ALFARO IN THE PHILLIES SYSTEM
A TASTE OF THE BIG LEAGUES
ALFARO MLB SCOUTING REPORT
The MLB scouting report on him reads as follows:
ALFARO BASEBALL PROSPECTUS SCOUTING REPORT
In early November, Baseball Prospectus released the Top Phillies Prospects for 2017. They had Alfaro at #2 on their list, behind only Crawford. Their “good” and “bad” report on him reads as follows:
Jason Parks (R.I.P.) on Arizona backfields shortly after he signed. His overall hitting ability plays well given the position, and he’s specifically improved his ability to hit the ball to all fields. He’s unusually athletic for a catcher, and possesses average-to-above speed. Notice that there’s no caveat there, because he runs well in general, not just for a catcher.His throwing arm is as good as anyone in the game. His raw power is legendary, going back to whispers from
Alfaro’s elite raw power hasn’t yet translated well into game power. While that can come late, especially for catchers, his power output in Reading was dwarfed by lesser prospects like and . His defensive game has improved greatly since Philadelphia acquired him, but he’s not yet either, and it’s still a little up in the air if he ultimately lands at a new position.”
THE FUTURE FOR ALFARO
After the MLB season ended, Alfaro headed down south to play in the Venezuelan Winter League. In 57 at-bats with Tiburones de La Guaira he is hitting .263 with a pair of homers, five doubles, 10 runs scored and 10 RBI.
Putting Alfaro into the #1 overall Phillies prospect slot ahead of Crawford is a nod from me that I believe he can stick in that premium position behind the plate.
However, Alfaro has enough athletic ability, power potential, and a strong enough arm to play right field. He also could develop enough of a bat to profile as a first baseman.
Looking back through Phillies recent history at the better catchers who have been regulars with the club, the likelihood is that we won’t see Alfaro become the starting catcher for a while yet.
Bob Boone and Mike Lieberthal, both Phillies Wall of Famers, were 25 years old when each became a regular in 1973 and 1997 respectively. Carlos Ruiz didn’t take over as the regular catcher until he was 28 years old in 2007.
Alfaro won’t turn 24 years old until next June. I can easily see him beginning the season as the starting catcher with AAA Lehigh Valley, then receiving a promotion once again to Philly at some point during the summer.
Assuming he isn’t traded, Cameron Rupp will enter spring training as the Phillies starting catcher. Depending upon Alfaro’s defensive development, it may be the last season that Rupp holds that status.