Prospect Countdown #7 – Jorge Alfaro
Mike Napoli did some pretty incredible things for the Ranger in 2011. In fact, I would daresay he was the most effective offensive catcher the Rangers have had since Pudge Rodriguez donned a Texas uniform in the 90’s-2000’s.
Yet, the Rangers decided to approach this problem internationally with a young catcher named Jorge Alfaro. This youngster has shown great poise behind the plate, and even greater plate command, something that all young catchers strive for.
Speaking of young position players, Alfaro is only 18 years old.
He started as a shortstop/third baseman. Based out of Columbia, the youngster performed at the middle of the pack. The Rangers organization decided to look at him as a catcher this year.
“The Legend” as he has been referred to is raw, really raw. Alfaro, is strong offensively, with quick hands and he can mash. He has strength to all fields, and has a short compact swing. However according to Jason Parks, he should be an average hitter of about .270. Also, Alfaro is athletic and has excellent speed for someone at the catcher position.
Behind the dish, his skills are developing, but he has not yet reached his full potential. He has a plus arm, which could be called elite. His footwork has improved, but has not yet developed into major league ready skills. He tends to rush his throws and can sometimes get sloppy with his technique throwing out runners, and relies on his tremendous arm strength.
Overall, he’s quick, has a tremendous arm, decent footwork, and a bat that has a ton of power. However, it takes years for to refine skills behind the plate, and The Legend is a few years away from that. Alfaro, however, has shown drastic improvement defensively, and if he should continue to improve, he can be a franchise type player.
Alfaro is a Top 10 prospect in anyone’s ranking of the Ranger system, and a top 5 prospect in a few rankings. Jorge has all the tools to be an All-Star at the Major League level.
ETAA: Alfaro should be ready to contribute at the Major League level by late 2013 and 2014