Waiver Wire Considerations: The Marlins Are Set To Recall Two Starters (Alcantara), But Will They Excel?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Miami Marlins are set to look towards their future, with talk of two pitching prospects being summoned over the next two days.  What type of outlook do they hold?  Could they provide instant value for fantasy owners?  Let’s take a look:


Sandy Alcantara – Right-Handed Pitcher
2018 Statistics (Triple-A) – 85.0 IP, 3.71 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 6.78 K/9, 3.60 BB/9

Acquired as part of the Marcell Ozuna trade, Alcantara made eight relief appearances for the Cardinals a year ago and has struggled to post impressive numbers as he’s risen through the minors.  The owner of a career 8.5 K/9, it’s been trending in the wrong direction as he’s advanced:

  • Double-A (125.1 IP) – 7.6 K/9
  • Triple-A (85.0 IP) – 6.8 K/9

He has posted a 10.4% SwStr% at Triple-A this season, though it’s not a big enough mark to get us excited.  That’s especially true when paired with consistent walk issues (3.6 BB/9 in ’18, 3.7 over his minor league career) and a modest 50.8% groundball rate (which helps explain his 2.16 HR/9 during his brief time in the Majors).

We ranked him as the team’s ninth best prospect heading into the season (“C+” grade) citing the potential for him to be a better fit as a reliever long-term.  That would allow his stuff to play up even better, something that MLB.com noted in their preseason scouting report:

Alcantara’s control and command both leave much to be desired, but as he keeps adding velocity, he’s still learning to harness his stuff. While pinpoint command won’t be ever be necessary given his dynamic repertoire, he’ll need to pitch down in the zone consistently to be effective as a starter. At the least, Alcantara has the weapons to become a dominant closer at the highest level.

Time will tell, but he’s not a pitcher to flock to the waiver wire to grab.


Pablo Lopez – Right-Handed Pitcher
2018 Statistics (Double-A/Triple-A) – 62.1 IP, 1.44 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 9.53 K/9, 1.73 BB/9

Lopez has split his time this season, though he was far more impressive at Double-A:

  • Double-A (43.2 IP) – 0.62 ERA, 10.51 K/9, 1.65 BB/9
  • Triple-A (18.2 IP) – 3.38 ERA, 7.23 K/9, 1.93 BB/9

He’s always demonstrated pinpoint control, with a career 1.3 BB/9.  The question is whether or not the spike in strikeouts he showed at Double-A is for real considering his 7.0 career K/9.  He owns an overall 12.0% SwStr% this season, though it’s dipped to 9.9% in his brief time at Triple-A and the total mark is right in line with his career mark.  Throw in this preseason scouting report courtesy of MLB.com and we get a clearer picture:

Lopez lacks a plus offering but has proven effective with an average three-pitch mix for which he shows excellent feel as well as present command. His fastball sits in the low 90s with good sinking action that generates a plethora of weak ground balls. He keeps hitters off balance by effectively mixing his heater with a slider and a changeup, both of which receives average grades from evaluators.

His control is going to allow him to post a strong WHIP and his 0.98 GO/AO this season (42.3% groundball rate) is going to bring home run issues.  Throw in having benefited from a .242 BABIP and 87.7% strand rate and it’s tough to sell him as making an impact in his first taste of the Majors.

Sources – MLB.com, MILB.com, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference

Missed our Top 100 prospect rankings?  Make sure to check it out by clicking here.  Also don’t miss all of our 2018 Preseason Positional Prospect Lists:

First Base1-10
Second Base1-10
Third Base1-10

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