We all know that JT Realmuto is the best catcher in the game, and while playing in Philadelphia with an improvement in the ballpark and supporting cast that’s not about to change. When it comes to Jorge Alfaro that could be a different story, despite moving to a less favorable locale, because he appears primed to get more of an opportunity.
The Marlins are rebuilding and they are going to be looking to develop their young players, with Alfaro clearly looking like the catcher of the future (and the present). Then you have the fact that the only other catcher on the 40-man roster is Chad Wallach, so the team should give Alfaro the lion’s share of the at bats. That alone is going to give him an advantage over some others, but how much will he be able to deliver on it?
While opportunity is a great thing, just how much will he be able to produce? In 344 AB in the Majors last season Alfaro hit .262 with 10 HR, though there are obvious questions. Just look at his abysmal approach:
- 23.4% SwStr%
- 46.7% O-Swing%
That combination led to a 36.6% strikeout rate, and while we’d love to think that there was potential growth looking at his Whiff% by pitch type doesn’t support it:
- Hard – 21.78%
- Breaking Balls – 32.17%
- Offspeed – 27.34%
If he’s swinging and missing at fastballs that often can we really expect a significant change on the horizon? Last year’s average was obviously skewed by his .406 BABIP, something that he won’t replicate, and as that goes the average will plummet.
There’s going to be some power, which he showed with a 16.7% HR/FB, though is 14-17 HR enough when it comes courtesy of a .240ish average? How about if it comes with little upside in R/RBI thanks to a relatively weak lineup around him?
He’s your prototypical all power and little else catcher, and that doesn’t give him much separation from the pack. He’s a fallback option thanks to the additional at bats, but not a player to target.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball, MLB.com