Cubs look to the future in protecting Alcantara

Cubs look to the future in protecting Alcantara
November 20, 2013, 5:45 pm
Tony Andracki

Arismendy Alcantara was rewarded for his breakout 2013 campaign with a spot on the Chicago Cubs' 40-man roster Wednesday.

With the Rule 5 Draft scheduled for early December, MLB teams had to finalize their 40-man rosters this week and the Cubs opted to protect Alcantara and right-handed pitcher Dallas Beeler.

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Alcantara, a 22-year-old infielder, shot up top prospect rankings in 2013, setting career highs across the board in 133 games for Double-A Tennessee. The Dominican native flashed an enticing mix of power (36 doubles, 15 homers) and speed (31 stolen bases) while showing the kind of patience (62 walks) this front office is preaching throughout the minor-league system.

Alcantara, ranked as the Cubs' No. 7 prospect by Baseball America earlier this month, initially came up as a shortstop, but was moved to second base after Javier Baez's arrival in Tennessee and the two are expected to form the middle-infield tandem for Triple-A Iowa to start 2014.

Beeler, 24, has battled injuries during his career -- including Tommy John surgery in college -- but pitched well when he was on the field in 2013 with a 4-2 record, 3.13 ERA and 1.098 WHIP in nine starts at Double-A Tennessee. He also found success in the Arizona Fall League, boasting a 2.49 ERA in 21.2 innings while playing alongside Cubs top prospects Kris Bryant, Albert Almora and Jorge Soler.

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The two additions brought the Cubs' 40-man roster to 39 players.