Earlier this summer, the New York Yankees went on a spending spree in the international free agent period. One of the top players that they signed is a 16-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic, Kevin Alcantara.
Alcantara, who grew up a Yankee fan, talked about what it meant for him to join the organization and how this is only the first step on what hopefully is a long professional journey:
“I felt very well because I worked so hard from when I was a child to get signed. I felt very well and grateful too. That’s only the first step is the motivation to continue and move on to the next level,” replied Alcantara via a translator.
One of the things that the Yankees had to like about Alcantara is his potential to be a five-tool type of player. He is a player that prides himself on his defense, his quickness/speed on the bases, and his hitting ability. As for his approach at the plate, he mentioned that “I can use the whole field, I have gap power, and can make contact consistently.”
With that success, Alcantara is still looking to make improvements heading into his first professional season in 2019. In addition to working on his first step defensively, he mentioned a technical ability about his swing he is working on:
“I don’t want to overload. I want to load shorter to get sooner to the ball.”
When talking about his favorite players, Alcantara focused on outfielders that are currently active (Aaron Judge) and who had success during their playing career (Vladimir Guerrero). Guerrero always had the great arm in the outfield and Judge has the power. But, there’s another aspect about Judge’s game that impresses the young outfielder:
“The discipline at the plate that he has, so confident. The way that he looks in the game no matter how well he is, he looks patient and mature in the game,” said Alcantara about Judge.
Outside of those two players, the root of how Alcantara got into playing baseball came from his father. His dad has been a major inspiration in his life and has tried to have success in honor of his dad:
“My father dreamed to play baseball and he couldn’t because he used to work a lot. When I was a child, I said to my father: Daddy, don’t worry about it, I am going to be the player that you always dreamed of.”
It is hard not to be impressed by the maturity Alcantara has at a young age and how he wants to show the Yankees that he has the “discipline that they require.” He has the talent and the potential, but the off-the-field aspect of the game should make Yankees fans excited about seeing how his career develops.