The Potential Tools: 80 arm, 60 power, 50 glove, 50 run
Strengths: Elite arm strength; pop times will show sub-1.8; will back pick runners; plus bat speed with leverage in natural swing; pre-swing noise is calmed; ability to square premium velocity; approach and plan at plate have improved with repetition; plus-plus raw power; will actualize to plus in-game; receiving, blocking, framing skills have all improved; has lateral agility to play a corner outfield spot if necessary; plus athlete for the catcher position; will flash solid-average to plus run times; natural feel for game and high baseball IQ.
Weaknesses: Trouble barreling-up quality spin; can become aggressive at plate; footwork is rushed at times, hindering his accuracy on throws; hit tool projecting slightly below average could limit hos power actualization; glove still needs refinement at upper minors.
Role Ceiling: 60; first-division catcher; potential all-star.
Risk: Moderate; Glove and approach still need refinement; hit tool could limit power potential.
Summary: Coming to Philadelphia in the Cole Hamels trade, Alfaro was highly regarded for his potential game power and his potential to stick behind the plate. Alfaro is a high-quality athlete for his defensive position and will flash plus run times when busting down the line. The Phillies’ top catching prospect has always had the lateral agility and pitch-calling skills to catch but his receiving skills, blocking ability and framing ability have all improved dramatically, leading evaluators to believe he can stick at the position. Alfaro has some natural bat-to-ball ability but his value at the plate will come from his power production, especially if it can play plus. The missed developmental year (due to injury) hurt but Alfaro should start the year out in Double-A, and with proven success early in the season, it isn’t unreasonable to think he can see time in Philadelphia when the rosters expand in September.