Arismendy Alcantara has now spent a full two weeks with the Chicago Cubs at the major league level (14 games), so lets take a look at how the 22 year old has done thus far. With the Iowa Cubs (AAA) Alcantara was a Swiss army knife of production, putting up good numbers in all facets of the game.
(stats per baseball-reference.com)
To this point Alcantara has done a nice job at reproducing the success he had at AAA in every area except for his batting average (which was somewhat expected). PETCOTA Projections predicts that Alcantara will finish the season with a slash line of .249/.290/.407 with six home runs and ten steals in 70 games. Those numbers probably seem a little lower than most fans would like but they are largely based on what Alcantara has done in the last few games; struggle. Arismendy Alcantara as encountered his first slump at the major league level, hitting just .166 in his last nine games. The biggest factor in determining how long it takes him to right the ship will be his mental toughness and maturity. Slumps are part of baseball and some young players press and stress themselves out and end up flaming out while others take the time to diagnose the problem and correct it. Hopefully, with Darwin Barney officially out of the picture, Alcantara will realize that there is no reason to press because the job is his, and only his. Look for Alcantara to have a bounce back game tonight against Colorado Rockies rookie Yohan Flande.
Let’s also take a look at Alcantara’s defense. With all the talk about his offensive tools it has been easy to lose track of Alcantara’s defensive skill. In his 14 games he has made eight starts at second base and six starts out in centerfield. The sample size for his outfield play has been too small to judge but in 35 chances at second base he has made just one error; good for a .971 fielding percentage.
On the off chance that you are unimpressed with Alcantara’s output, it is important to note that he has become “interchangeable” with Emilio Bonifacio, rotating between centerfield and second base as well as providing speed from both sides of the plate at the top of the order. Alcantara’s presence makes trading away Emilio Bonifacio more probable and more weatherable.
Brace yourself for a potential fire sale of expendable parts between now and Thursday, but after the dust has settled and the Cubs’ roster is solidified, it will be interesting to see what kind of success Alcantara and the Cubs have.
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Tags: Arismendy Alcantara, Baseball, Chicago, Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Cubs, Darwin Barney, Emilio Bonifacio, MLB, PETCOTA, Yohan Flande