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Alcantara Emerging as a Legit CF

August 11th, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

lakelandlocal / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Since making his major league debut on July 9th, Chicago Cubs’ rookie, Arismendy Alcantara has bounced back and forth between centerfield and second base but with the promotion of Javier Baez last week, Alcantara has made the permanent switch to the outfield. No one was really sure how viable of an option Alcantara would be in the outfield, seeing as how he had only played 11 games in centerfield before his call-up, but he is emerging as a legitimate centerfielder for the Cubs’ this fall.

This is not the first time the Cubs have moved an athletic infielder to the outfield, they did the same thing with, former shortstop, Junior Lake in 2013. However, Lake has been nothing but a defensive liability since his transition. Rotating between centerfield and leftfield, Lake has accumulated a defensive WAR of -1.4 over the last two seasons (134 games in the field). 2014 has been significantly worse than 2013 for Lake as he is fielding just .959 and is -8 in defensive runs saved. So, needless to say, management watched with bated breath as they moved Arismendy Alcantara to the outfield.

Alcantara has made headlines the past few weeks by making fantastic diving catches all over the outfield, but he has proven that he is actually a good all-around defender as well. In his 12 games in centerfield Alcantara is already at +1 in defensive runs saved and has accumulated a defensive war of 0.8 in 2014.

It remains to be seen how the Chicago Cubs outfield will be pieced together in the future, but if Arismendy Alcantara can reproduce the offensive success he had at AAA in the big leagues, he has shown that he is more than capable of being a major league outfielder.

Stats in this article are per Lake; Alcantara.


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