KBO DFS: The Argument for Raul Alcantara

Raul Alcantara is a new man. From an MLB bum to a serviceable pitch-to-contact starter in the KBO. And, this year, Alcantara has completed the step of being a power pitcher. Completed, as in this is legit.

Through 46.1 MLB innings in 2016 and 2017, Alcantara had only 5.1 K/9. And this wasn’t just the greatness of MLB hitters making contact. It was a reflection of who Alcantara was: a finesse pitcher.

Through 162.1 IP in Triple-A, Alcantara had 5.9 K/9 and that carried over to Korea where he had only 5.21 K/9 in his debut 2019 season.

All of a sudden, out of the frickin’ blue, Alcantara has busted out for 7.88 K/9 in a league where the average K/9 is just around 7.0. Real or fake?

Alcantara has upped the velocity on his fastball and sinker. Big time.

To be clear, Alcantara has always thrown hard. Really hard. The scouting report on him has never been that there’s a lack of velocity, but a lack of depth in his pitches. Through 336 fastballs, he averaged 94.8 mph. And through 240 sinkers, which is his money pitch, he averaged a very hard 94.7 mph, largely contributing to his 1.16 GB:FB ratio.

Fast forward to 2019 in The O where the fastball was down a tick to 93.5 mph with a 84.9% contact rate and the sinker around 92.2 mph with a 85.5% contact rate. In 2020, the fastball is back up to 94.7 mph with a 78.2% contact rate and the sinker around 94.1 mph with a 80.5% contact rate.

Alcantara’s FIP is up from 3.98 to 4.16 because his walks are way up from 1.41 BB/9 to 2.06 and the HR/9 is up from 0.78 to 0,94 (but the league rate is up from 0.7 to 1.0). More importantly, back to the Ks, his K-BB% has shot to up to 14.9%.

He isn’t the top play on this Sunday slate at SP1 and is too expensive for SP2. If we’re playing more than three lineups, we have to consider him as an SP1 to get those monster bats in, which are a must.

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