Jorge Alfaro was your selection as the #5 prospect in the Phillies’ organization.
Alfaro received 108 of 273 votes (40%). Adam Haseley finished second (75 votes, 27%). Adonis Medina (34, 12%) finished third. Twelve players split the remaining 56 votes.
Alfaro was signed by the Texas Rangers as an international free agent as a 16-year old in January of 2010. He was a highly ranked prospect in their organization, reaching #2 in 2014. He started in the All Star Futures Game that summer. He played in the AFL in 2013. The Phillies acquired him in the Cole Hamels trade that netted the Phillies LHP Matt “contract dump” Harrison, RHP Jerad Eickhoff, OF Nick Williams, RHP Alec Asher, RHP Jake Thompson, and Alfaro at the 2015 non-waiver trade deadline.
Alfaro reported to Clearwater after the trade on rehab. I first saw him walking around the Complex. I was struck by his muscular physique. I witnessed his first live batting practice. It occurred during a GCL game. Fortunately, it was held on Carlton Field next to the game on Roberts Field. I stood on the bleachers between the fields so I could monitor Alfaro while still watching the GCL rookies which included Randolph, Gamboa, Jonathan Arauz, Luke Williams, Cabral, Pickett, Alastre, Edgar Garcia, Paulino, Medina, Fanti, Falter, Sam McWilliams, Ismael Cabrera, et al.
Alfaro batted against Steven Inch who was throwing his third live BP session while on his own rehab. After a few swings, I moved closer to the BP session. Alfaro was launching balls to left and left center. Over a dozen cleared the fence. He was easily the best among the guys batting against Inch.
I next saw Alfaro the following spring during ST. He attended the major league camp and drilled with Carlos Ruiz and others. During the throwing drills, Alfaro displayed the best arm on throws to the bases. Chooch was consistently accurate on his throws to second base, but with a definite arc on his throws. Alfaro threw equally accurate balls to the bag, but with a laser-like precision that made all others (even Chooch) look like they were soft-tossing.
I understand the concerns directed toward Alfaro and his readiness to both hit and call a game at the major league level. But, I can’t forget the visions of the above tools. More recently, I remember his game-tying home run off Fernando Rodney in the WBC, and the arrow he shot in the air as he approached his celebrating teammates at the dugout.
Alfaro posted a .285/.325/.458/.783 slash with Reading in 2016. He slipped to a .241/.291/.358/.649 with Lehigh Valley in 2017. Across both seasons he walked 38 times (4.9%) and struck out 218 times (27.8%) in 785 PA. Most fans would like to see the walks go up and the strike outs go down.
Alfaro was called up in early August 2017 and played in 29 games. In 114 PA, he slashed a respectable .318/.360/.514/.874, but with just 3 walks (2.6%) and 33 strike outs (28.9%). It is a SSS, but the walk and strike out rates are moving in the wrong direction. One has to think that if he doesn’t improve, he won’t figure in the Phillies’ long-term plans since plate discipline and the resulting good OBP figures appear to be an important part of the plan.
Next up is your selection for the #6 prospect in the organization, no additional prospects.
2018 Readers’ Poll, so far –
- Sixto Sanchez
- Scott Kingery
- J.P. Crawford
- Jhailyn Ortiz
- Jorge Alfaro