Early prospect breakout candidate for Chicago Cubs Spring Training

Tampa Bay Rays v Chicago Cubs
Tampa Bay Rays v Chicago Cubs / David Banks/GettyImages

Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training for the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday but many of the team's top prospects are already in Arizona at the team facility participating in drills. Included in that group is Cubs' outfielder prospect Kevin Alcantara.

Over the course of the past week, Alcantara has already made an impression on observers at Cubs' Spring Training.

Alcantara's batting practices during Spring Training have already reached the point where fellow Cubs players and coaches stop what they are doing in order to watch the show.

Alcantara was acquired by the Cubs in the 2021 Major League Baseball trade deadline that saw the team trade first baseman Anthony Rizzo to the New York Yankees. With Class-A Myrtle Beach last season, Alcantara slashed .273/.360/.451/.811 to go along with 15 home runs in 495 plate appearances.

Many have tapped Alcantara to have a breakout season within the Cubs' system in 2023 and MLB Pipeline is taking notice. Alcantara cracked the MLB Pipeline Top-100 prospect list for the first time in his professional career this offseason and he enters the 2023 season ranked as the Cubs' second-best prospect behind Pete Crow-Armstrong.

"Though his 6-foot-6 frame results in a naturally long right-handed swing, Alcantara keeps his stroke relatively compact and makes a lot of hard contact, smoking the ball harder than most players his age. As he continues to add strength and learns to pull and lift pitches more frequently, he could develop into a 30-homer threat. He'll probably always be a power-over-hit guy, but his willingness to take walks and use the opposite field bode well for his performance in the latter area. "

MLB Pipeline

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There is no question that Alcantara added more muscle to his 6-foot-6 frame this offseason and that could be one of the reasons he skyrockets to the top levels of the Cubs' minor-league system this season. Much has been made regarding how the Cubs lack the superstar prospects that they had when they last rebuilt their farm system. Crow-Armstrong's breakout in 2022 began to push back against that narrative and Alcantara could follow suit with a breakout in 2023.