Blue Jays 2020 Top Prospects: #19 Anthony Alford

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BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 17: Anthony Alford #30 of the Toronto Blue Jays slides into third base in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 17, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 17: Anthony Alford #30 of the Toronto Blue Jays slides into third base in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 17, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Jays Journal continues our countdown of the top 30 Blue Jays prospects of 2020. The #19 spot goes to outfielder Anthony Alford.

Name: Anthony Alford
Position: Outfielder                                                    Age: 25
Height: 6’1                                                                    Weight: 215 lbs
Throws: Right                                                              Bats: Right
Acquired: Drafted in the 3rd round (112th overall) in 2012

2019 Organization Level: AAA/MLB                    ETA: 2020

It truly seems that Anthony Alford has been on prospects lists for ages as he has been considered a prospect since 2015. He was ranked 97th on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects list in 2015, 87th in 2016 and  44th in 2017 until he completely fell off the top 100 list.

Hitting 

Alford has struggled to hit the ball in at the major league level. In 33 games spanning over three seasons, he’s slashed .145/.203/.218 with just 8 hits compared to 23 strikeouts with one HR. In his minor league career, he’s slashed .265/.358/.393 with 101 doubles.

Despite his struggles at the major leagues, MLB Pipeline still has positive things to say about his bat as they state that  he has a “quick bat” and has “plus raw power from the right side of the plate”

Defence 

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Defensively, Alford has been a reliable defender. He has played all outfield positions at the major league level and didn’t make an error playing left or center but did commit his first career error in right field during the 2019 season. In 141 career defensive innings, he holds a fielding percentage of .972.

Alford was once viewed as the Jays centerfielder of the future but due to his offensive struggles, he hasn’t been given the opportunity in an everyday role to show off his defence. MLB Pipeline details in its blurb about Alford that he provides above-average defence at all three outfield positions.

Speed 

One aspect of Alford’s game that doesn’t get enough attention is his speed. In the minor leagues, he’s stolen 114 bases with a success rate of 78%. He’s only swiped three bags at the major league level but that can be attributed to his paltry career OBP of .203.

In relation to his speed, MLB Pipeline says “Alford’s lower-half injuries have robbed him of some speed, but he’s still a plus runner…”. MLB Pipeline also provided him with a grade of 60 for Speed which was the highest grade he got of any of the five tools.

Future value

Alford was once regarded as a key part of the Jays future but unless he turns things around, it doesn’t seem like he would be apart of the Jays plans going forward.

MLB Pipeline writes “The potential is there for Alford to become an everyday player in the big leagues, though he’ll first need to re-establish a consistent approach and show that he can drive the ball to all fields as he did early in his career. If he can’t cut it as a regular, Alford still should offer value as a fourth outfielder with his speed, versatility and on-base skills.”

Next. Toronto Blue Jays 2020 Top Prospects: #20 Patrick Murphy. dark

Alford needs to prove himself in order to be a big-league player and stay at the highest level but he’s running out of time. If he struggles again this year, the Jays may as well just move on from him.

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