Miami Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara has a losing career record, plays for a perennial bad team, and few baseball fans outside of Florida can pick him out of a lineup.
Yet for the past few seasons, the Dominican Republic-born righty has been considered one of the best pitchers on baseball.
Alcantara finally put together the season Miami — and the MLB — have been waiting for. In 2022, he went 14-9 with a stellar 2.28 ERA — the National League now uses the DH, remember — and a league-leading 228.2 innings pitched.
Not to mention hurling six complete games, a rarity in modern baseball.
All of that was more than good enough to earn the two-time All-Star his first CY Young Award — for a fourth-place team that only won 69 games.
Born in San Cristobal, Alcantara signed with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012 at just 17. He spent several years working his way up through the Cardinals’ minor league system, impressing with his strong fastball and improving control.
Alcantara made his major league debut with the Cardinals in 2018. He had a solid rookie season, finishing with a 4.31 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 23 games. The following year, he was traded to the Miami Marlins as part of a blockbuster deal that sent outfielder Marcell Ozuna to the Cards.
With the Marlins, Alcantara quickly established himself as a key member of the starting rotation. In 2020, he had a breakout season, finishing with a 3.00 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 17 starts. He was named an All-Star for the first time in his career and was named the team’s Pitcher of the Year as he solidified his status as the staff ace at just 24 years old.
Made his major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018
Traded to the Miami Marlins in 2019
Named an All-Star for the first time in 2020
Named Marlins’ Pitcher of the Year in 2020
Recorded career-high 12 strikeouts in a start in 2020
Led NL with 33 starts in 2021
Won NL Cy Young with a 14-9, 2.28 ERA season