Blue Jays 2015 Top Prospect Wrap Up: Anthony Alford


The Lansing Lugnuts season came to an end on Monday night with a 14-5 loss against the West Michigan Whitecaps. It eliminated the Lugnuts from the playoffs. Part of the reason they were able to play in the post season has to do with the play of prospect Anthony Alford. Thanks to all of the mid-summer trades and a strong season, Alford sits in the 3rd spot on MLB Pipeline‘s list of Blue Jays’ prospects.

Alford just completed his first full season of professional ball and all signs are encouraging. After committing to baseball full time, the organization sent him to play in Australia to get some regular at bats. His performance there was not stellar. He struck out a lot and didn’t get on base much. It made some stop and think about his ranking within the system if he wasn’t having success even in Australia. This was quickly brushed aside as silly given the purpose of his stay and the raw tools that he brings to the table.

Alford has long been considered a great athlete. Many felt all that was missing was for him to get the consistent playing time. Once he got that, his raw talent would translate into a strong baseball skill set. Well, 2015 certainly proved that to be correct. He started the year in Lansing and was on fire. He was responsible for a good deal of the excitement and noise this team made in the early goings. All reports back from A ball were that this guy was fun to watch.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

The results were certainly there. In 50 games with the Lugnuts, Alford slashed .293/.418/.394. Any concern about his ability to get on base that came out of Australia was quieted as he worked 39 walks in those 50 games. While his patience was good, his power was still lacking. He hit just 14 doubles and one home run there. Now, they say that power is the last thing to come for prospects, but it sure would be great if he could add more than a .101 ISO (according to But, we’re being picky, there. One thing to note is that Alford was helped out by a BABIP of .422, not that that should take away from what he did while in Lansing.

Because what he did earned him a promotion to A+ Dunedin. And in 57 games there, he found a bit of that power game. He slashed .302/.380/.444 with an ISO of .142. He hit 3 home runs to go with 11 doubles. While he seemed to be hitting the ball better, he was still the benefactor of a BABIP of .376. What is more interesting is that his patience seemed to decrease. He worked just 28 walks the rest of the season. Now, that is not to suggest that a .380 OBP is terrible. But, there is a noticeable difference from one level to the next.

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All of this combined for a MiLB season of .298/.398/.421, which for a first full season in professional ball is very acceptable. It certainly is a start from which the organization can work. Taking his offensive production and putting it together with a defensive showing you have an interesting project. Playing CF, Alford committed 9 errors between the two levels. 9 errors in 107 games is 7 more than Kevin Pillar had at the big league level in 122 games at CF. Obviously, that is not a proper comparison except to point out the room to grow that Alford has.

And that is just fine. The kid turned 21 in July. He hasn’t yet been able to focus solely on baseball for this long. This is a great first season. He’s earned a break. Adding up the time in Australia and at the two levels of the Blue Jays’ system, he very well could be just plain tired. That’s a lot of baseball to jump into. According to Gregor Chisholm of, Alford won’t be among those representing the Blue Jays this fall in Arizona. And that’s OK.

He’ll come into Spring Training with a solid full season under his belt. After performing well at two levels, it is possible that he could be looking at a start in AA New Hampshire, depending on his showing in camp. He has already created a buzz among those who’ve seen him. He is a work in progress, but when Blue Jays brass see him after the winter, they could be looking to move him up. Of course, we shouldn’t be shocked to see him back in Dunedin, at least to begin 2016. He has already passed the likes of Dwight Smith Jr on the depth charts. He is looking up at guys like Dalton Pompey. But, for how much longer?

Next: Dalton Pompey Should Be on the Blue Jays Playoff Roster

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