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Arismendy Alcantara (2B/SS/OF, CHI) - 2015 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

BALLER MOVE: Target Late in Deep, NL-Only Leagues

ANALYSIS: As of early March, Arismendy Alcantara hasn’t won any of the starting nine field positions but is listed second on Chicago’s depth chart at both second base and center field. However, with Joe Madden now in Chicago, plenty of opportunity for at bats in a utility role now exist that might not have last year.

Alcantara has an interesting combination of power and speed which could land him on more than a few fantasy rosters this year. To do so, he’ll have to prove he can overcome his alarmingly high amount of strikeouts and earn more at bats. Alcantara whiffed in nearly a third of his 300 plate appearances last year at the major league level. Pair his 31.0% strikeout rate with his .205 batting average and .254 OBP and you can see why he hasn’t earned a starting spot in the lineup yet.

Even during his time in the minor leagues, Alcantara showed a propensity for swinging and missing. His lowest strikeout percentage output was during his time in A+ and still finished with 17.0% K%. His strikeouts in the minors might not have bothered Chicago as much considering he never finished a season with a batting average below .271 and .303 OBP.

His batting average was fueled by an enlarged BABIP, which was never lower than .332 a season in the minors. Last year, his BABIP was well below the league average at .266. With his speed, his BABIP is expected to be above .300 and has shown to be the case when he was at the lower levels. Even at .300, his average should rise a few dozen points above his .205 last year. He did fair worse last year against right handed hitters, but again his BABIP was only .254 against them.

During his time in both Double-A and Triple-A, Alcantara proved that he has more to offer than just quickness. He complemented his 52 combined SB with 25 HR. Even in his limited 300 MLB plate appearances, he banged out 10 HR and finished with a .162 ISO.

In Summary

Alcantara has "sleeper" written all over him for 2015. He should surpass his 300 plate appearances from last year and has the potential as a switch hitter to be rotated around both infield and outfield to spell other players. If he can reduce his strikeouts back down to the 20% range he had in the minors, expect his average, run scoring chances, and stolen bases to all increase.

Once he starts seeing more at bats, fantasy owners will be delighted with stolen bases and an occasional homerun. Alcantara will start the season with both 2B and OF eligibility. In larger leagues, you can draft him late where he can provide value off of your bench to replace a guy getting a day off. In smaller leagues, ten teams or less, he can prove to be an important waiver wire add early in the season.


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