Blue Jays Alford, Greene crack Baseball Prospectus top-101 prospects


Blue Jays top prospects Anthony Alford and Conner Greene have both been named to the annual Baseball Prospectus top-101 list ahead of the 2016 season

As we continue to dig in to the top-10 of our own Blue Jays top prospects, some of the better league-wide lists are beginning to release ahead of the new season.

The Blue Jays landed two prospects on this year’s Baseball Prospectus top-101 prospects with outfielder Anthony Alford coming in at 44 between Aaron Blair of the Atlanta Braves and Sean Manaea of the Oakland Athletics.

Right-handed pitching prospect Conner Greene slipped in at number 100 between Trent Clark of the Milawaukee Brewers and Forrest Wall of the Colorado Rockies.

On Alford, now considered by many as Toronto’s top overall prospect, the team of experts at Baseball Prospectus writes…

"Alford cost the Jays almost twice the third-round slot on a two-sport deal out of the 2012 draft (he was a highly regarded quarterback prospect at Southern Miss), and it started to pay off in 2015. He always had five-tool potential, and it showed up at the plate in a big way in his first extended taste of full-season ball. Alford displayed above-average bat speed and an improving approach, and his athleticism already plays well in center. Although he lost some development time due to his dalliance with college football, he will find himself in 2016 a level-appropriate 22-year-old in the Eastern League."

Another strong season beginning with the double-A New Hampshire FisherCats should put Anthony Alford on the cusp one year from now, especially if Jose Bautista tests the free agent waters or Toronto’s left field situation remains unanswered.

On the high-upside arm of Conner Greene, Baseball Prospectus had the following to say…

"The Jays nabbed Greene as a projectable Southern California prep arm in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. He, uh, projected, climbing three levels of the minors in his full-season debut. The skinny 6-foot-3 right-hander can run his fastball up to 98 and sits comfortably at 92-94. The curveball and changeup will both flash average, but are in need of further development. Greene got all the way to Double-A, but he is still a bit of a raw athlete on the mound. The stuff is good enough that with more development time he could round into a mid-rotation starter, although the top-end velocity he showed last year would also be alluring in a late-inning role."

Greene is expected to begin the season with the double-A FisherCats, as well, making them a team to watch early in 2016. By mid-2016, he is expected to join the triple-A Buffalo Bisons and could become a dark-horse candidate for a late-season role if his performance allows.