BLUF: Incredible raw potential with full-spectrum tools, including big arm and power at a premium position.
The Player: Jorge Alfaro (C, Texas Rangers) – Signed for a $1.3 million bonus out of Colombia, Alfaro missed time with a hand injury in 2010 before posting a .221/.278/.291 line in 48 games for the DSL Rangers. In 2011 he came stateside and hit much better in the college-heavy Northwest League, finishing the year with a .300/.345/.481 slash line in 45 games. In 2012, despite missing ample time with several minor injuries, Alfaro hit .261/.320/.430 in 74 games as a 19-year old in full-season ball.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Industry Contacts
Body (6-2, 190): Big, strong and mature body. Surprising athlete. MLB body. Durable. Outstanding physicality.
Hit: Approach is raw. Shows ability to track pitches but gets too eager to swing and will chase out of the zone. Has good plate coverage and ability to adjust to different pitch types. Natural hitting ability exists and is only limited by aggressiveness. Likely to always be aggressive, but natural feel for the barrel and bat speed should enable him to hit for a solid average long term. Potential average to plus hitter, though there are wide error bands on that projection at this time. Grade – 30/50
Power: Near elite bat speed and heavy leverage in the swing provide excellent raw power. Turns hips very well and really can crush to the pull side. Has natural power to the opposite field and will ultimately be able to consistently drive the ball out that way. True plus-plus power potential. Power utility should grade high as well, as hitting ability matures against more advanced pitching. Raw plays down some right now but it will manifest. Grade (raw power) – 60/70
Arm: Elite. Crazy arm strength. Throws on a downhill trajectory to second base. Excellent velocity. Absolute hose. Grade – 80/80
Fielding: Intriguing raw potential behind the plate. Surprising athlete that moves well for his size and age. Receives solidly and has improved as a pro already. Needs to learn nuances of catching, including calling games and improved blocking technique. Arm plays down in game action because footwork and transfer gets messy and out of sync. Has raw tools to post impressive pop times and contain even a robust running game. Potential average to slightly better glove if it all comes together. Will take time and game experience. Grade – 40/50
Speed: Unusual speed for a catcher. Shows average home to first on digs. Unlikely to maintain speed despite athleticism. Should still be a below-average runner and fast by comparison to other catchers. Solid base runner. Grade – 50/40
Summation: Tantalizing raw potential. Could hit in the middle of an MLB order and stay behind the plate with good defense. Really impressive skill set with no true weaknesses. Defense lags behind and will need time to evolve and come together. Has potential to be a plus catch and throw guy with average abilities in other facets of defensive game. Arm is no-doubt elite. Should be an asset defensively. Bat has impressive potential. Approach needs to come along but raw ability – pitch recognition and willingness to take pitches at times – work in his favor. Incredible raw power. BP displays are the norm. Can get to power in game situations, but not to maximum extent. Potential star-level catcher with solid average 25+ home runs, plenty of doubles, and strong defense. Very raw and will take a lot of time.
Relative Risk: High. Reality is extreme risk. Key parts of game are still extremely raw but tools impress.
Future: Needs to stay healthy and get repetitions on the field. Has potential to start 2013 in High-A but may benefit from spending the first half with Low-A Hickory. Is still at least three years from the big leagues but if he arrives, he could explode on the scene.