Ten things for Phillies fans to look forward to in 2018
By John Town
Jorge Alfaro taking the reins
The prospect with the highest ceiling to come back from the Rangers in the 2015 Cole Hamels trade was arguably Jorge Alfaro. Two and a half years later, he is set to take over as the starter behind the plate.
In 2017, Alfaro played 84 games in Triple-A Lehigh Valley. His offensive numbers weren’t great as he posted a .241/.291/.358 line with a 32.3 percent strikeout rate. He still wound up in the majors after Andrew Knapp went down with a wrist injury. Alfaro was the only option as the only other catcher on the 40-man roster, so to Philadelphia he went.
Once he got to the majors, Alfaro racked up plenty of hits. He hit .318 with an .874 OPS. Alfaro knocked six doubles and five home runs in 29 major-league games. It was a complete surprise considering his performance at the plate in Triple-A.
2017 was the last year Alfaro could be optioned back to the minors without having to go through waivers, so his spot on the active roster seems like a lock for 2018. Most expect him to be the starter, even if he still has some kinks in his game to work out. How Alfaro progresses will certainly be something to watch for.