Today we’re looking at potentially the most athletic player in the Jays’ minor league system, Anthony Alford.
Name: Anthony Alford
Position: OF Age: 24
Height: 6’1” Weight: 215 lb
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Acquired: Selected in the Third Round of the 2012 MLB draft.
Anthony Alford was taken #112 overall in the 2012 MLB Draft. His athleticism wowed scouts and teams who projected him to go within the first round. The reason Alford fell so late is because many thought he would commit to football over baseball. The Blue Jays let Alford have the opportunity to continue with football by letting him still play, but playing baseball in the summer.
Fortunately for Toronto, he decided to commit to the Blue Jays later on as a full-time baseball player and gained enough attention for his raw athleticism that he raised his way through Toronto’s system.
Fangraphs has Alford hitting at a 40 which isn’t great. And so far, his major league career has reflected that. In 17 games with the Jays, he has a whopping slash line of .111/.172/.148, which is not too great.
Throughout his minor-league career, it has been much better but still not that great either. Alford has a line of .265/.360/.385, which is somewhat respectable but nothing really eye popping.
Alford’s game power is also given a 40, but his raw power is all the way up at a 60. Both of these stats really make perfect sense.
His game power is really if he can get a hold of things, which he hasn’t shown too often so far, especially against major league competition. But his raw power is really a credit to how athletic Alford is.
His strength is probably one of the greatest tools and he might be one of the better prospects in that regard, but he struggles to translate it to the diamond.
Alford is fast. He’s given a 70 in the speed department and he averages in the high-teens for steals per season, which is really good for a big guy.
This is really credit to his football background. Alford was a quarterback in his high school and college days, and was listed at a 4-star duel-threat QB. His 40-yard dash was an astonishing 4.5 seconds. If you don’t know that much about football, that’s pretty good. That time ranks the same as Marcus Mariota’s. Not too bad at all.
Alford is an above average fielder. Fangraphs gives him a score of 50 and it shows. His MLB fielding percentage is at a perfect 1.000 at all three fielding positions.
In the minor leagues he also fares pretty well. His strongest percentage is in centre field where it’s a .971. Those numbers and his tool base make for some pretty exciting potential, especially if he can push the rest of his game forward.
Alford probably won’t be more than just a role player for the Toronto Blue Jays. Especially considering that they have a lot of outfield talent, Alford is there to just provide some depth for the time being.
He is the perfect example of how far raw athleticism can get a person in baseball, without having “it”. And what is “it”? Well it’s what separates the decent or good baseball players from the amazing ones.
Alford hasn’t been able to put everything together, even if he is a freak athlete. He didn’t commit his life to baseball, instead he switched in his late teens and has had some pretty good success still. There’s still plenty of reason to believe in him, but the clock may be starting to tick on one of the Blue Jays’ top prospects, and 2019 could be an important year.