Blue Jays: Anthony Alford falling off radar in Triple-A

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 25: Anthony Alford /

Anthony Alford is one of the Toronto Blue Jays top prospects however the outfielder is scuffling at the plate embroiled in a season-long offensive slump.

The 23-year old former third-round pick entered spring training with an outside shot at making the Blue Jays roster. Anthony Alford got off a to a hot start in Grapefruit League action slashing .323/.313/.645 in 31 spring at-bats before suffering a grade-2 hamstring string that sidelined him for over a month.

Since returning from the injury Alford has been unable to get into a groove at the dish struggling mightily with the stick for the herd. In 44 games with the Bisons, Alford is batting .208/.280/.283 with one home run and nine stolen bases in eleven attempts. The inflated strikeout rate is also concerning as Alford has whiffed 51 times in 175 plate appearances with the Bisons.

Alford is also struggling versus left-handed pitching hitting just .149 against southpaws this season. Despite the struggles on the farm, the outfielder has gotten into seven games with the big club and struggled north of the border also. Alford registered two base hits while striking out 6 times in 16 plate appearances with the Jays earlier in the season.

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The toolsy outfielder possesses all the raw ability to be a game changer both defensively and offensively, however, he is going to have to show some consistency at the plate and cut down on his strikeout rate before he is surpassed on the prospect depth chart.

Just in Buffalo alone, Alford has been outplayed statistically by outfielders Roemon Fields, Dwight Smith Jr., and the oft-injured Dalton Pompey. Last season Alford and Teoscar Hernandez were neck and neck jockeying for the next call-up with the big club. Hernandez is now a staple in the Jays outfield while Alford continues to falter on the farm.

In 352 career minor league games, Alford is batting .265/.364/.384 with 22 homers and 84 stolen bases. Heading into 2018, Alford was ranked the 3rd best organizational prospect by only behind a couple guys named Vladdy and Bo.

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Hopefully in the second half of the campaign Alford can put his past injury problems behind him and reassert himself as a legit major league talent in the making.