I was able to view Alfaro for three games behind the plate during Reading’s recent three-game series at Double-A Portland. The recently turned 23-year-old catcher showed off some serious raw power, arm strength, and surprising athleticism during this look. The first thing to stand out with Alfaro was the easy raw power in batting practice with above-average bat speed. Alfaro showed power to all fields in BP and translates that power into games with a slight bat waggle to generate rhythm and timing in his load – albeit with a slight hitch in his swing. He whips the bat through the zone with leverage in his swing from his large frame.
During the third game of the series; Alfaro showed off the in-game power by gearing up for a 3-1 fastball and pulling it to left field for a home run; as you might hope and expect from any big league-caliber hitter in that count/situation. Outside of the raw power, Alfaro demonstrated some serious swing-and-miss in his approach during this look. Alfaro appeared to be up there guessing, and he was often fooled on any type of decent breaking balls or off-speed stuff though he did, at times, show the ability to control the barrel and square up hanging off-speed and bad breaking balls.
Defensively, Alfaro showed off well above-average arm strength and limited the running game all series. With Portland hesitant to test his arm, Alfaro showed the willingness and aggressiveness to try and back pick runners at first base on a number of occasions with laser-like, on the money throws. Alfaro looked like a guy that loved to catch and take control of the game from behind the plate. It’s also worth noting that given Alfaro’s size and thick catcher’s build, he actually ran surprisingly well, with some 4.4 run times from HP-to-1B with clear athleticism.