Prospect Countdown #7 : Victor Alcantara

Top 100 Los Angeles Angels' Prospects Countdown, #7 : Right-Handed Pitcher, Victor Alcantara (photo : Jerry Espinoza)

Victor Alcantara, Right-Handed Pitcher

HT : 6'2
WT : 190
DOB : April 3, 1993 (23), Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : N/A
Acquired : Signed as International Free Agent, June 10, 2011
Last Year's Ranking : #12


There is no power arm in the Los Angeles Angels' pipeline quite like Victor Alcantara. Mixing an overpowering slider and mid to high 90's fastball, the stuff is about as real as it gets. Now, Alcantara is learning to refine it all, and turn himself into the top pitching prospect in the system, while at the upper levels of the minors.


SCOUTING REPORT:

There is no pure stuff that plays up with power like the arsenal Alcantara possesses, and it all begins with his fastball. Flirting with triple digits at times, his fastball sits primarily in the mid 90's from 94-96, jumping upwards of 97-99 at times, and touching 100 on rare occasions. It comes with heavy sink and is thrown on a downhill plane, making it a deadly weapon. If he moves to the bullpen, Alcantara could be a regular in the upper 90's with a near bowling ball movement.

Though he lost feel for it when reaching the states, Alcantara also has a true power slider. It has plenty of velocity, ranging from 88-91, being upwards of 93 at rare times. Many have confused it with a cutter, due to it's velocity, fastball plane and late break. It has a good shape to it even with it's plane, and is a true swing-and-miss offering. As he begins to explore his new grip, and throws it for strikes, it could be his best pitch, outshining his fastball.

Alcantara possesses a changeup, but rarely goes to it aside from left-handed hitters. It shows plenty of promise, held from a two-seam grip, showing plenty of sink and arm-side run. As he does with his other offerings, Alcantara overthrows this pitch, taking away it's full impact. It does range around 10 MPH slower than his fastball with a similar movement.

Even with such a strong arsenal, Alcantara has troubles mechanically, which take away both his command and control. He's fluid up to the point he delivers the ball. As his arm comes around, his body tends to get ahead of his arm, leaving his arm in a harsh, jerking motion, as his arm comes around.

With the struggles to find a repetitive delivery comes trouble with release point which takes away his command, which leads to control problems, or worse - leaving the ball over the plate. As he gains innings in the minors as a starter, he'll have time to correct this and find balance in his delivery, but it's unlikely he'll ever have strong abilities to command his pitches consistently.

One thing in Alcantara's delivery that does not bring up concerns is his ability to hide the ball. As he throws, he keeps the ball behind his head, and jerks it towards the plate, making him very deceptive. With his arsenal, he'll have success in the minors, but may need to see time in the bullpen to excel at the upper levels.

VIDEO : Minor League Baseball

Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for Scout.com


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Alcantara's professional debut was nothing short of astonishing, as he finished the year with a 2.12 ERA and 9.6 strikeouts per nine, but saw his WHIP rise to 1.264 due to five walks per nine. Bats were held to a .199 average and .539 OPS over the year. In his final six starts, Alcantara held a 0.76 ERA and struck out 40 in 35.1 innings.

In his first year stateside, Alcantara saw an entirely new statistical finale, posting a 7.47 ERA and 1.831 WHIP, while allowing over 11 hits per nine. He did find a stretch in the early stages of the season where he allowed three runs or less in six of seven starts.

The second year stateside for Alcantara was much better, as he saw a 3.81 ERA and 1.261 WHIP, while keeping bats to a quiet .219 average. In his first 16 outings, all starts, opposing hitters hit just .189 off Alcantara, while having a .584 OPS. In his final 12 starts, only three outings saw three or more runs scored.

This past season was an up-and-down year for Alcantara, as he posted a 5.62 ERA and 1.544 WHIP, but saw his walk rates drop by nearly one per nine. Out of his 27 starts last year, 12 went for two runs or less allowed, and 10 saw five or more runs cross the plate, including six-in-a-row near season's end.

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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Alcantara is beginning this season in Double-A Arkansas, where he'll remain a piece of the rotation. It's likely this is the season where the ultimate decision is made on if his future in the rotation or in the bullpen. Mix in top-tier hitters and a pitcher friendly park, and confidence and success could become the point breaker for Alcantara.

The future for Alcantara is based on the decision made in regards to what his role will be. He has the kind of stuff to be an ace in the future, but command will be the largest problem in that. If he's a reliever, he could work his way into a late inning role, as an eighth inning reliever or even closing role.



For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout. Keep up with our countdown on Twitter with the hashtag, #LAATop100Prospects.

This article was published by Taylor Blake Ward, who serves as a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.



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