The Oakland Athletics’ prospect pool is full of talent – especially when it comes to pitching. One of those talented pitchers ia Raul Alcantara. Alcantara, who was drafted in 2009 by the Boston Red Sox, was acquired by the Athletics in the 2011 trade that sent Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney to Boston.
Alcantara was developing well through the Minor Leagues and reached Double-A by the start of the 2014 season. However, he unfortunately suffered a major set back by having to undergo Tommy John surgery after just three starts with the A’s Double-A team, the Midland RockHounds. Prior to this surgery, he was on the fast track to becoming a Major League starting pitcher and even earned the distinction of Texas League Pitcher of the Week in April 2014.
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The 2015 season was the Alcantara’s first time back since undergoing Tommy John surgery. He returned to the mound in June and pitched for the rest of the Minor League season with Oakland’s High-A team in Stockton. Alcantara started 15 games, but ended the year with a 0-2 record. He earned a 3.88 ERA and only walked eight batters in 48.2 innings.
This year was not his best, but it was definitely not his worst. It must be noted that Alcantara did not pitch more than four innings in any of his outings this season. Additionally, his first few starts were detrimental to his ERA for he gave up 13 hits and six home runs over eight innings pitched. Next year will hopefully give a more accurate overview of Alcantara’s success as a pitcher.
Alcantara has a quality fastball, but is still developing his secondary pitches. He has a slider, but it is inconsistent. If he does want to be a true MLB starter, he needs to develop his pitching repertoire in order to successfully strike out big league bats. However, Alcantara is only 22 years old and is not expected to reach the MLB until 2017. He has time to develop his pitchers and should be adequately prepared to pitch in the Majors when he eventually gets the call.