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Jorge Alfaro - Prospect Profile

Brian Creagh examines the declining stock of catching prospect Jorge Alfaro

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

2015 was a major recalibration of Jorge Alfaro's fantasy compass. From 2013 onwards, Alfaro was the top dog in every prospect position rankings thanks to his elite defensive skills, projectable power, and elite speed for the position. A dream was built on the tools Alfaro had been showing since he was 16 years old, a dream that now would require a miracle to all come together. Like many of the can't-miss prospects before him, Alfaro's long development has exposed the flaws in his game and we have a much clearer picture of what he will (and particularly what he won't) be.

An important note when profiling Alfaro is the ankle injury which ended his season in 2015. He moved to Philadelphia in the Cole Hamels deal, but only played in three games at the Rookie level. The injury isn't expected to carry into 2016, but the loss of half a season for a prospect struggling to put his raw tools into play can be detrimental long-term.

Jorge Alfaro still has all the tools that earned him the nickname of the #TheLegend back in his teenage years. The trouble with the profile is that he's now turning 23 this season and has shown no capacity to put those tools in game play. His raw power is still plus, his speed is still well above-average compared to other catchers, and his arm behind the plate is borderline elite; but the approach hasn't shown any improvement at the plate and the K:BB rates are getting worse as he progresses up the development curve. There are extreme contact concerns with Alfaro and he's managed to post a bizarre looking .253 AVG despite a .347 BABIP.

I still find it difficult to get too down on Alfaro's future when the reports on all his tools are still drool-inducing. The best thing going for his fantasy value is that his arm is still plus-plus and his defense at catcher should carry him to the MLB even if the bat doesn't develop. I have seen some reports concerned with Alfaro's receiving skills behind the plate, but he should be able to stick. There's a chance he moves to RF given Philadelphia's depth at C, but again his arm and raw power can carry him at that position if they begin to develop.

Selling high seems to be the appropriate plan of action for Alfaro owners in dynasty. He still has a brand name, and the injury could mask some of the issues scouts have seen on the field when he was healthy. I'll be curious to see if the Phillies development system can make adjustments that the Texas organization was unable to figure out. I'm not giving up on Jorge Alfaro but it's unavoidable to admit his stock is way, way down from two years ago. 2016 will be a pivotal season for Alfaro where his offensive and defensive future will be up in the air and his fantasy value can shoot right back up or completely disappear.