The Clinton LumberKings have found out that when they are in need of some scoreless innings that Elkin Alcala is the guy to turn to.
With most of the recent Miami Marlins press regarding the 2019 draft class, including J.J. Bleday and Kameron Misner, sometimes it’s easy to overlook some of the diamonds-in-the-rough that are already in the system. Elkin Alcala is one of those diamonds.
Elkin Alcala is a 5’ 11” RHP from Cartagena, Colombia, and was signed by the Miami Marlins through free agency in 2015. 2016 would see Elkin pitching in the DSL league. He split the following season between the DSL Marlins and the GCL Marlins. In 2018 he spent the year with the Batavia Muckdogs in the NYPL. This season, he started with the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the FSL only to be sent down to the Clinton LumberKings on May 25, 2019.
To date, Alcala’s best professional season was 2017, when he allowed a grand-total of 21 hits over 37 1/3 innings of Rookie-Level work. That year, opponents managed a paltry .164 average and a 0.75 WHIP. Although not a strikeout pitcher (he collected 21 that season between the two levels), Alcala makes his money by keeping it in the yard. Over the course of his now-four-season minor league career, he’s allowed only five moon shots over 117 innings of work, which works out to a HR/9 rate of 0.38. He’s done this despite maintaining a high fly-out to ground-out rate, currently 0.41.
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The first half of the season with the Kings he would see six appearances and post a 0-1 record with a 5.00 ERA. The All-Star break would be just what Elkin would need. Since the start of the second half Elkin has shined to a 2-1 record and an impressive 0.63 ERA. Over his last six games he had been almost untouchable, posting a 2-0 record with two saves in 13 2/3 innings of work while allowing only three hits, waking two, and setting down six by way of the strikeout.
On July 18 against the Great Lakes Loons, Elkin would be called into action after the starter failed to make it out of the first. Elkin impressed, setting a new professional high in innings pitched with 4 1/3. He would only allow one hit and his teammates would support him with the runs needed to earn him a victory on the night.
So when the game is close, or the team is in a jam, keep an eye out for Alcala to come out of the bullpen. His pitching as of late is pretty much lights out for opponents.
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