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Sandy Alcantara Leads Marlins' Pitching Wave

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Righthander Sandy Alcantara has his brother’s nickname tattooed on his left shoulder, and there’s a reason why that ink is there.

Alcantara, whom the Marlins acquired from the Cardinals in December in the Marcell Ozuna trade, is one of 11 children. But Alcantara lost his 17-year-old brother Alexander last October, when the teen died in a motorcycle crash in their native Dominican Republic.

The tragic news arrived just as Alcantara 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.”

The 22-year-old Alcantara vows to dedicate his career to his brother, and so far he has done well. He allowed one run in five innings in his lone start for the Marlins this year before landing on the disabled list.

Before that, he went 5-3, 3.71 in 14 starts for Triple-A New Orleans.

Alcantara, Miami’s top overall prospect with a fastball that has reached 102 mph, is one of several promising young pitchers the Marlins have in their system.

Four rookies have been part of Miami’s rotation this year: Alcantara, Pablo Lopez, Trevor Richards and Caleb Smith.

Another rookie, Merandy Gonzalez, made seven relief appearances for the Marlins but is now back in the rotation at Double-A Jacksonville.

The next wave of Marlins rookie pitchers could include righthander Zac Gallen, who is at Triple-A as well as Double-A starter Nick Neidert, who ranks as the system's No. 2 prospect.

"Nick has been our most consistent starter since the beginning of the season,” Jacksonville manager Randy Ready said of Neidert. "He has above-average command with his fastball, which is a great ingredient. His changeup has been a plus pitch, and his slider is continuing to improve.”

The Marlins also have four of their Top 10 Prospects pitching at Class A: No. 3 Jorge Guzman at high Class A Jupiter and No. 6 Edward Cabrera, No. 8 Trevor Rogers and No. 9 Braxton Garrett at low Class A Greensboro.

USESalt_River_Rafters.jpg

2019 Arizona Fall League Roster Analysis: Salt River Rafters

A detailed look at the prospects on this year's Salt River Rafters, which include Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff and Victor Victor Mesa.

FISH BITES

** Righthander Jordan Yamamoto, who had earned a promotion to Double-A, has been shut down due to bursitis in his pitching arm.

** Righthander Robert Dugger, who has struggled with his command at Double-A, has been rushing his delivery and not getting full extension, Ready said.

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