Cubs' Alcantara shows off power at Futures Game
Though small in stature, switching-hitting Minor Leaguer has plenty of pop
NEW YORK -- What Arismendy Alcantara lacks in size, he makes up for with impressive power.
The 5-foot-10, 160-pound middle infielder has surprising pop for his stature, as the switch-hitter is batting .280 with 13 homers, 23 doubles and two triples in 91 games at Double-A Tennessee.
The Cubs prospect was rewarded with a trip to the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, starting at second base for the World Team. And the Dominican Republic native showed off his power there, too, launching a solo blast in the fourth inning off Red Sox prospect Anthony Ranaudo and going 1-for-3 on the day.
"It felt good," Alcantara said. "It was a fastball in. We didn't win the game, but I feel pretty good hitting the homer."
Alcantara, 21, is regarded as the second baseman of the future for the Cubs, but he has experience at shortstop as well. He said he feels more comfortable at his natural position of shortstop but is getting more and more acclimated to second base. He played 255 career games at shortstop and 74 at second base while also playing 51 games at third.
"I like shortstop, but I've played enough second base to be good at both positions," Alcantara said. "I'll just play whatever position they put me."
Alcantara was expected to be joined by Cubs prospect Jorge Soler on the World Team roster, but the Cuban outfielder missed the game with a stress fracture in his left tibia.
However, Alcantara enjoyed the company of other Dominicans, as he spent time before the game joking around on the field with his countrymen.
"I feel like I'm at home," Alcantara said. "I feel more comfortable and I'm able to talk more about my country, baseball and just everything."
Alcantara, ranked as the Cubs' No. 20 prospect by MLB.com before the season, figures to move up in prospect rankings, as he's enjoying a breakout season.
He's getting on-base at .354 clip while slugging .475, which are both career highs. He's still error-prone in the field, as he's committed 19 errors at shortstop and four at second base, but said it's something he continues to work to improve.
"I need to work on swinging at pitches in the zone and my defense," Alcantara said.
But he's definitely on Chicago's radar, and if his power this season and at the Futures Game is any indication, he could develop into a very productive player for the North Siders.
"Obviously, he's got some hitting ability for a little guy," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said when the Futures Game rosters were announced. "He's got some power from both sides of the plate, can run, do a lot of things, is very athletic. He's a guy you want to watch on video to see what's going on."