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Blue Jays: Alford tops Baseball America’s top-10 prospect list

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Blue Jays outfielder Anthony Alford tops Baseball America’s list of the top-10 Toronto prospects. Behind him, some fresh names crack the list

Baseball America released their list of the top-10 Blue Jays prospects earlier today, and after the great prospect purge of 2015, it’s time to get familiar with some new names. Only three of the Blue Jays top-10 prospects entering last season (by B.A. lists) remain in the top-10 this year.

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Outfielder Anthony Alford ranks number one overall, earning some very high praise in the individual reports (which Baseball America subscribers will have access too). His great physical gifts are evident, and finally began to show consistently throughout his breakout 2015, but the reports on his off-field and mental games are equally encouraging. Baseball America notes that scouts have been extremely impressed with his fielding instincts, and that his football background profiles him as a natural clubhouse leader.

From top to bottom, the list looks like…

  1. Anthony Alford
  2. Conner Greene
  3. Vlad Guerrero Jr.
  4. Richard Urena
  5. Sean Reid-Foley
  6. Jon Harris
  7. Rowdy Tellez
  8. Max Pentecost
  9. Justin Maese
  10. D.J. Davis

It’s a lesson on how quickly these lists can change, whether it be due to promotions or trades. Last year’s list featured the likes of Jeff Hoffman, Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris, Dalton Pompey, Franklin Barreto, Roberto Osuna and Miguel Castro. This time around, it seems that things will be in a more stable position through the year as the farm system collectively regenerates talent.

Justin Maese might be the “newest” name to most Blue Jays fans looking at these lists. The 2015 3rd round pick was brilliant in the Gulf Coast League last season, the right-hander posted a 1.01 ERA and 5-0 record over 35.2 innings. Still just 19, he’s shown the ability to hit the mid-90s with his fastball (though not yet consistently) and has plus potential on his slider.

This list also values the upside of Conner Greene and Sean Reid-Foley over the safer nature of Jon Harris, Toronto’s first round draft pick just one year ago out of college. In fact, MLB.com lists Harris as the number one prospect in the organization with Reid-Foley at three and Greene at eight.

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There’s also more offensive pop in this top-10 than Blue Jays fans are accustomed to seeing. Both Alford and Urena offer long-term potential to find increased power in their swings, but in Tellez and Guerrero, Toronto has the potential to develop a true middle of the order bat. It’s been a while.

Past those names and the wildcard of D.J. Davis, catcher Max Pentecost continues to be the prospect nobody can wrap their head around. After three procedures on his shoulder and multiple setbacks, it was reported two weeks ago that Pentecost could be facing a move to first base in order to get consistent at-bats. This is a pivotal season for him.

It’s important to remain cognizant of the fact that a being a top-10 prospect in one organization does not make a young player a surefire top-10 prospect across the league. Even still, Toronto’s mix of upside arms and offensive potential makes for an interesting, albeit weakened, top-10 list.

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