The Marlins announced today that right-hander Sandy Alcantara will be recalled from Triple-A New Orleans to start Friday’s game against the Mets. The 22-year-old righty is considered to be among the organization’s top overall prospects and was the centerpiece in the offseason trade that sent Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.
Alcantara is off to a solid start to the season, having pitched to a 3.71 ERA with 6.8 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 0.64 HR/9 and a 50.8 percent ground-ball rate. Alcantara entered the season generally regarded as one of baseball’s top 100 prospects, and he currently ranks 59th at Baseball America, 92nd at MLB.com and 110th at Fangraphs. He’ll instantly rank among the hardest-throwing starters in the game when he joins the Miami rotation, as his fastball receives a 70-grade on most scouting reports, and he averaged 98.3 mph on his heater in a brief cup of coffee with the Cardinals last season (8 1/3 innings).
[Related: Miami Marlins depth chart]
The organizational hope is that Alcantara will be able to serve as an anchor in the rotation for years to come. He’ll step into the starting five in place of lefty Caleb Smith, who looked to be establishing himself as a viable long-term option for the Fish prior to suffering a Grade 3 lat strain that will put an unfortunate end to his season. For the time being, then, Alcantara will join Dan Straily, Wei-Yin Chen, Trevor Richards and Rule 5 pick Elieser Hernandez in the rotation.
Alcantara did accrue 31 days of Major League service time in 2017, but even if he sticks in the rotation and isn’t optioned back to New Orleans, he’ll still finish the season shy of the 172 days needed to qualify for a full year of service time. As such, he’s controllable through at least the 2023 season for Miami, though the timing of his promotion will likely put him on the cusp of Super Two stats a couple of years from now is his ascension to the Majors does indeed prove to be permanent.