SANDY ALCANTARA
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   MARLINS - IL
Height: 6' 4" Bats:   R
Weight: 175 Throws:   R
DOB: 9/7/1995 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 22  
Birth City: San Juan de la Maguana, Dom. Rep.
Draft: 2013 - Cardinals - Free agent - Out of the D.R.
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2014 DSL DSL-Cardinals   12 56.2 56 55 19 11 1 0 0 1 9 0.253 3.97
2015 GCL GCL-Cardinals   12 64.1 59 51 20 12 0 0 0 4 4   3.22
2016 FSL PALM BEACH   6 32.1 25 34 14 6 1 0 0 0 4   3.62
2016 MWL PEORIA   17 90.1 78 119 45 17 0 0 0 5 7   4.08
2017 TL SPRINGFIELD   25 125.1 125 106 54 22 0 0 0 7 5   4.31
2017 NL CARDINALS   8 8.1 9 10 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.273 4.32
2018 FSL JUPITER   3 11.1 10 8 5 3 0 0 0 0 0   3.97
2018 PCL NEW ORLEANS   19 115.2 107 88 38 19 0 0 0 6 3   3.89
2018 NL MARLINS   6 34 25 30 23 6 0 0 0 2 3 0.214 3.44
2019 NL MARLINS $555.00 32 197.1 179 151 81 32 2 2 0 6 14 0.241 3.88
2020 NL MARLINS $230.00 7 42 35 39 15 7 0 0 0 3 2 0.226 3.00
2021 NL MARLINS   33 206 171 201 50 33 1 0 0 9 15 0.223 3.19
2022 NL MARLINS $3,800.00 32 228.2 174 207 50 32 6 1 0 14 9 0.212 2.28
2023 IL JACKSONVILLE   1 4 1 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2023 NL MARLINS $6,300.00 28 184.2 176 151 48 28 3 1 0 7 12 0.251 4.14
Personal
  • In 2013, Sandy signed with the Cardinals (see Transactions below).

  • Sandy trained with Felix Liriano, who also trained Junior Fernandez.

  • In 2016, Baseball America rated Alcantara as 6th-best prospect in the Cardinals' organization. Sandy was 4th-best prospect in the offseason before 2018 spring camps opened. He moved up to #2 in the spring of 2019.

  • 2017: Alcantara was invited to play in the AFL Fall Stars Game.

  • Sandy lifts weights almost every day, except the day before he pitches and the day after.

  • Alcantara has his brother’s nickname tattooed on his left shoulder, and there’s a reason why that ink is there. Sandy is one of 11 children. But Alcantara lost his 17-year-old brother Alexander last October, when Alexander died in a motorcycle crash in their native Dominican Republic.

    The tragic news arrived just as Sandy was about to pitch in the Arizona Fall League.

    “I cried a lot,” said Alcantara, who couldn’t make it home for the funeral. “He was a great kid, devoted to our mother. And his life was cut short.”

    Sandy vows to dedicate his career to his brother, and so far he has done well. (Walter Villa - Baseball America - 9/21/2018)

  • July 2019: Alcantara earned his first career All-Star selection. The Marlins rookie righthander came into the game with a mere 144 big league innings under his belt, including 101 this season. In his comparatively short MLB career, nothing matched the magnitude of taking the mound in the eighth inning of his first Midsummer Classic.

    Alcantara worked a scoreless eighth inning for the National League, including striking out Whit Merrifield of the Royals on a 99 mph four-seam fastball.

  • 2019 season: It took some convincing to get the 24-year-old to buy in, but after he did, the results were telling. Alcantara finished up his first full big league season with 32 starts, a 3.88 ERA and close to 200 innings pitched.

    “He has turned the corner,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “The confidence has been building. For Sandy, our conversations have been about being aggressive. 'Let’s get in the strike zone. Your stuff is good. Let’s go attack.' You have to refine even that as you go along.”

    It started with durability. His 197 innings pitched set a Marlins’ rookie record and was the 17th most in the Majors. A year ago, the hard-throwing righthander opened the season at Triple-A New Orleans and, after being promoted in June, he missed more than two months with a right axillary infection.

    Staying healthy wasn’t a concern this year, and Alcantara made steady strides, improving as the season rolled along. In his final seven starts, he had a 3.02 ERA, with 43 strikeouts in 48 innings.

    “I always say, I work hard to get better every time,” Alcantara said. “That’s what I did. I learned from the small things. I focused on working my two-seam fastball for strikes. That’s what I have to do.” (Joe Frisaro- Oct. 18. 2019 - MLB.com)

  • March 17, 2020: Alcantara is throwing his support behind a COVID-19 relief effort. As part of PledgeIt initiative, an Alcantara autographed baseball is up for bidding, and the proceeds will benefit Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Inc. Alcantara announced via Twitter that he is among the athletes, from all sports, participating in the campaign.

    In his Tweet, the Marlins' ace said: “We need to come together.” Anyone who donates at least $25 will be entered to win a signed Alcantara baseball; the winner will be selected randomly at the conclusion of the fundraising period.

    As the Marlins and MLB are in a holding pattern, Alcantara is urging everyone to come together. On Alcantara’s PledgeIt page, this statement was posted: “If we’re going to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, it’s going to take all of us pitching in. Please join me, by making a donation here, and together we can make a difference!”

    For the signed baseball, fans can bid: $25, $50, $100 or $250 to assist in the virus relief effort. (J Frisaro - MLB.com - March 17, 2020)

  • It was with a heavy heart that Sandy took the mound on July 27, 2021.  His mother Francisca, the woman his family called “captain,” passed away.  Upon learning the news in Washington, Alcantara returned to his native Dominican Republic before rejoining the ballclub on July 25 in Miami.

    “She just took care of all of us,” Alcantara said.  “Every morning I had a ‘have a good day’ text message or a blessing from her.  I’m going to miss that.  I will keep those messages and voice notes.  She's the captain of the house, and that was hard for my family and for me, because she supported me and all my brothers and sister all the time.  It is what it is.  We've got to keep doing what we're doing.”

    And that Alcantara did, recording a quality start in his first outing back from the bereavement list in Miami’s 7-3 win over Baltimore at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.  Alcantara used the mound as a respite, a place to forget about his recent loss.  Already an ultra-focused individual, Alcantara keyed in on each pitch. “This week was hard for me because I lost my mom, and I hope God has her in a great place right now,” Alcantara said.  “I feel good right now, being outside.  I did a pretty good job today, and I hope God keeps giving me the opportunity to keep doing that."  (DeNicola - mlb.com - 7/26/2021)

  • The door to Sandy Alcantara’s boyhood home in the Dominican Republic opened onto a street that doubled as a ball field. When the children in his neighborhood in Azua gathered to play after school, Alcantara scampered outside to join them. The kids used crates of oranges, sometimes purchased, sometimes pilfered, in place of a baseball. The fruit splattered upon contact, but Alcantara did not care. He lorded over those oranges.

    “I didn’t like it when they took me out of the game,” he said. When other kids offered to throw, Alcantara resisted. “I like to throw innings,” Alcantara said. “Since I was a kid, playing in the street. I like pitching.”

    More than a decade later, Alcantara has grown into a 6-foot-5, 200-pound right-hander with a modern arsenal and a throwback approach. 

    “It might get rough for an inning somewhere,” Marlins manager, Don Mattingly said. “And then he catches a groove again, and it’s like ‘Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.’ He just like goes through guys. It’s weird, right? You would think he’s getting tired. But then you’ll see him in the eighth and he’s hitting 100 mph and he looks like he’s playing catch. Everything seems easy for him.”

    His journey from the street games in Azua to the majors was far from easy. Alcantara grew up with 10 brothers and sisters. When he was 11, his parents sent him to live with one of his sisters in the capital of Santo Domingo, about two hours from home, so he could study while playing baseball.

    The Cardinals signed him at 16. To fill out his 145-pound frame, he hit the weights while gorging on a diet of plantains and rice.

    In 2017, Alcantara debuted with the Cardinals when he was only 21. 

    Alcantara established himself in the Marlins rotation as an All-Star in 2019. Since that season, only Phillies starter Zack Wheeler has thrown more innings than Alcantara’s 544.1. Alcantara was one of only four pitchers to surpass 200 innings last season. Even fewer might reach that mark in 2022, with the offseason lockout disrupting spring training and providing teams more reasons to shelter pitchers.

    The extinction of the workhorse is an industry-wide trend. A generation of pitchers has been raised to hulk up for maximum effort to generate hellacious velocity and movement. To protect their arms, teams have shortened their appearances. The phrase “go as hard as you can, for as long as you can” puts more emphasis on the former than the latter.

    A decade ago, the average starting pitcher lasted just shy of six innings per outing, according to Stathead. In 2022, the average starter lasts a little over five. Alcantara has averaged seven innings per start. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he prioritizes preservation early in games.

    “If you start the game using all your velo, maybe you’re going to get tired in the third inning, maybe in the fifth,” Alcantara said. “But I’m not like that. I like to start the game nice and easy, relax a little bit. After the fifth inning, I’ve got to use all my powers.”

    He can take this approach because his arsenal is explosive and expansive. His version of “nice and easy” clocks around 96 mph. His slider often registers in the low 90s. His changeup is even more firm. The average velocity of the pitch has been 91.8 mph, but “sometimes, when I get mad, I can throw 95, 94 mph,” Alcantara said.

    The boy from Azua grew into a man capable of dominating big-league lineups. Along the way, his refusal to cede the stage did not waver.

    “I’m blessed,” Alcantara said. “Because I’m here now.” (McCullough-TheAthletic.com-June 21, 2022)

  • July 2022: Alcantara was selected to the MLB All-Star Game.

  • Sept. 2022: Alcantara chose to play for the Dominican Republic in the 2023 WBC.

  • Nov 16, 2022: At the age of 8, Sandy Alcantara decided to become a pitcher full time.

    Though the Little Leaguer enjoyed showing off his arm in the outfield of La Luisa Blanca in Monte Plata, Dominican Republic, he had never been a particularly good hitter. So Alcantara remained on the mound, throwing the ball toward home plate around 35 mph.

    On Nov 16, 2022, Alcantara became the first Marlin to capture the National League Cy Young Award after receiving 210 points and all 30 of the first-place votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Braves southpaw Max Fried finished second (72 points) and Dodgers lefty Julio Urías finished third (66 votes). Alcantara is the third Dominican-born pitcher to win a Cy Young Award (Bartolo Colon in 2005 and Pedro Martinez three times). Martinez, Alcantara’s childhood hero, made the announcement.

    “It means a lot, not just being the first Marlin. It being my first one has made me feel so special,” Alcantara said, “because I came here to the Marlins with my positive mentality to try to win, try to compete, try to get better. This year, I put [in] everything, working hard, and you guys can see I got great success. And now I won the National League Cy Young. I feel so happy and blessed.” (CD Nicola - MLB.com - Nov 16, 2022)

  • Nov 21, 2022: There was added buzz in the air at the previous month's grand opening of the Marlins' Dominican Republic Academy in Boca Chica, where ace Sandy addressed what everyone was hoping would happen in a few weeks' time.

    Alcantara's words became a reality when he was named the first Marlin to capture the National League Cy Young. 

    The middle child in a family of 11 siblings, Alcantara never could have imagined this type of accolade, even in his wildest dreams. Not at age 3, when he began playing baseball, a rite of passage for children of the Caribbean nation. Not at age 8, when he moved in with his oldest sister, Aredei, and split time appearing in the outfield and on the mound at La Luisa Blanca in Monte Plata, Dominican Republic. 

    "We just start playing baseball — try to grow as a professional, try to look for a better life," Alcantara said. "When God gives you an opportunity, you have to take advantage, and I think that's why I feel so special."

  • Making the moment even more special was Alcantara's childhood hero, Martinez, being the one to deliver the news. Alcantara grew up watching Martinez, who remains the standard for Dominican pitching excellence. The pair first met about 11 years ago, when Alcantara had already signed a professional contract with the Cardinals. Alcantara admitted feeling nervous when Martinez said his name, then credited the legend as a mentor. The admiration was mutual.

    Martinez compared Alcantara's 2022 season with his own 1997 campaign with the Expos. Neither received much support from a younger and inexperienced ballclub. Still, Martinez called it the most satisfying of his three Cy Young Awards. "I thank God for him, I thank God for his career," Martinez said on the MLB Network broadcast. "I'm extremely proud and thankful to have the opportunity to announce my colleague and countryman, Sandy Alcantara."

    That Dominican pride carries across generations. Edward Cabrera, Jerar Encarnacion, Bryan De La Cruz and Eury Pérez were also present at the academy's ribbon-cutting ceremony. Pérez, Miami's top prospect, is living in South Florida this offseason and plans to train with Alcantara. Last month, Cabrera reflected on what it would mean if Alcantara made history. The 24-year-old, who considers Alcantara a mentor, is still in the earlier stages of his MLB career, with a 3.77 ERA in 21 starts.

    "It will feel amazing," said Cabrera, who was 7 years old the last time a Dominican player won the Cy Young Award. "This is a guy that I hang out with a lot. He is a friend. We enjoy each other's company. We come from the same island, so it's just something that would be even more joyful and proud for me. We love Sandy, just simple as that. We just love that guy." 

    Like Martinez, Alcantara is now seen as a role model. His words and actions hold merit. People recognize Alcantara when he comes home to the Dominican Republic and eagerly ask for autographs and photos. At the academy opening, local youth from Liga Ozoria wore arm sleeves that read "lifetime Marlin" and Alcantara T-shirts. He can become the Pedro for future generations.

    "Seeing those kids over there, it made me feel happy, because like I said over there, they are the future," Alcantara said. "I saw them over there. But I saw myself in there, too, because I was there, I was a kid. I was fighting for something in my life to take care of my family. And that's why I say, 'Don't give up, put everything in God's hands, keep working hard and follow your goals, because if I made it, you guys can make it.'" (CD Nicola - MLB.com - Nov 21, 2022)

  • Dec 5, 2022: Alcantara was named to the 2022 All-MLB First Team along with American League pitchers Justin Verlander, Shohei Ohtani, Framber Valdez and Alek Manoah. Fans and a panel of experts voted on the All-MLB Teams, considering only regular-season performance when casting ballots. (CD Nicola - MLB.com - Dec 5, 2022)

  • Enrique Rojas presented Sandy Alcantara with the 2022 Juan Marichal Award for the most outstanding Dominican player in Major League Baseball.

  • Feb 7, 2023:  "Is that the real-life Sandy?"

    Of the 100 children from the city of Doral attending Field Day presented by Accident Medical Group, one boy in particular couldn't believe he was sharing the field with Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara at Doral Meadow Park.

    Alcantara, the 2022 National League Cy Young Award winner, and Jean Segura, a two-time All-Star, participated in the Marlins FanFest Caravan event, which features members of the organization visiting the community leading up to the Fanfest at loanDepot park. When Alcantara, Segura and Billy the Marlin weren't being swarmed for autographs, they spent more than an hour with the kids at hitting, fielding, pitching and running stations.

    "It's always going to be fun coming here, hanging out with the kids," Alcantara said. "It's something that's going to be always special for me, just come to the park, have fun with the kids, playing a little catch with them, show them how to pitch, show them how to hit and all that stuff. I'm so happy to be here today."

  • Segura brought his oldest son, Juan Diego, so the 8-year-old could see his dad at an activity benefiting the community. The 11-year MLB veteran hopes to serve as a role model to youth. After signing with the Marlins, Segura wants to make an impact both on and off the field in Miami. Not only did Segura provide hitting instruction, but he also did ladder drills alongside the kids.

    "I never got the opportunity, where Major Leaguers go there and teach us how to hit, how to throw," said Segura, who was born in San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic. "Right now, those kids, they are privileged to have someone to play in the Majors for so many years come here and spend time with them and teach them how to do the swing correctly and give you some support. I feel jealous, because I never had that type of experience. But at the end of the day, it's what we can do for human beings."

    Alcantara spent time catching throws from kids fielding grounders, then showing them how to hold their glove to the side like he does. At a hitting station, Alcantara placed balls on the tee and reminded the children to step back so as not to get hit.

  • Hours earlier, Alcantara had gotten his work in, throwing his third live batting practice before Spring Training. A couple of the hitters he faced were familiar ones: former Marlins Adeiny Hechavarria and Brian Anderson. Alcantara plans on heading to Jupiter, Fla., after FanFest so he can throw a bullpen session ahead of the spring training report date.

    "I can't wait to be out there," Alcantara said. "I'm that guy who always likes to be early. I'm going to go there, because I've got to throw a bullpen. I can't wait to get together with my teammates." (CD Nicola - MLB.com - Feb 7, 2023)

  • Alcantara committed to play for the Dominican Republic in the 2023 WBC.

  • March 29, 2023: Sandy was named as the Opening Day Starter for the Marlins against the Mets.

  • Here's how Sandy's sister paved the way for him. 

    Sandy wouldn't be where he is today without his sister, Aridia, the oldest of 11 siblings. When Sandy was still a young boy, Aridia told their mom she wanted to take him in. Married at the time, Aridia was a 20-minute motorcycle ride away from their childhood home in Azua, Dominican Republic.

    "She told me just to guide him through the right path in life," Aridia said. "That was just always her advice. But Sandy has always been a very helpful kid. When I was working, he was cooking at home, sometimes helping any way he could in the house, even bathing my daughter in some situations. So he's always been a very calm guy."

    Sandy stayed with Aridia for one and a half years, until she separated from her husband and moved five hours away to Monte Plata. But the sibling connection remained strong, reuniting them once again when Sandy was 8 until he signed with the Cardinals at 16.

    "When we moved to Monte Plata, I took him there. He started falling in love with the game," Aridia said. "So he started participating, going to the baseball field. Sometimes when I had money, I was giving him money for the bus. But many times, he was walking to the field. I was always helping him in any ways I could, just for his well-being and for the love he had for the game. He kept improving all the time."

    Aridia would walk past Sandy's practice to work, observing him having fun playing alongside all of the other children. Those moments checking in on him are some of Sandy's fondest memories of her.

    "She was super hard on me," Alcantara said. "She was trying to make me go to school every day, trying to be in a good line every time, trying to not get out of the way. I think she was very good to me."

    Aridia wound up hosting all 10 of her siblings at one point or another. Some stayed for a month. Others, like Sandy and his younger brother, Rafelin, remained for longer. The entire family would reunite at their mother's house for Christmas every year. Sandy's younger brother, Rafelin, now 25, helps Sandy train in South Florida. He was seated on the sofa with Sandy when his brother was announced as the first Cy Young winner in Marlins history. Rafelin sees firsthand how much Aridia worries about Sandy the child and Sandy the adult: What's he eating? How does he feel? Is he healthy?

    "She's like a mom for all of us," Rafelin said. "More than dad, she's the person that always was there taking care of us — and also worrying about our well-being in all the ways that I can say, like the head of the family, practically. She's a mother figure."  (Christina De Nicola - May 11, 2023)

  • At 14 years old, a close friend of Sandy's told him they should go to the capital in Santo Domingo to see a former pro ballplayer who had recently gotten a couple of guys signed. Before that could happen, however, Sandy needed permission to make the 45-minute trip.

    "I had to ask my sister 24 hours ahead of time," Alcantara said. "'I have to go to Santo Domingo. There are people who want to see me throwing and pitching.' She said, 'Hey, we'll go together. Let's see who can see you there.' And she went with me. She saw everything was all right. The person that gave me the opportunity, she said, 'OK, he can stay here.' She then told me, 'Just give it everything you can, prepare, and take advantage of the opportunity.'"

    One of Aridia's favorite memories of Sandy took place during his time in the capital. He was painting houses and fixing ceilings as extra work on the side. One day, he sent Aridia 1,000 pesos through an old friend."At the time, I needed it so much," Aridia said. "I didn't tell him anything, but he sent that to me. It was very impactful, just to see him like that, that he was always taking care of the family."

    Aridia still lives in Monte Plata, where Sandy donated equipment to ballplayers of La Liga Luisa Blanca (his former little league) in 2019. She has two daughters and a grandson of her own. Alcantara hopes to obtain a visa for Aridia to watch him pitch in a Major League game for the first time, just like their younger brother Rafelin has been able to. Never much a fan of baseball, she watches games that are on TV because of him.

    When Sandy and Aridia talk, it's about life and not baseball. They discuss how much they miss each other. Aridia might've been the one looking out for her younger brother, but now Sandy can do the same by providing for her and the rest of the family."

    She's like my mother, and I feel so happy with her," Sandy said. "We talk every day, trying to be in contact, supporting each other."  (Christina De Nicola - May 11, 2023)

  • Dec 14, 2023: Santa Claus got some help this year in the form of a lanky National League Cy Young Award winner. Sandy Alcantara, decked in Santa’s trademark coat and hat -- with Sandy Claus scripted across -- and baseball pants, distributed presents with Billy the Marlin at loanDepot park.

    The Marlins, Miami Marlins Foundation and Accident Medical Group teamed up for the club’s annual toy drive, this time benefiting more than 30 students aged 3-5 from CNC Learning Enrichment Program at Alpha Charter of Excellence, a Miami Marlins Slugger Schoolhouse.
    “It's always good because the organization has to do everything with the community, because the community is everything for a team, especially for the Marlins, because we are a Spanish community,” Alcantara said. “So it's something special for Hispanic guys and all the kids who live around here.”

    Two groups of children wearing Santa hats took turns playing duck, duck, goose in left field and creating arts and crafts in the home bullpen before settling down at tables adjacent to the Marlins’ dugout, where tinsel was wrapped along the railing. Kids’ versions of Christmas songs played from the public address system’s speakers while the children munched on snacks like graham crackers and sipped on juice.
     
     Alcantara, who has a son a few years older than the kids in attendance, was a natural interacting with the little ones. Their gifts ranged from magnetic building tiles to engineering tracks to dinosaur cars. One girl eagerly tore off the wrapping paper to reveal a muñeca (doll) before running over to Alcantara to show off her present.

    “¿Te gusta?” Alcantara asked.
    “¡Sí!” the girl exclaimed.

    One of 11 siblings, Alcantara remembers waiting up for Santa every year to see what he left under the tree. Alcantara never asked for baseball equipment; he always requested a cellphone -- something he didn’t receive until he was a grown-up.
     

    “It changed a lot because now I’ve got to do everything Santa Claus is doing with my son, so I’ve got to surprise him every night, every day,” Alcantara said. “It's special moments for me and for all the dads in the world.”

    It was a nice change of pace for Alcantara, who has been visiting the ballpark every day for a three-hour modified version of his usual workout while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

    “I've been working hard to get back as soon as I can, but it's hard for me because I don't want to be in this situation,” Alcantara said. “Everyone wants to be perfect in this life, so I've just got to be happy because I’ve got more opportunities, so hopefully I come back in 2025 strong and better than ever.” (CD Nicola - MLB.com - Dec 14, 2023)



    TRANSACTIONS

  • July 2, 2013: Alcantara signed with the Cardinals, out of the Dominican. Sandy signed for $125,000 at age 16, via scout Rodney Jimenez.

  • Dec. 13, 2017: The Marlins traded Marcell Ozuna to the Cardinals, receiving outfielder Magneuris Sierra and RHPs Sandy Alcantara and Zac Gallen.

  • Nov 29, 2021: The Marlins signed Sandy to a five-year contract extension for $56 million. This deal becomes the largest for a pitcher with three arbitration years remaining. It also covers two years of free agency.
Pitching
  • Alcantara has an overpowering 94-102 mph FASTBALL that is a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale and a 92-96 mph 2-seam SINKER. He also has what may become an average 84-88 mph SLIDER with depth that retired righthanded hitters. He has a CURVEBALL.

    He also has a very good 88-90 mph CHANGEUP on which he maintains arm speed to fool hitters, and it has a chance to become a solid-average to plus pitch (a 60) if he gains some consistency with it. It is another swing-and-miss pitch, especially against lefthanded hitters.

  • In the age of starters throwing fewer innings than ever before, Alcantara is a throwback to an earlier era. Entering the 2022 All-Star break, he had nine starts of at least eight innings during the 2022 season. No other pitcher had more than four.

    “When you have a great routine, you don’t have to worry about it,” Alcantara said. “You know you’re going to be able to compete. A guy like me who likes to compete, who likes to take care of myself, I don’t like to get tired.

    “I don’t like to get tired. That’s why I spend so much time working in the gym, in the weight room. I think I just gotta keep doing what I’m doing.”

    Routine and conditioning, of course, are big parts of the equation. Two others are elite stuff and control.

    Alcantara’s four-seam fastball and sinker both sit 97-98 mph and touch 101, and his changeup is a devastating, low-90s swing-and-miss offering with late movement he actually throws more often than either fastball. His fourth pitch, an 89-90 mph slider, has held opponents to a .198 average. He ties it all together with plus control.

    Alcantara doesn’t strike out an overwhelming number of batters despite his high-octane stuff. What he does do is fill up the strike zone and draw weak contact, allowing him to record quick outs and keep his pitch count low enough to last deep into games. (Kyle Glaser - Baseball America - Aug., 2022)

  • Improved command of all his pitches is the most important factor for Sandy to remain a starter. Even with his velo his fastball becomes hittable in the middle of the plate. All of his pitches need much more consistent control. You can throw it as hard as you want, but if you leave it up over the plate, you're going to get hit. (Spring, 2019)

  • “He throws hard, but they will hit you as you go up levels if that’s all you have,” New Orleans manager Arnie Beyeler said of Alcantara. “He needs more reps. He’s done a good job, but he needs to continue to develop his fastball command.” (July 2018)

  • 2017 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 28.4% of the time; Sinker 38.1% of the time; Change 11.6%; and Slider 21.9% of the time.

  • 2018 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 33.5% of the time, his Sinker 26.5%; Change 13.2%; Slider 22.2%; and Curveball 4.6% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 96.1 mph, Sinker 95.8, Change 89.7, Slider 86.1, and Curve 82.1 mph.

  • 2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 29.7% of the time, his Sinker 27.3%; Change 12.9%; Slider 23.6%; Curveball 6.8%; and Cutter less than 1% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 95.9 mph, Sinker 95.6, Change 89.5, Slider 86.1, Curve 81.3, and Cutter 93.7 mph.

  • 2020 Season Pitch Usage: 34.9% Sinker, 24.8% 4-Seam Fastball, 22.1% Slider, 10.3% Changeup, 8% Curveball.

  • 2022 Season Pitch Usage/Avg. Velo: Sinker 25.5% - 97.7 mph; Fastball 25% - 98 mph; Change 27.5% - 91.7 mph; Slider 21% - 90 mph.

  • 2023 Season Pitch Usage/Avg. Velo: Fastball 22% - 98 mph; Sinker 29% - 97.7 mph; Change 27% - 91 mph; Slider 20% - 90 mph; Curve 2.3% - 86 mph.
  • For such a tall (6-feet-4), lean righthander, Sandy doesn't have very much effort. His mechanics are pretty clean, though he is still working to keep his long levers in sync to be able to throw consistent strikes, something that improved over the course of the 2015 season.

  • Sandy needs to repeat his delivery more consistently. He has room to gain strength, which would help him maintain his delivery. He can lose feel for his mechanics, and his fastball drifts up or out of the strike zone.

    Alcantara has near-average control. He no longer has major command issues and has games where he only walks a couple or three batters. He is becoming that guy who can strike out guys and induce ground balls. His fastball has nice movement. That makes a special pitcher. He is also good about not worrying about what happened. He can focus on the guy at home plate. He won't let an error affect him. (July 2016)

  • Sandy has a starter’s repertoire and frame, very tall and lean with a loose right arm. And he is durable.

  • In 2016, Alcantara got more strikeouts, surprising with the kind of heat Sandy throws. But he wasn't getting Ks with his fastball.

    "Before, I wasn't able to strike out a lot of guys," Alcantara said in 2016. "I would strike out people, but not in these kind of numbers. My breaking pitch is getting better. That's why I'm able to strike out more people."

    His strikeout surge wasn't a focused aspect of his development.

    "I want to get people out," Alcantara said. "If I can get the strikeout, I'll go for the strikeout, but the important thing is to get the batter out, however that happens.

    "I'm focused to get a first-pitch strike, so I can work ahead and then work in the breaking pitch. I want to learn to keep batters off-balance. At times, I can overpower a batter, but that doesn't happen often at this level (Single-A)."

  • The Marlins are developing Alcantara as a starter. Sandy is supremely confident, and all that he is missing is fastball command. (July 2018)

  • 2019 Season: The Marlins have not hesitated to test the limits of rookie Sandy Alcantara down the stretch. And the organization has shown no intention of scaling back his workload in the final week and a half.

    Alcantara reached a franchise milestone at Chase Field, setting Miami’s club record for innings pitched by a rookie. The 24-year-old, who is making a case to enter 2020 as the team’s ace, logged 5 2/3 innings, though he yielded five runs (four earned) on seven hits and two walks in a 5-4 loss to the D-backs.

    Alcantara is now at 184 innings this season, topping the 180 thrown by Scott Olsen in 2006.

    “I feel really good about that,” Alcantara said. “I come from the Dominican Republic, and I got ready there in the offseason to come here and compete. I want to finish strong. I’ve got two starts left. I want to finish healthy and give 100 percent.”

    In the final two months, Alcantara ranked 12th among starters in ERA and 10th in WHIP. The secrets to the rookie's second-half success were improved control (3.2 walks per nine innings) and an improved chase rate out of the zone (70th percentile). Alcantara imparts such spin on his pitches that he is difficult for batters to square up, thus he can probably thrive with a slightly below-average strikeout rate. (Matt Eddy - Baseball America - Spring 2020)

  • In 2019, Alcantara established himself as a frontline starter. The Marlins made it official that the 24-year-old right-hander will be the ace of their staff. Alcantara will be the Opening Day starter, manager Don Mattingly announced. (July 2020)

  • 2020 Season:  3-2, 3.00 ERA, 42.0 IP, 39 K, 1.19 WHIP

    At glance, Alcantara can look a bit like a slightly older version of Sixto Sanchez. He has a high-90s heater, a swing and miss changeup, and a five-pitch mix that gives him a lot of potential for exceptional results. His 2020 season showed that. An appealing 3.00 ERA and an above-average WHIP are nothing to shy away from, especially in deeper leagues. It’s a shame that he spent nearly a full month on the IL last season, because this really could have been the year to kick it into an entirely new gear.

    Where Alcantara does seem to be improving is in his strikeouts and walks. After a 6.89 K/9 in an impressive 197.1 IP in 2019, Alcantara upped it to 8.36 in 2020. Still slightly below average but coupled with that consistently improving walk rate (down to 3.2/9 in 2020) and Alcantara is looking like bargain bin gold. Did I mention he is still only 25?

    This guy has a ton of room for growth, and I think his reduced counting stats due to injury in 2020, along with a certain bias towards pitchers on “bad” teams, will leave you scooping up a very effective SP3 in the later rounds who could well outperform that. I’ll take Sixto for the ceiling, but I am all over Alcantara for the high floor.

  • March 18, 2021: The club announced that Sandy would be its 2021 Opening Day starter for the second straight year.

  • Sept. 25, 2021: Alcantara became the first Marlins pitcher to reach 200 innings in a season since 2012 (Mark Buehrle).

  • In 2021, Alcantara became the fifth pitcher in Marlins history to record 200 innings and 200 strikeouts in the same season, joining Al Leiter (1996), Kevin Brown (1997), Ryan Dempster (2000) and A.J. Burnett (2002). Only two other Major League pitchers have achieved the feat in 2021: Walker Buehler and Zack Wheeler.

  • 2021 Season: The team-leader with a 4.1 WAR, Alcantara turned in a career-season posting a 3.19 ERA with 201 strikeouts across 205.2 innings pitched. Making a career-high 33 starts, the 26-year-old was a constant throughout in the Marlins starting rotation, making Alcantara an easy-pick for the Marlins MVP. (FANSIDED)

  • June 2022: Alcantara was named NL Pitcher of the Month. Alcantara is the second Marlins hurler to take home National League Pitcher of the Month honors this season after Pablo López won the award in April.

    The 26-year-old Alcantara threw at least seven innings in each of his six starts last month, extending his streak to 10 consecutive outings with seven-plus innings. He threw nine scoreless innings in Miami’s extra-innings win over the Nationals on June 8 and closed the month with a complete-game victory over the Cardinals.

    All told, Alcantara went 3-1 with a 1.89 ERA, a 0.88 WHIP, 34 strikeouts and eight walks over 47 2/3 innings in June.

  • July 11, 2022:  Alcantara is arguably the best pitcher in the Major Leagues, and for good reason. He has a 1.73 ERA and leads the Majors in innings pitched and complete games.

    It’s no surprise to anyone that Alcantara was named to the National League All-Star squad.  He will join teammate Jazz Chisholm Jr. as the Marlins' representatives in the Midsummer Classic on July 19 at Dodger Stadium.

  • Sept. 13, 2022: Alcantara reached 200 innings for a second consecutive season as he continues his push for the NL Cy Young. The last Major League pitcher to reach the 200-inning benchmark within 29 starts was Corey Kluber (203 2/3) in 2017. And Kluber won the AL Cy Young that season.

  • Oct 13, 2022: Sandy Alcantara was voted 2022 Baseball Digest/eBay MLB Pitcher of the Year, by a 22-member blue-ribbon panel consisting of writers, broadcasters, former players, managers and executives.

  • 2022 Season: Alcantara posted a 2.28 ERA in an MLB-high 228 2/3 innings during the regular season, and he led the bigs with six complete games. The 27-year-old right-hander pitched eight or more innings in 14 of his 32 starts on the season, the most by any pitcher since 2014. Alcantara’s 2.28 ERA this year marked the second-lowest ERA by any qualified starting pitcher in Marlins history behind Kevin Brown’s 1.89 in 1996.

  • In 2022, Alcantara won the NL Cy Young Award.

  • 2023 Nastiest pitch on the Marlins - Sandy Alcantara's changeup. The best pitch thrown by the unanimous NL Cy Young Award winner, Alcantara's changeup comes in at close to 92 mph — making it the second-hardest thrown by any starter in 2022. And it fades nearly 17 inches to the arm side. (D Adler - MLB.com - Feb 8, 2023)

  • Aug. 12, 2023: Alcantara made history. He is now third on the Marlins all-time strikeout list. He has 763 strikeouts, right behind Josh Johnson (832) and Ricky Nolasco (1,001). He passed Dontrelle Willis (757), who is now fourth on the list.

  • 2023 Season: 2023 Timeline  March 11—pitched for Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic

    April 22—missed start due to right biceps tendinitis

    September 6—placed on injured list with right forearm flexor strain; diagnosis later revised to right UCL sprain

    September 21—pitched four scoreless innings in rehab start with Triple-A Jacksonville

    September 23—announced that he’s been shut down for the rest of the season after experiencing forearm tightness

    October 6—underwent Tommy John surgery
    .

    Season stats: 28 G/28 GS, 184
    .2 IP, 4.14 ERA, 4.03 FIP, 1.21 WHIP, 2.9 fWAR (age 27)

    From start to finish, Sandy Alcantara’s year was frustrating.

    Alcantara was so proud to represent his native Dominican Republic in the WBC, conveniently being hosted at LoanDepot Park. The reigning NL Cy Young award winner was deservedly selected to start their opening game and projected to pitch as many as three times if they reached the championship game (as they were favored to do). Instead, the D.R. was the tournament’s biggest disappointment, losing his lone outing and failing to advance beyond pool play.

    In his 2023 Marlins debut, Alcantara had poor control and recorded only two strikeouts. He would rebound impressively with a shutout against the Minnesota Twins, just to get annihilated by the Philadelphia Phillies in his following start (9 ER in 4.0 IP). That kind of inconsistency permeated throughout the majority his season, not just from game to game but even inning to inning.

    Alcantara would sometimes hit a wall going the third time through an opposing lineup. In other cases, he’d allow a crooked number early before cruising the rest of the way. There was no obvious button to press to restore him to ace status.

    Just like in 2022, Alcantara threw exclusively to Jacob Stallings. They stuck with a familiar pitch selection strategy this season, aspiring to be unpredictable by using sinkers, changeups, four-seam fastballs and sliders each at least 20% of the time.

    A lot of Alcantara’s regression can be attributed to his changeup. It went from MLB’s best offspeed weapon (plus-24 run value, per Baseball Savant) to a below-average offering (minus-4). He threw it with slightly less velocity and generated slightly less movement. It limited his effectiveness against left-handed batters in particular. After recording 78 strikeouts on his cambio in 2022, that total plunged to 37 in 2023. (ELY SUSSMAN - Oct. 7, 2023)
    He also averaged 98 mph on his fastball

Career Injury Report
  • July 3-Aug. 6, 2018: Sandy was on the DL with right axillary infection. 

  • Aug 4-30, 2020: Sandy was on the IL.

  • April 24, 2023: Alcantara has mild right biceps tendinitis. He threw a 25-pitch bullpen session. Alcantara is slated to start the April 26 game against the Braves. He spoke to reporters prior to the Marlins' April 23 matchup against the Guardians, saying that he first felt something was off on April 16.

  • Sept 4, 2023: Sandy was on the IL with right forearm flexor strain. Alcantara said he felt the discomfort on the final pitch of his start against the Nationals.

    Sept 8, 2023: Alcantara, who is not throwing, is completing forearm strengthening exercises with the team in Philadelphia. He will be reevaluated in a few days.

    Sept 13, 2023: - An MRI revealed Marlins starter Sandy Alcantara has a right UCL sprain, manager Skip Schumaker said. Alcantara was initially diagnosed with a right forearm flexor strain and he was placed on the 15-day injured list Sept. 6 after feeling discomfort during his Sept. 3 start. He played catch for the first time since that outing.

    Sept 18, 2023:  Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara is throwing again, and he's hoping to return soon to help his team's push for the postseason.

    Alcantara, whose MRI revealed a right UCL sprain, tossed his second bullpen session prior to Monday's series opener against the Mets at loanDepot park. He threw 20 pitches while incorporating his entire arsensal.

    Sept 23-Oct 2, 2023: It was determined that Alcantara was to not pitch the remainder of the season.

  • Oct. 6, 2023: Alcantara underwent Tommy John surgery.