No. 9: C Jorge Alfaro
I feel really bad having Jorge Alfaro this low on the list, but with several other prospects jumping off the page this season and with Alfaro not posting any standout numbers, he has fallen down the list.
Alfaro actually started off the season well, shining in the World Baseball Classic. He hit a game-tying home run against the Domincan Republic and showcased his rocket arm catching Freddie Freeman stealing. However, Colombia didn’t advance beyond the first group, so Alfaro only got to play in three games.
April was a great month for Alfaro as he posted a .333/.368/.528 slash line and hit three home runs in 18 games. Since then, he has struggled with a .583 OPS and 32.5 percent strikeout rate.
Alfaro’s strikeout rate has worsened this year as he has struck out 30.7 percent of the time this year. It’s probably always going to be bad, but the hope is that it won’t be this bad in the future.
Alfaro’s defense is another key part of his development and one of the main reasons he is still in the minors this season. Tom Housenick of the Morning Call wrote earlier during the season that Alfaro’s game behind the plate is progressing, slowly but surely.
This is Alfaro’s last year as a prospect as he is out of years he can be optioned back to the minors without being exposed to waivers. That means he will be in the majors next year one way or another, and how well he fares will depend on his progress this season.
Alfaro’s floor is a strong defensive catcher with raw power that he can tap into at times, but if he can improve his hit tool as he gets used to the major-leagues, he can be an above-average regular or even more.