With Alcantara being moved from the Angels to the Tigers on Thursday for outfielder Cameron Maybin, it begs the question of what Detroit sees in this young righty and how he could contribute to the big league club going forward. Alcantara has exhibited the control issues one might expect when they see his efforty, high maintenance mechanics. Over the last four seasons respectively, he has walked 5.3, 4.3, 3.8 and 4.6-per-9 while also averaging 9.2 H/9 over that same period. Not great numbers overall, and to make matters worse his swing-and-miss rate took a significant dive in 2016 to 6.4 Ks/9 from 8.3 Ks/9 in 2015. There have been reports that he sits in the upper 90s with the fastball, however in two looks this fall he was 90-to-94.
That all said, there are things to like here, especially if he stays in the bullpen. First off, he has big effort in the arm action, and the delivery hides the ball a bit, which plays up the already above-average movement he gets on the fastball. While his command is below average, his misses tend to be down and he seems to make a concerted effort to show the hitter the top half of the ball—so he keeps the ball on the ground. His 1.60, 1.76, 1.50 and 1.63 ground-ball rates each of the last four years shows that. Secondly, he has a plus slider with tight rotation at 87-to-90 mph that is inconsistent right now, but should make for some uncomfortable at-bats and generate some chase in shorter stints. The arm action/effort also adds some deception to the circle changeup, giving him a weapon vs. lefties. All in all, Detroit got some value in return here. He profiles as a Role 40 middle reliever for me, comparable to former Tigers and Angels RHRP Al Alburquerque.