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2022 Diamondbacks Reviews #20: Sergio Alcantara

He will likely sign a contract as a utility player for another team.

Sergio Alcantara
Sergio Alcantara
Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


Rating: 5.07

AZ Snake Pit

2022 stats:

Diamondbacks 71 G, 6 HR in 186 PAs, .241/.283/.496 (94 OPS+)

Padres 22 G, 0 HR in 38 PAs, .114/.158/.114 (negative 18 OPS+)

Date of birth: July 10, 1996 (26 years old),

2022 earnings: $360,180(via Spotrac),

2023 status: Free Agent.


Sergio Alcantara’s history was noteworthy:

  • In 2012, the Diamondbacks signed Sergio Alcantara as an international free agent on his 16th birthday. His signing bonus was $700,000.
  • In 2017, he was sent to the Tigers as part of the Diamondbacks’ trade for JD Martinez, who helped the Diamondbacks reach the playoffs.
  • In 2020, he reached the Majors 8 years after he signed. For players who reach the Majors, his time in the minors was longer than average.
  • Per this AZ Snake Pit article, in 2022 only 95 active players had played for at least 4 teams (with 500 PA career minimum). Sergio Alcantara was the youngest of the 95.
  • The Diamondbacks acquired Alcantara three times (initial signing in 2012, purchased from the Cubs in March of 2022, and selected off waivers from the Padres in July of 2022).
  • He is currently a free agent, opening the opportunity for the Diamondbacks to acquire him a fourth time.

2022 Review

Batting. The Diamondbacks lost Sergio Alcantara to waivers on 9 May and got him back on 5 July. After he was re-acquired, his monthly OPS was much improved (ranging from .706 to .820).

For the season he hit much better in high leverage situations:

  • 1.020 OPS in High Leverage PAs
  • 0.458 OPS in Medium Leverage PAs
  • 0.587 OPS in Low Leverage PAs

For the Diamondbacks he played in 71 games. Showing his excellent performance in the Diamondbacks’ high leverage situations was that in 11 games his Win Probability Added (WPA) ranged between .115 and .762.

Defense. This season, he played mostly third base (52.7% of innings), with remaining time split between shortstop (especially in August & September for the Diamondbacks) and second base (especially in July for the Padres).

This season, ten Diamondbacks played third base. The top three defenders were Emmanuel Rivera (+6 DRS and +4 OAA by position on field), Sergio Alcantara (negative 4 DRS and negative 1 OAA by position on field), and Josh Rojas (negative 1 DRS and negative 6 OAA by position on field).

2023 Outlook

As a free agent he has potential to play second base, third base or shortstop, depending on the needs of the team that signs him.

Let’s look whether he would fit with the Diamondbacks.

Fit at shortstop. Let’s assume Nick Ahmed will play short stop. His backup could be Geraldo Perdomo or Sergio Alcantara.

Deciding who would be the best platoon partner with Nick Ahmed is not simple.

“...if you focus on all PAs [from 2021 and 2022] Sergio Alcantara is a better platoon partner, but if you look at the PAs with runners in scoring position (RISP), Geraldo Perdomo is a better platoon partner.” — This AZ Snake Pit article.

Another view is in the most recent PAs (from 1 July to 6 October 2022), Sergio Alcantara had the better OPS (.762 vs .506) and HR per PA (.039 vs .011).

And defense is important at shortstop. Two observations:

  • Combining 2021 and 2021, Sergio Alcantara had the better DRS at shortstop (4 DRS in 539 Innings vs negative 2 DRS in 1241 Innings) and OAA at shortstop by position on field (5 vs 2 OAA).
  • On the other hand, last season after the All-Star break Geraldo Perdomo’s defense at shortstop was outstanding (contributing 4 DRS per this AZ Snake Pit article) and at a level much better than Alcantara.

It seems likely that the Diamondbacks decided Perdomo’s recent defensive breakout was more valuable to the team than Alcantara’s batting.

Fit at third base. Although likely overlooking other possibilities, Emmanuel Rivera, Josh Rojas, and Sergio Alcantara could play third base. Let’s look at those three players in the following table.

2022 Season. Data from The Fielding Bible and Baseball Savant.

The table shows that Emmanuel Rivera was the best defender at third base by a large margin (he had +6 DRS and +4 OAA). Recently Rojas said he will improve his defense in the offseason. Perhaps he was communicating his intention to improve his OAA at third base.

Although it was unclear whether Sergio Alcantara or Josh Rojas would be the better defender at third base (in a platoon with Emmanuel Rivera), it seems likely that the Diamondbacks decided that Rojas would be at least as good as Alcantara.

The table shows that the best overall OPS could be achieved by platooning Emmanuel Rivera vs LHP and Josh Rojas vs RHP. That platoon would balance batting with Rivera’s excellent defense at third base.

Where does Sergio Alcantara fit? It seems likely that the Diamondbacks designated Sergio Alcantara for assignment because they had players who fit better at shortstop (Ahmed and Perdomo) and third base (Rivera and Rojas).

Sergio Alcantara is a free agent. His skill and experience at third base, second base, and shortstop could be valuable to many teams. He will likely sign a contract as a utility player for another team.