The Detroit Tigers have a lot of prospects approaching big league ready. This is a series about those prospects, and when we think they will debut.
Detroit Tigers fans know that rebuilding isn’t easy. This team is not very good right now, and it may be a few years until they are back challenging for the playoffs and the World Series.
However, the most exciting part about rebuilding teams is getting to see prospects make their big league debuts, and watching them (hopefully) grow into star players.
The Tigers have a lot of high-profile prospects, although most of them (Matt Manning, Casey Mize, Isaac Paredes) are a few years away from reaching the big leagues. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be some fun prospect debuts in 2019 though.
We here at Motor City Bengals are going to evaluate prospects who are on the verge of reaching the big leagues. We will take a look at how they performed in 2018, when we think they’ll reach the show, and of course how we think they’ll help the club.
Last week we took a look at promising young outfielder Jacob Robson, right-hander Beau Burrows and reliever Zac Houston. Today, we are going to look at an elite fielding infielder in Sergio Alcantara.
Alcantara came over to the Tigers as one of three prospects they acquired in the J.D. Martinez trade. He is a light-hitting, elite fielding middle infielder and probably Detroit’s most pure shortstop prospect.
He spent all of 2018 at Double-A Erie, slashing a respectable .272/.335/.333 with an 8.5% walk rate and a 19.1% strikeout rate. His contact numbers are solid, and he has shown the ability to swipe bases, but he has virtually no power to speak of. He only hit one home run last year, and his career-high is just three.
For Alcantara to reach his potential as a starting shortstop, he’ll need to develop more pop in his bat. At five-foot-nine and 168 pounds, he may not have much more growing to do.
I see Alcantara as a slightly better version of Dixon Machado, someone who can play around the infield but who best fits at shortstop. Ideally Alcantara can play short long-term, like Jose Iglesias, but he’ll need to show more with the stick.
With just 120 games at Double-A, and none above that, Alcantara probably needs another year in the minors before he reaches a big league. Unless he takes a big step forward offensively, don’t be surprised to see Alcantara spend another year on the farm.