News Column

Alcantara names to Futures roster

June 25, 2014

By Susan Denk, The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa



June 25--Victor Alcantara got a nice surprise Tuesday afternoon as the Burlington Bees were taking batting practice.

"I absolutely didn't know. (Harrison) Cooney came up to me and told me," Alcantara said through translator teammate Angel Rosa. "I didn't even know it."

The 'it' Alcantara did not know until fellow pitcher Cooney told him was his selection to the All-Star Game Futures roster.

The right-hander will play for the World Team in the game, which is July 13 at Target Field in Minneapolis, part of the Major League All-Star Game festivities.

Alcantara is from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

"I think I was more pumped than him," said Rosa. "For him, it's a great honor. I hope he has a blast out there and does a good job and becomes a future All-Star in the big leagues."

Alcantara has compiled a 4-4 record and 4.43 ERA in 15 games this season, nine of them starts. He has one save in one opportunity. Alcantara has 60 strikeouts and 38 walks.

More impressive than numbers to Burlington manager Bill Richardson is how far Alcantara has come in just a short time. He cited Alcantara's last start as a prime example.

Alcantara gave up three runs in the first inning, and had trouble finding the plate.

"I think he was 1-of-14 first-pitch strikes in the first two innings, and (pitching coach) Ethan (Katz) got into him a little bit, then 9 out of the next 10 were strikes," Richardson said. "This is something three months, four months ago, he wasn't doing.

"There's times in this game you won't forget and this is one of them. To see where this man's come in one year ... We never take credit for their successes, just like we don't their failures, this kid's put in the time. He's put in the work. He's got a long way to go, don't get me wrong, but this is a great start."

The honor has not yet fully sunk in for Alcantara, though he is excited for the opportunity.

"Just have a good game. Do my job out there. Represent the Angels," he said. "Look forward to watching all the All-Stars up there."

The next challenge for Alcantara to overcome is the trip north. The 21-year-old will be going to Minnesota alone. But the host family situation this year has certainly helped Alcantara.

"I just can't believe he's going to go to Minnesota by himself," Richardson said. "The Zaisers do such a good job with him that his English is getting better. That correlates to confidence out on the hill."

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(c)2014 The Hawk Eye (Burlington, Iowa)

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Source: Hawk Eye, The (Burlington, IA)