Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler has seen a lot during his time in baseball. Between a 12-year career in the majors followed by his work on television and in the Los Angeles Dodgers front office, one would think he has seen it all.
Yet even Kapler, who played with Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez from 2000-’02 with the Texas Rangers, said the play Philadelphia’s catcher Jorge Alfaro made to end the game against the Atlanta Braves is one he’s never seen before from a catcher.
“I don’t know if there’s another catcher that I’ve ever seen – and I played with Pudge –– that makes that play in the ninth inning,” Kapler said, via MLB.com
“He is spectacularly talented, spectacularly athletic, incredibly durable. He’s starting to look like a guy who is going to be a picture in our lineup for a long time,” he said.
It may sound like hyperbole but keep in mind, Kapler has been around professional baseball since he entered the minors in 1995 and made his MLB debut in 1998.
For those who may have missed it, here’s the play he’s referring to.
This was about Jorge Alfaro, and this play. https://t.co/ViQjhesVjn
— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) May 22, 2018
Two decades of experience, thousands of games and Alfaro made a play Kapler has never seen before.
For Alfaro, the 24-year-old is just at the start of his MLB career and already receiving some stellar comparisons.
As the Phillies continue to rise, the recognition and appreciation for Alfaro’s skills behind the plate should only grow and perhaps we’ll be fortunate enough to see more plays like this one.