isn’t an issue. It could limit him to being a .260 hitter. A very valuable .260 hitter, but not as valuable as he would be as a .280 hitter.

            I love Alcantara’s profile. Patience, power, speed, switch hitter. I just think that any analysis ought to call out the above average K rate as a cause for some level of concern.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              Don’t read too much into Bryant’s K% just yet. There are some good reasons to not take that number very seriously.

              It could be accurate, but we won’t know until he gets 100 to 150 PA in 2014.

              • hansman

                Ya, like Baez last year it’s something to keep your eye on.

                Just I won’t freak out as much this year.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                  Or at least save the freak out until he’s had a chance to make his adjustments.

                  Because his ability to make adjustments and drop his K% in the middle of a Double A season was just flat out impressive.

                  • hansman

                    He must read BN and just wanted to prove me wrong.

    • nate1m

      There’s an article at SB where they calculated bust rates based only on BB% and K%. AA has a 67% bust rate. Sounds bad but really its pretty good. By any realistic expectations of prospects. They mention that Baez has a breaks the system because his bust rate is 87% but his power should trump that.

      http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2014/1/31/5346254/minor-league-prospects-career-walk-strikeouts-success

      • AndrewM

        Vogelbach is one of the least likely prospects to bust on that list. Somewhere, Keith Law is smashing things.

        • nate1m

          I think this was a first try kinda deal. Its all hitting, so Vogs should be high. Also, I don’t think there’s an adjustment for level. Still its a start

          • hansman

            It’s the same with sticking in the bigs. If you can hit, doesn’t matter how bad your defense is.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I’m not worried about Alcantara K% yet. The improvements in BB% make me suspect he’s still adjusting to a more patient approach, and that some of those Ks were on pitches that he might not take with a little more experience.

      It’s something to watch, but he’s not one I’ll be monitoring very closely (like Baez, for example).

  • jh03

    #swoon

  • David

    Perfectly said…

    While there are a lot of power bats coming up through the farm system, there is a lack of players with a high OBP. Doubles and home runs are great for a team to have, but they are even better when there is someone on base. Just ask the 2013 Cubs. That team was 8th in the league in team SLG, second in home runs, and third in doubles, but finished next to last in runs scored in large part because they finished next to last in team OBP.

    Almora and Alcantara are as important as Bryant and Baez for the above reasons.

  • JB88

    Luke, if you see Alcantara sticking at 2B, what happens between Castro, Baez, and Bryant? Bryant to RF and Baez to 3B? Considering the projected timeline for maturation to the bigs, it would seem like Alcantara would be the third prospect up amongst those three, so if you are the Cubs, you need to be planning pretty far in advance with a glut of middle infielders already.

    • SenorGato

      This organization is ready for a big trade.

      • JB88

        I think that is an outside possibility as it relates to Alcantara. The club has so many holes at its position players, if Alcantara is ready to contribute as an everyday regular, you don’t trade him.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It seems to me that this is the decision the Cubs have to make, long-term, in the first half of 2014. No, you can’t assume all four of those guys will be contributing big leaguers in 2015, but, because they are all so valuable (cost-controlled, great ceilings, etc.), you really have to put in place a plan that accommodates all four by 2015. For the most part, the infield stuff is fungible and can be changed later on – but if Bryant moves to RF, that seems like it’s gotta be a final decision for the very long-term. And if he’s not going to move, then one of the other three will have to move out of the infield or off the team.

      And, hey, what if Mike Olt is fantastic at 3B this year for some crazy reason?

      I would love to be discussing all of this in June.

      • JB88

        That’s the wildcard. If Olt is awesome, then who knows what happens. In that scenario, I think I’d still rather Olt move to LF and put Baez at 3B. I know Olt is above average at 3B, but considering Baez’s range factor and power, I think he’d be a bigger asset at 3B than Olt long-term.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Yeah. Increasingly, I think Baez is a guy that you don’t move anywhere down the defensive spectrum until you absolutely have to (by his own ability, I mean). No one else’s presence should move him anywhere.

          • another JP

            Agree 100%. Baez is a future star @ SS, Alcantara would be superb @ 2nd. Both are better than Castro at either position IMO and he’d be the odd man out by 2015. Packaging Starlin with Shark and/or other players in a trade would be a way to snag some impact pitching I would think.

        • Cheese Chad

          I think all things considered, Olt being productive is the best possible problem to have.

      • hansman

        In 2015 you could, albeit unlikely, see an all Cubs farmhand team.

        C – Castillo
        1B – Rizzo
        2B – Alcantara
        3B – Baez
        SS – Castro
        LF – Soler
        CF – Almora
        RF – Bryant

        Although, the baseball gods do owe us a couple here.

        How much bellyaching would people do over a $60M payroll with that lineup?

        • JB88

          I’d flip Soler and Bryant personally. But outside of that, I’m A-Okay with that hypothetical and awfully unlikely scenario playing out. :)

          • http://bleachernation.com woody

            I doubt you’ll ever see Bryant be flipped. He will be the face of the franchise along with Rizzo and Baez. The golden boys of Chicago! The only weakness I see in that future projected lineup is the lack of another left handed bat in the lineup. I could see a package of Soler and maybe Olt for a stud outfielder that hits from the left side.

            • JB88

              No, I meant put Bryant in LF and Soler in RF, not flipped as in flipping them via a trade.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Hahaha – I love thinking about that last question. If those guys all produced well enough to become starters in 2015, you’d have to think the lineup was really great. But I bet you’d still have folks shouting about the cheap Cubs!

          (That said, if those guys did magically all manage to come together in 2015 like that, and the Cubs didn’t spend a crap-ton bringing in the best pitching possible, I’d be mighty pissed off.)

        • Jon

          Depends, what does the rotation look like?

          • MightyBear

            CJ Edwards
            Travis Wood
            Pierce Johnson
            Kyle Hendricks
            Edwin Jackson

            • Jon

              Well, with that lineup, and a payroll of 60 million, you’re damn right I”m going to “belly ache” if that’s the rotation.

              • MightyBear

                You’ll belly ache if the win 95 games, sail through the playoffs into the World Series and win it in 5 games.

                Jon – spend some money and could have won 100 and swept the WS.

                • MightyBear

                  they

                • Jon

                  One would have to wonder, with a payroll of 60 million, where did Bailey, Scherzer, Masterson and Shields go?

                  • hansman

                    I lowballed payroll…but for $80M and that lineup, I bet you could get one of those guys.

              • aaronb

                Kaplan is reporting that we finished 2nd on all three of them in advance.

                • terencemann

                  I just hope Epstein and Hoyer can make Ricketts understand that development isn’t linear and, if the Cubs want to win some games in 2015 with Baez/Bryant/etc at the core, then they will need to add some free agents to help carry the team.

                  • hansman

                    I think Epstein and Hoyer are in on the “conspiracy”.

                  • YourResidentJag

                    It is Ricketts or it is Theo and Co? And really, in a strange way with buying up years of players in their thirties, is that a poor experiment to conduct in this newfound FA market?

        • Eternal Pessimist

          That would be pretty cool Hansman, and not too crazy at all.

        • another JP

          I wrote in a line-up with those players before seeing your post, so I don’t think it’s too far-fetched. In fact, I’d believe that lineup could out-produce our starting order for this season right now as rosters stand today.

        • BWA

          Wouldn’t this more likely be 2016? Or at least September 2015. We can dream right…

        • http://BleacherNation blewett

          Except Rizzo isn’t a Cubs farmhand….he came over from the Padres.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            He was acquired via trade for some Cubs prospects and went straight into the minors where he spent about half a season.

            That’s farmhandy enough for these purposes.

            • hansman

              farmhandy?

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                Eh. It works.

              • mjhurdle

                there is a joke in there somewhere about that and FarmersOnly.com, but i won’t make it.. ;)

                • hansman

                  It has to be your bull…

            • http://BleacherNation blewett

              Eh, okay….but he had already been up with the Padres. We traded the much more Cubs “farmhandy” Andrew Cashner for him ha ha!

              • hansman

                Considering this front office drafted him, traded him away, for him and then for him again…Rizzo would count as a hand-grenade in a game of horseshoes.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Olt is kind of the key here. If he claims third, a lot of things become very interesting. If he doesn’t, I think the Cubs can delay some decisions a few extra months.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      I’m not Luke, but I have a theory on how this is all going to play out. I think Baez comes up first and plays second base. Alcantara stays in AAA for the year. Bryant gets a cup of coffee in September. Assuming that Castro rebounds this season then he is traded during the off season. The wildcard is Olt. If he produces then we have a situation where Baez at second is blocking Alcantara. So unloading Castro’s contract for pitching prospects makes sense, so Baez can play SS. Bryant will get a shot at the 3B job, but will be in the 2015 lineup no matter what. I just can’t see Baez going to third unless Olt is a total failure and Valbuena is holding down the job.

      • J

        If Castro rebounds to his first two years – that is, an all-star shortstop – I’d be hard pressed to trade him to free up a spot for a minor leaguer who may (or may not) ever reach Castro’s level. Especially where Castro would be playing under a team-friendly contract.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          I would agree J. If Castro starts to rake again and continues to improve his defense (last year was much better by the way), Castro will be at ss in Chicago for the rest of his contract and that IF will be dominant for many years.

        • Jon

          The Marlins have a black hole at SS @ the big league level and nothing impressive in their minors. If Castro rebounds, I wonder if his friendly contract locked in for years could entice the Marlins on a Stanton trade.

        • http://bleachernation.com woody

          So if as you say Castro is an allstar again in 2014 then that leaves two possible positions for Baez short of moving him to the outfield (never happen). So with Alcantara’s speed and switch hitting ability the team can ill afford to not bring him up as a top of the order type guy. Then that just about cements third base as Baez’s future long term destination. We know then that Bryant will be playing for sure in some capacity so that seems to make Olt the odd man out. If that’s the case then the cubs need to give Olt a chance to show case his talents to build value. But the fly in the ointment is, what if Olt rakes and plays above averge defense? I could envision Alcantara coming up initialy as a utility guy giving Castro aand Baez days off in that scenario with Baez starting at 2nd base ala Robbie Cano.

  • http://bleachernation.com ramy16

    Alcantara reminds me of a younger jose Reyes! I think the Cubs found there next 20/20 guy at second base..would be nice if the pick up Emilio Bonifacio until Arismendy is ready

  • J

    ESPN has up on its site (insider) the ZiPS projections for prospects and compares them to Law’s top 100. Alcantara is discussed as the “first large disagreement”: “ZiPS sees Alcantara regularly hitting in the .260s with 15-20 home runs a year, but with hitters like Michael Young, Barry Larkin, and Robin Yount high up in his offensive comp list, there’s the possibility that he’s even better.”

    • J

      If it isn’t clear, ZiPS projects Alcantara higher, at #13 among prospects. Other Cubs feature prominently, including a 1B “looking more like Bartolo Colon”.

  • MightyBear

    Love Alcantara. I’d love to see an infield of Baez, Castro, Alcantara and Rizzo for a long time.

  • Tremendous Slouch

    It will be interesting to see who Cubs fans start clamoring for a call up first… Baez or AA. Just curious would AA have the same unspoken restrictions (i.e. delaying his arbitration clock) on him potentially delaying a deserved call up. The dominant opinion seems to be that he’ll get a full season at AAA, but I’d love to see him up getting some MLB experience in the second half sometime…

    • terencemann

      The only players they’d usually call-up without concerns abut starting their arb clock would be guys they expect to be tweeners and not to get enough service time over the next several seasons to hit super-2. Service time could be a concern for Arismendy if he’s got the chance to be the second baseman of the future so I don’t think we’ll see him anytime in the early part of the season. Even if they wanted to replace Barney, Olt would probably be the first call-up which would move Valbuena to 2nd.

  • V23

    Barney to me is your back-up middle infield guy.
    If Alcantara has a good spring, let him start and lead off. This lineup would actually be interesting to watch develop in 2014.

    Alcantara
    Castro
    Rizzo
    Lake
    Shierholtz
    Olt
    Sweeney / Ruggiano
    Castillo

  • cavemancubbie

    It just might turn out to be an interesting spring!

  • ruby2626

    Sorry but the 6th highest batting average on the team for guys with over 100 at bats plus 125 K’s doesn’t do it for me, I need to see more.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Batting average isn’t a terribly useful stat in this context. OPS generally a clearer, more well rounded picture.

  • Fastball

    I don’t see Castro going anywhere. 1st all these guys need to make to the ML level. Then they have to beat out the guy in front of them. So ya I see Barney moving to Utility Infiedler. To be honest I think Valbuena and Murphhy or at least one gets traded at midseason. I don’t think it will be Barney. Then you can play Baez at 2b. I see Olt playing 3B all this year. If he does really well I don’t see Bryant coming up until September and he won’t get playing time at 3b unless we are just god awful. Cubs can leverage a full season performance from Olt in a big trade. In order to make a big trade for a big time SP you have to give up some quality. I see Alcantara, Olt and probably Vogelbach being traded for an Ace starter like a Lee or Hammels caliber starter. There are no gaurantees. Maybe half these guys never play a game at the ML level. So I try to not think to far ahead or think Castro is going to be traded etc. I’m not sold on a .270 BA and all his other metrics are good but not making me all gaga. I will wait and see how things develop. Not making any hastey moves is probably smart. Nothing wrong with having some top notch guys waiting their turn at AAA. We aren’t there yet.

    • farmerjon

      I read your posts in a “drunk Rick Sutcliffe” voice ;-)

  • TulaneCubs

    If Olt wins the 3B job and keeps it this year, things could get very interesting towards the end of the year or early next year.

    Baez comes up and plays 2B, Olt at 3B, Bryant in RF and Alcantara in CF. Wouldn’t hurt to see if Alcantara can play CF just like they did with Lake some last year. If he shows he can play out there, you can have him start the year in CF in 2015 while Almora goes through AA/AAA. Then you’d have a guy that can potentially hit .270 with a .350 OBP, hit you 15 homers and steal 25 bases and can play 2B/SS/CF? That’s incredibly valuable. So valuable that I’d guess a player like that could fetch you a TOR starter if he starts making good on that potential right away. Or could allow you to package Almora for that TOR starter.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Prospect for prospect deals are rare, so Alcantara would have to be pretty solidly established.

      Given that the Cubs are somewhat lacking in lefty bats, though, I suspect they’d be inclined to keep Alcantara and deal one of the others.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sharingaspare mysterious4th

    I saw him during one of the first series of the year last year against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (i thought wahoo was a joke or something but it is actually a fish) and i liked what I saw from him over the series.

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