One of the top outfield prospects in the 2018 international free agent class, Kevin Alcantara flashed numerous tools early on in the scouting process. Standing 6-foot-5 by the time he officially signed with the Yankees in July 2018, he was earning frequent comparisons to long time major leaguer Dexter Fowler.
The Yankees aggressively promoted Alcantara to the Gulf Coast League (GCL) after just nine games in the 2019 Dominican Summer League. At the time of his promotion, he became the only 16-year-old playing professional baseball in the United States until his birthday on July 12th. When highlighting how young Alcantara is, only eight players selected in last year’s draft are younger than he and he is just seven months older than the Yankees’ top prospect, Jasson Dominguez. This coming season Alcantara will have a chance to elevate his prospect status and climb through the system as he is challenged at higher levels of the minors.
2019 Stats (Rookie Level DSL and GCL): 174 PA, .255/.305/.360, 1 HR, 19 RBI, 20.7 K%, 4.5 BB%
Prospect Ranking (Yankees System): 12 (MLB.com), 7 (FanGraphs), 12 (Baseball America)
Alcantara’s overall numbers do not jump off the page as those of a top prospect, but he improved dramatically as the season went on. He struggled during his first month playing stateside in the GCL, but then caught up with the higher level of play and hit .324/.360/.423 over his last 19 games.
Inside the Yankees system he was measured with some of the best exit-velocities they recorded on their prospects. Using his long arms and possessing more athleticism than most baseball players his size, he is viewed as having above average and even potentially elite power down the road as he continues to physically develop.
Alcantara was among the group of prospects the Yankees invited to their Dominican Academy this winter to take part in the teams instructional league. Yankees coaches noticed improved physical tools, reporting that he added around 20 pounds of muscle that helped his ability to drive the ball. The team was also impressed with apparent gains in his plate discipline that he showed during the short look this winter.
Defensively, Alcantara is an above average centerfielder who uses his long strides to cover a ton of ground. With an arm that is more than strong enough to play right-field, he could become a plus defender anywhere in the outfield as he competes with some of the Yankees’ best prospects for time in centerfield.
Centerfield is a crowded position inside the Yankees system, especially this coming year with the loss of two short-season minor league levels. Alcantara will be competing for a spot in centerfield at the Class-A level against fellow prospects Everson Pereira, Raimfer Salinas, Antonio Cabello, and the aforementioned Dominguez. An argument could be made for all of these prospects to play at Low-A Tampa this coming season.
Alcantara will likely play with Low-A Tampa at some point this coming season, but he could also start the season in extended spring training and the Gulf Coast League. Depending on the assessments the Yankees gain out of a one-month minor league spring training, Alcantara and other prospects may be held back to the more development focused environments. This could last for a few weeks or up to a month as the team works through some of their positional log jams.
No matter where Alcantara plays this coming year, he will be looking to improve his performance on the field. Alcantara is talented enough to push his way into the discussion for being one of the Yankees’ top prospects by the end of 2021. Now he will get the chance to put that talent on display against tougher competition, and possibly earn a rapid rise through the Yankees’ system.