Sturdy frame; some more room to fill out; athletic; may lose some athleticism as fills out or due to defensive rigors of catching position; strong arms; weight in lower body.
Hickory Crawdads (Low A, Rangers)
Extremely aggressive approach; free swinger; raw pitch selection; dead fastball hitter; presently struggles with breaking stuff, often getting caught in between or fishing down/away; athletic enough to move off the catching position if things don’t come together; swing did not cover enough of the plate; type of player who can make big strides when experience catches up to talent; even demeanor.
50; major league regular
Shorter swing; quick, strong hands; plus-plus bat speed; ability to pull hands inside of baseball; arm swinger; head of bat gets way out in front of ball; drives ball when squared up; loud and hard contact off the bat; yank in swing; follow through causes hands to roll early; swings over the top of offerings away; doesn’t presently adjust well to path of ball; does not get cheated with swing.
Possesses plus-to-better raw power in batting practice; easily drives ball out in BP; presently an upper body hitter; high in-game power potential if learns to use lower body; will crush mistakes on inner half; capable of lifting ball to all fields, but game power currently pull-side; scratching the surface of tapping into strength.
Runs well for catcher; accelerates on the bases; gets out of the box well; will slow down as ages.
Alfaro was hit or miss in this scouting opportunity, but there were flashes that suggest with experience and sustained development the payoff can be a power hitting fifth–spot hitter. The catcher’s power mainly showed during batting practice, but there were some well hit balls in game action that really exploded off the bat. The over-arching theme from this take was the need to tone down the approach at the plate. Alfaro rarely gets cheated with his swing, and is up at the plate hacking. This worked a few times when opposing pitchers made mistakes with their fastballs on the inner half of the plate, but the young hitter was caught lunging and coming up empty against fringy breaking balls. There’s a lot of work to go with keeping his weight back and picking up spin quicker.
I didn’t love the messy nature of Alfaro’s swing during this series, often yanking the bat head through the zone and over-swinging with his arms, but when the swing came together there were clues of what the player can potentially do. Due to the maintenance and aggressive nature shown, Alfaro may always be a streaky player and post fluctuating batting averages in the .245-.260 range if he reaches the majors. The peaks can be highly productive, while the valleys limiting due to a lack of projected on-base ability. One constant can be Alfaro’s home run power, which with improved technique using his lower half consistently can lead to outputs of around 25 home runs, and maybe a season of more.
This is a player with a ton of risk due to the unrefined nature of his overall game and gaps in key aspects. A hitter like Alfaro will have to prove that he can be selective enough against rising competition. The flameout potential is magnified, but if he learns to stay within himself and play to his strengths, the bat can take off.