Alcantara struggles with throwing his fastball in the zone, despite that it’s 16 inches of horizontal movement towards right handed hitters creating an effective swing and miss pitch when he’s ahead in the count.
Alcantara’s curve had the lowest xwOBA of any of his pitches in 2019. He threw it fewer than any of his other pitches so the sample is rather small and his horizontal movement and drop on the pitch are both below average. Perhaps his 8% usage rate on this pitch is fine.
Alcantara’s four-seamer has excellent spin rate, it generates decent velocity at 95.6 mph and it difficult to hit into the outfield. The pitch was a safety blanket for the Marlins ace, and a low 7.3% HR/FB ratio meant he could lean on it when he needed too. He needs to quickly find some juice in his secondary offerings to stay relevant, however, as a 17.7 K% with a 12.0 BB% just wont cut it.
A roughly league average slider in 2019, his slider is nothing to write home about. It breaks away from righties at an above average rate, but that’s about it.
As a starter, Alcantara lost over two mph on his four-seam fastball. As Alcantara’s primary offering, it’s the only pitch Alcantara can regularly throw for strikes. Hitters teed off on the four-seamer to the tune of a .314 batting average against. Alcantara needs a second pitch he can throw for strikes to take the heat off the four-seam when he’s behind in counts.
Alcantra’s sinker was a much more effective pitch than his four-seam fastball in 2018. It also induced over 60% ground balls and generated more swings and misses. Alcantara would benefit by utilizing his sinker as his primary fastball.
The slider is Alcantara’s strikeout pitch, but despite a 44 K% it does not generate elite swing and miss metrics. A 12.7% swinging-strike rate with a sub-30% O-swing means the pitch needs more refinement. However, the results were great, with a wOBA of just .212 that shows just how difficult the pitch is to square up.
Alcantara’s changeup is pretty nasty with good vertical drop and arm-side run. It generated just a .130 batting average against, along with a ton of ground balls. It’s also registered as a Money Pitch with a 40% chase rate, 44% zone rate, and 20% swinging-strike rate. Given the success of the changeup, Alcantara should feature this offering at least as much as his slider going forward.
Alcantara’s secondary breaking pitch is his curveball. While it has similar horizontal movement to the slider, it does get about 3 more inches of drop on the pitch. The curve generates positive results per pitch value, but given its 33% walk rate and 100% contact rate on 26 pitches in 2018, Alcantara should decrease the usage of this pitch in favor of the slider.