Yankees Top 30 Prospects for 2020: Kevin Alcantara (OF, #12)
Today we continue our Yankees Top-30 Prospects Countdown for the 2020 season with OF Kevin Alcantara.
Drafted in one of the Yankees best most recent IFA classes with locking up top talent (4 of the Top-15 players), Kevin Alcantara has so far been the best of the bunch. Making his professional debut in 2019 in the DSL, the outfielder quickly moved on to became the only minor league in any US-based league at 16-years-old that season. Signed as a potential Center Fielder, it is up-in-the-air where he’ll fit best in the outfield, but regardless of his position his bat should still play well as he already produces great exit velocity around an imperfect swing. Alcantara has an incredibly high ceiling and low floor, so expect lots of movement of him in the future of prospect rankings, but he is a good player to dream on given his grand potential.
(Screenshot From 2080 Prospects Video, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOhuc3bYYgU)
Kevin Alcantara, OF (#12):
Age/Date of Birth: 17 Years Old (07/12/2002)
2019 Team(s): Gulf Coast Yankees East (Rookie League)
2019 MiLB Statistics: .260/.305/.360 (0.665 OPS), 1 HR, 19 RBIs, 8 Walks, 36 Strikeouts (32 Games, 123 At-Bats)
Height/Weight: 6’0”/191 Pounds
Acquired: Signed by the New York Yankees during the 2018 IFA Class
MLB ETA: 2023
Kevin Alcantara Scouting Grades (20-80 Scale):
What to Know:
The 2018 International Free Agent class for the New York Yankees may be one of their best ever, considering how many top talents they acquired and how those players have been doing two years out. We’ve already touched on players like Alexander Vargas (#20) and Antonio Gomez (#22), and ranked between those two as an international talent comes Outfielder Kevin Alcantara. Coming out of the Dominican Republic, on his 16th birthday he agreed to sign with the New York Yankees at a $1,000,000 signing bonus. Like yesterday’s prospect in Everson Periera, Kevin Alcantara is another player whose talent at signing pointed towards a future in Center Field, with a very highly regarded Run tool at 70 (out of an 80 scale).
Some prospects are immediately rated as top talents in farm systems, as Everson Pereira did in 2017, but Alcantara was ranked low enough and had enough competition which kept him from cracking the list after signing. As Alcantara spent 2018 getting prepared for a professional debut in 2019, going through the traditional routes of camps, training, and coaching he did not make any appearances in his signing season. In 2019 however, Alcantara made himself into a notable prospect.
Starting the season in the Dominican Summer League at 16-years-old, Alcantara stayed there for only 9 games and just under a month of time. He only hit to a .716 OPS, but even so earned himself a promotion to make his American professional ball debut, still only 16-years-old, and being the only player in any minor league to do so in 2019. At these levels of Rookie ball, it is much more about trying to find the balance of ability to be challenged but still be able to work on fixing tools, but even so it was clear that Alcantara had great promise. This helped bump him from unranked to #17 in the Yankees farm system, even around more slightly below average numbers with an OPS of .647.
Overall, Kevin Alcantara is the first prospect to grade out overall as average (50) and has the ceiling to make him a great player to wish upon. Given his young age, strength and refinements are going to be necessary in achieving some of the lofty goals that scouts believe he can reach. Even so, Alcantara already shows signs of possessing great hitting tools with his bat speed and produces top of the line exit velocities, pointing to a great ability of making consistent good contact. On defense, it is unclear whether or not he’ll be able to hold onto his run tool (which has already dropped from 70 to 60) as he looks more prone to become a corner outfielder, yet should continue to be a filler option in Center Field (a la Mike Tauchman), of which either position would be fine because of his great arm.
What Will the Future Hold?
As he continues to work and fix mistakes in his swing and overall game, Alcantara could see very quick movements up the minor leagues. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him start 2020 in the Appalachian League with the Pulaski Yankees, nor would an end-of-the-year move up to the New York-Penn League and the Staten Island Yankees. Truly, it depends on how receptive Alcantara is to making change and how quick he can be to implement those changes and improve his game. With an ETA of 2023 however, he does have plenty of time to make his way through the system while staying “on-track”.
As a prospect, Kevin Alcantara is one player who could make extreme jumps up and down as evaluators have to determine if center field or a corner outfield spot is his true potential, which can lead to huge discrepancies in ceilings and floors. However, given those massive differences, any minor-season by the statistics would drop his prospect stock quick. He’s a great pick to imagine the perfect future for, but if that doesn’t work out (as it rarely does) he could see a few seasons of dropping rankings in the farm as other players look to be more comfortable in hitting their potential.