Photo courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors.
The Pittsburgh Pirates signed infielder Sergio Alcantara to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training. He is one of 8 non-roster invitees that the Pirates are bringing to Bradenton. The other seven players are outfielders Gilberto Celestino and Billy McKinney, righties Ben Heller, Ryder Ryan and Hunter Stratton, infielder Jake Lamb, and left-handed pitcher Michael Plassmeyer.
Alcantara, 27, signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks as an international free agent in July 2012 for a $700,000 signing bonus. He was part of the Diamondbacks' minor league system between 2013 and most of 2017. In July of 2017, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers in a 4-player deal where he spent the next 3 seasons climbing the minor league system and got his first call to the big show on September 4th, 2020. He made his major league debut on September 6th, hitting a home run in his first major league at-bat (becoming only the 8th Tigers player to ever achieve this feat).
The Cubs claimed Alcantara off waivers in February of 2021 and he played in 89 games for Chicago, hitting .205 with 5 home runs and 17 RBI. In March of 2022, he was traded back to the Arizona Diamondbacks where he played in 56 games and then was claimed off of waivers in May by the San Diego Padres and then was for the 3rd time claimed by Arizona in July. He hit a combined .220 with 6 home runs and 29 RBI between the 3 teams.
Alcantara is a 6’4” switch-hitting shortstop who, defensively, is major league ready. He has a strong arm and soft hands and has exceptional footwork on turning double plays. He has experience at second base and has played a little of third base as well.
Alcantara only weighs 151 lbs. and does not generate the power normally seen from a 6’4” player. He can be overmatched at times and will never be a high average hitter. He draws his share of walks but does not seem to have a plan when he enters the batter's box. He projects for the Pirates as a defensive replacement who can possibly help out late in games.
Draft 412 sees this signing as no more than some AAA depth. The best case scenario for Sergio Alcantara is that he shows an ability to put the ball in play from both sides of the plate and he shows off his glove in Bradenton. His only chance at a roster spot is as a defensive replacement late in games for Oneil Cruz.