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2023 Cubs prospect profiles: Kevin Alcántara

El Jaguar brings athleticism, a good glove, big power and superstar attitude. He came to Chicago in the Rizzo trade and his big shoes to fill. He might, in time, fill them.

Photo by Chris Coduto/MLB Photos via Getty Images

This series of Cubs prospect profiles is based on Fangraphs’ top 52 prospects list, minus the players who have already been profiled. Generally, these will be of Triple-A and Double-A players that might see the 40-man roster at some point. I’m not necessarily doing them in order and will skip around a bit.

Kevin Alcántara has been abusing the baseball in the Arizona Fall League. He is currently slashing .257/.338/.543, with an .880 OPS and five home runs. El Jaguar is a flashy player with tons of charisma and that potent bat... he’s going to strike out a ton, as power hitters do, but he’s on a faster track than most, given his production since he arrived in Chicago from the Yankees in the Anthony Rizzo trade, along with since-departed Alexander Vizcaino.

Alcántara hits with power to all fields — he isn’t especially selective at the plate, having had 31 walks in 408 AB at South Bend against 97 strikeouts. That’s a 23.8 percent K rate, which isn’t too bad, considering. Fangraphs has him pegged as a 2024 Chicago Cub. Maybe. I don’t think he’ll start the season in Chicago, and there are a lot of variables involving other players, but it could happen.

He has a way with a bat flip and his English is improving rapidly. El Jaguar means to be a star. He already is in his world. The native of the Dominican Republic might make that trade look good, but that’s a tall order. Rizzo was the face of the franchise for a Championship run and looms large in the Cubs’ record books.

We’ll have to see about that. In the meantime, he plies his trade for the Cubs organization, and they are happy to have him. He’s heating up in the AFL, says Mark Gonzales.

“The focus for Alcantara is continuing to get reps and making good decisions in the box,” said Jared Banner, the Cubs’ vice president of player development. “We think he has the athleticism and tools to impact the game in many ways. All we focus on is making sure we have a plan to help him get better every day.”

Alcantara confirmed that Banner’s main message before reporting to Arizona was improving his pitch selection.

The center fielder will be tried at the corner outfield spots also, to help with his development and to help the Cubs find a spot for him. He is in a group that includes Alexander Canario and Brennen Davis, and he and Davis have two minor-league options, while Canario has but the one.

There are decision to be made. Iowa is liable to have a crowded outfield. Canario’s single minor league option means that the Cubs have to be real careful with his assignments, and he probably is slightly ahead of the others because of that. All three have clear starter, hell, star, tools and just need time on the field.

In closing, let’s just watch El Jaguar hit [VIDEO].

And more! [VIDEO]

Against the Cubs’ closer!

Thank you kindly for reading.