One of our favorite sleeper prospects for 2014 has gotten the call. What can owners expect?
Jareds.Got.Moxy hasn't been shy proclaiming his love for Arismendy Alcantara over the last few months. His dream has finally come true – he's been brought up to the Cubs for his first taste of MLB action. Jared takes a closer look at what fantasy owners can expect from Alcantara moving forward. You can (and probably should) follow Jared on Twitter here:
Some may say I've talked about Arismendy Alcantara too much on Moxyball.com. I say I've given him the amount of press and coverage he deserves:
I came back again a couple weeks ago in "The Replacements Are Coming – Episode 1", reminding you that his time was coming soon.
And just a couple days ago he headlined a list of 7 prospects that were on the cusp of making it to the majors – a day before he got the call.
Let me first start off by saying this. Odds are that you already have him on your team – or someone else beat you to the punch. But – if you are in a deep league and Alcantara is not yet owned, stop reading and run to your waiver wire. Add him to your team and come back to finish reading this article.
Now that that’s taken care of, let’s talk more about what we can expect from Alcantara from here forward.
First – a look at his minor league resume.
A 5 foot 10 inch switch hitter, he had a breakout year in 2013, amassing 15 HR, 31 SB, 69 RBI, .271 AVG , .352 OBP and a .804 OPS at AA at the tender age of 21. The Cubs promoted him to AAA this year, and he’s made all the necessary adjustments to build on his 2013 campaign. Through 89 games, he holds a line of 10 HR, 41 RBI, 21 SB, .307 AVG, .353 OBP and a .890 OPS. He also has 25 doubles and 11 triples to go along with his 10 HR – so 46 of his 103 hits have gone for extra bases.
While his .307 average has been aided by a terrific BABIP (.380) he’s not likely to be a .300 hitter at the majors right away. He’ll settle in as a .270 – .280 hitter over the long run, but does have the upside to hit .300 if he continues to mature with more experience under his belt. He’s maintained his on base skills from AA to AAA (quite a nice feat) but shouldn’t be expected to hold this over to the MLB right away. This is typically a skill that needs to be built further at the major league level – facing MLB pitching is a completely different world. The extra base power is solid, and should continue to improve as he adds muscle to his frame (remember he’s only 22 years old) and the speed is for real. Alcantara has the offensive tools to make him a fantasy baseball star for years to come.
He’s played second base the majority of the time and is most likely going to slot in there once the Cubs rid themselves of Darwin Barney. The Cubs are trying to increase his versatility to make sure they can fit him, Kris Bryant, Starlin Castro, Addison Russell and Javier Baez in the lineup at the same time. We could see Alcantara move to the outfield once some of his fellow top prospect teammates make their way to Chicago as well. Regardless of where he plays, he’ll be must-start material once he’s a regular.
It seems right now that Alcantara is only going to be in Chicago for 2-3 games to cover Darwin Barney’s paternity leave. Don’t panic if he is sent down once Barney is back with Chicago – he won’t be down in AAA for long.
Note: In fact, if you don’t own him and he does get moved back to Iowa in a couple days, this would be the perfect (and likely last time) you’ll be able to trade for him while his value is relatively low.
I’m confident in saying that he’ll be a fixture in the Chicago lineup by the end of July. This leads me to sharing what I’m going to conservatively say we should see from him the rest of 2014:
Rest of season 2014 projections: 165 AB, 4 HR, 7 SB, 28 RBI, 30 Runs, .268 AVG, .310 BABIP
I projected him back in February on the conservative side. With his progression in AAA, I’m revising these projections a little bit to adjust for an improved skill set.
Way too early 2015 projections: 500 AB, 13 HR, 23 SB, 60 RBI, 70 Runs, .272 AVG, .318 BABIP
Sources: BaseballReference.com, Fangraphs.com
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