Blue Jays: Who will step up in Alford’s absence?

Blue Jays Top Outfield Prospect, Anthony Alford, is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a strained hamstring.

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

My recent guess-itmation of how the Blue Jays minor league outfields would line up this season took a hit when the news surrounding Anthony Alford strained hamstring surfaced. Toronto’s prized outfield is expected to need 4-6 weeks to heal, barring any setbacks.

 

While the loss of the immensely talented outfielder is unlikely to be felt in Toronto, it will have a domino effect on the how much playing time a couple minor league outfielders will be getting in April.

 

In my prediction piece, I expected the Buffalo Bisons would have an outfield of Teoscar Hernandez, Alford, and Dalton Pompey (Even Pompey is nursing a wrist thingy). This trio would be backed up by the speedy Roemon Fields and Dwight Smith Jr.

 

With Alford expected to miss the first month the Triple-A season, Dwight Smith Jr. should assume the majority of Anthony Alford’s at-bats with Roemon Fields getting a few extra at-bats, defensive replacement, and pinch running duties.

 

Simple.

 

Not so fast.

 

I’ve been cheering Dwight Smith Jr. on for many a moon. I think that he has the skills to provide a major league team with replacement level production. He is a very good LF, with the ability to produce quality at-bats. He can hit 20 plus doubles, maybe 10-15 HR, and 10-15 SB with regular at-bats.

 

Possibly.

 

I also like Reomon Fields. His speed is game-changing. A single or walk is not just a single or walk because his legs will undoubtedly put him into scoring position. He does everything you want from a 4th outfielder/bench player. He bunts and plays all outfield positions.

 

Both players have had success in Triple-A. Smith Jr. batted .273 with 21 doubles, a triple, 8 home runs, and 8 SB in 108 games with the Bisons in 2017. Fields hit .283 with 13 doubles, 6 triples, and 50 SB between New Hampshire and Buffalo.

 

We know what they bring to the table.

 

So what if Toronto were to give one of its Double-A outfielders a crack at Triple-A?

 

Let’s assume that Anthony Alford’s hamstring injury heals and he is back on the field May 1st. This would give the Blue Jays brass a 20-ish game evaluation period for one of the system’s top prospects, rather than simply handing those at-bats over to two outfielders this organization clearly doesn’t feel will make an impact at the major league level (Smith/Fields).

 

This evaluation period would serve to increase the value of the lucky prospect if they succeed or would provide the organization with a better understanding of where they are in their development.

 

Whether they rise to the occasion or struggle to find their footing, the will head back to Double-A once Alford returns.

 

Options

 

Harold Ramirez

 

I would like to see how Harold Ramirez would handle Triple-A. He just looked bored last season in AA. Challenging him with a promotion may light a fire under his you know where. If he fails, return him to Double-A and maybe re-evaluate his position on the organizational depth chart.

 

Jonathan Davis

 

Speed (20 SB), power (10 HR and 20 doubles), and strike zone awareness (.361 OBP). Jonathan Davis flat-out produced in his first season with the Double-A Fisher Cats and would be in Buffalo if it weren’t for the system’s outfield depth. Allowing Davis a chance to compete against older pitching, guys with better breaking pitches would be a good challenge.

 

Closing Thoughts

 

It is unlikely that either Davis or Ramirez will receive at-bats over Smith Jr. or Fields (or Ian Parmley) but they should. Too often we view injuries as a negative. Giving players a level lower a shot can turn a negative situation into a positive one.

 

Someone would have to replace Davis and Ramirez in New Hampshire’s outfield. This replacement was/is unlikely to receive regular playing time and further their development with the misfortune of Anthony Alford.

 

 

 

 

The Jays From The Couch Guide To The 2018 Toronto Blue Jays Is NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!!

 

The Paperback Version IS AVAILABLE HERE! ***DISCLAIMER*** If You Are Interested In Ordering A Paperback Copy, Understand That (For Now) It Is Available In The US Marketplace Only, Which Means That The List Price Is In USD And Is Subject To Shipping Costs. 

 

 

 

 

 

*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.

*****
HEAD ON OVER TO THE JAYS FROM THE COUCH VS ALS STORE AND GET SOME GREAT SWAG THAT YOU WILL LOOK GREAT IN AND YOU CAN FEEL GREAT ABOUT.
YOU CAN ALSO HEAD TO OUR JAYS FROM THE COUCH VS ALS FUNDRAISING PAGE TO MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION DIRECTLY TO ALS CANADA.
*****

 

 

THANK YOU FOR VISITING JAYS FROM THE COUCH! CHECK US OUT ON TWITTER @JAYSFROMCOUCH AND INSTAGRAM. LIKE US FACEBOOK. BE SURE TO CATCH THE LATEST FROM JAYS FROM THE COUCH RADIO AND SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL!

Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn’t cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I’m more right.

Ryan Mueller

Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn't cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I'm more right.