It only seems fair that the struggling Palm Beach Cardinals received prospect pitcher Sandy Alcantara from the Peoria Chiefs on Saturday. In a season during which St. Louis’ high-A affiliate has found wins hard to come by, the Beach Birds had lost star left-handed starter Austin Gomber to Double-A Springfield on Friday and this time, odds are that he won’t be back.
Alcantara will slide into the Palm Beach rotation, with his first start on Sunday afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium against the Tampa Yankees. It will not be the 20-year-old’s first time pitching in the big stadium, though. In fact, I took the above photo of him there during Instructional League last fall.
Standing a tall 6-foot-4 but weighing just 192 pounds, the right-hander features a fastball that can hit triple-digits plus a change-up and curve.
The Cardinal Nation’s 16th-ranked prospect logged a 5-7 record with a 4.08 ERA over 17 starts with Peoria. Alcantara struck out 119 and walked 45 in 90 1/3 innings while holding MWL hitters to a collective .228 batting average. His strikeout total leads the Midwest League and the entire Cardinals system.
Alcantara was a July 2nd signee in 2013 and pitched in the Dominican Summer League in 2014 and Gulf Coast League in 2015 before making the big jump to the Midwest League to start the 2016 campaign.
Alcantara is the second member of the season-opening Peoria rotation to have jumped from the GCL last year to reach Palm Beach in 2016. Fellow prospect Junior Fernandez was promoted on July 5, but after two rough FSL starts, the 19-year-old was moved to the bullpen.
At this point, Peoria has not received a replacement for Alcantara and Palm Beach was already down one player so did not need to make a roster move to accommodate his addition.
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