A Closer Look: Raul Alcantara


Over the next couple of days Swingin’ A’s will take a closer look at some of the prospects the Athletics scored in the Trevor CahillGio Gonzalez, and Andrew Bailey trades. We continue our overview with right-handed pitcher Raul Alcantara

The A’s love pitching. They really do. Just take a look at some of their trades recently. They’ve traded pitchers only to acquire more pitchers. 

Brad Peacock, Tom Milone, A.J. Cole, Jarrod Parker, and Raul Alcantara are just a few of the pitchers you might see on the mound come 2015 or whenever this “rebuild” is officially completed. For the sake of this post, though, I’ll just take a look at Alcantara, who was acquired in the trade that sent Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney to the Red Sox.

While the Bailey trade wasn’t quite as rewarding as the Gio Gonzalez trade, it was still a valiant attempt by Beane to improve his club’s minor league system. With Alcantara, the A’s have a young right-hander with a decent ceiling and potential to be a solid No.3 starter.

At only 19 years old, though, Alcantara’s road to the big leagues is still a lengthy one to travel. The 6’3” righty has a low 90’s fastball that occasionally tops out around 95 mph, but there is some concern about his stamina. A closer look, like the one featured on SoxProspects.com, shows that Alcantara’s velocity doesn’t always hold up in the later innings.

Still, at just 19, Alcantara has enough room to grow physically. He’s still building arm-strength and stamina.

In addition to his fastball, which he tends to leave in the middle of the zone, Alcantara features a slider and a change-up. The slider isn’t quite polished enough to be an effective pitch, but he does seem to have a feel for it. Further refinement, though, could help Alcantara develop the pitch into an effective power-slider. It tends to clock in at 83 mph.

Alcantara’s change-up, meanwhile, comes in at 84-86 mph. It’s also a pitch Alcantara can further develop and refine. Alcantara will also need to work on his control overall, as the young righty could benefit from great control of his fastball, slider, and change-up. The slider, in particular, has the potential to miss a lot of bats if Alcantara continues to work on it.

In 2010, Alcantara posted a 5-3 record with a 3.28 ERA in 13 starts in the Dominican Summer League (DSL). Last year, Alcantara posted a 1-4 record with a 2.20 ERA, 1.7 BB/9, and a 6.9 K/9 in 13 starts while splitting time between the Gulf Coast League (GCL) and Boston’s Single-A affiliate. He also posted a 2.86 FIP in ’10, and a 2.80 FIP with Single-A Lowell last year.

Overall, Alcantara has a lot of growing up to do before he finds himself on a big league mound. He’s got the tools to be a No.3 starter for the A’s in a few years, but he’ll need to improve on a few things first. Building his arm strength, stamina, and working on his control are just a few things Alcantara will need to focus on before he can join the A’s.

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