Oakland A’s: Raul Alcantara could be close to MLB return

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JULY 03: Pitcher Alcantara Raul #43 of Doosan Bears throws in the top of the first inning during the KBO League game between Hanwha Eagles and Doosan Bears at Jamsil Stadium on July 03, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JULY 03: Pitcher Alcantara Raul #43 of Doosan Bears throws in the top of the first inning during the KBO League game between Hanwha Eagles and Doosan Bears at Jamsil Stadium on July 03, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images) /
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Raul Alcantara may not have had success as a member of the Oakland A’s, but his performance in the KBO could lead to another chance.

Once upon a time, Raul Alcantara was a solid prospect for the Oakland A’s. He was part of the package that sent Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney to Boston, coming back to Oakland along with Josh Reddick and minor leaguer Miles Head. Alcantara would make his A’s debut in 2016, a 23 year old who had the potential to be a piece of their future rotation.

Instead, he struggled during his time in the majors. He made just 13 appearances spanning 46.1 innings, posting a 7.19 ERA and a 1.489 WHiP, striking out 26 batters with 16 walks. Alcantara also allowed 14 homers as he failed to become a part of the A’s future.

After becoming a minor league free agent, he signed in the Korean Baseball Organization. His 2019 season was relatively pedestrian, but he managed to earn another deal, this time with the Doosan Bears.

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That deal proved to be exactly what Alcantara needed. He emerged as one of the best pitchers in the KBO, posting an 18-2 record, along with a 2.68 ERA and a 1.056 WHiP. He struck out 172 batters with just 27 walks in his 184.2 innings, showing the type of command that made him an intriguing arm all those years before.

That success could lead to another major league opportunity. The likes of Merrill Kelly and Josh Lindblom earned another chance in the majors after finding success in Korea, with Alcantara potentially being the next in line. He would be just 28 years old at the start of the 2021 season, allowing a team to control him throughout his prime.

Alcantara could also find more of a market that usual this offseason. Teams are not looking to spend much in free agency after their losses in 2020 and the uncertainty of whether or not fans will be in the stands next year. Given his success, he could be an under the radar option for teams looking to land a back of the rotation arm with upside.

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Raul Alcantara did not fare well during his brief time in the majors with the Oakland A’s. However, after a strong showing in the KBO, he may be ready for another chance.

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