After injuries hampered Alfaro’s 2012 season, he played in a career-high number of games in 2013 and didn’t disappoint. He was an international free agent in 2010 from Columbia and over a short period of time has skyrocketed up the prospect rankings – now ranked as either the #1 or #2 catching prospect, ahead of or behind Austin Hedges.
So what’s behind his meteoric rise? Well in 404 AB’s, primarily with Class A Hickory in 2013, Alfaro had 18 HR’s, 61RBI’s, 72 Runs, a .265 Avg and 18 Stolen Bases all coming from a converted infielder turned Catcher. He’s a plus athlete with off the charts arm strength who can hit for power; however, his power comes at a price given his lack of plate discipline. He has an aggressive approach to hitting and needs some refinement to his hitting for average. His defensive performances appear to be increasing (I mean really, he’s only been catching for a limited amount of time) and with his arm strength, should develop into an everyday big leaguer – maybe as early as 2013. Austin Hedges is better defensively but Alfaro has that offensive pop that prospectors get excited about.
His upside is really all-start player caliber – with almost unlimited fantasy upside but the downside is there too. He has plenty of work to do in refining his catching skills and hitting but he’s too gifted of a player at a scarce position to ignore. Remember when everyone was drooling over Carlos Santana a few years ago? Well Alfaro is a catcher that could hit 25 homers and steal double digit bases. That’s the kind of player prospects want to get in on early, before the big rush hits.
Alfaro’s Chrome auto base cards had been trading around $10-15 with refractors going for ~$25. Those prices are starting to inch up to ~$30 now. The Blue refractors and Blue Wave refractors are out there in the marketplace for between $50 and $70. At these prices I find Alfaro too tempting of a player to ignore and want to amass a small army of his rookie chrome to prospect on. I recommend you do the same before it’s too late.
Lesson learned here – it’s the ceiling, not the floor, that’s driving this recommendation and hopefully his card prices in the future.