Jays From the Couch continues our 2019 Blue Jays Top Prospects list with #11- Anthony Alford
It’s that time of year again! We’re counting down our Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospects for 2019. We’ve selected our Top 20 and will be profiling each one. You are bound to find many of these lists in your travels, which makes for great conversation. The basis for rankings varies even more than the number of lists you’ll find. Some prefer to look at how close to “big league ready” a prospect is, while others look at “stuff” or “tools”. To construct our list, we have scoured over scouting reports, numbers and a lot more to finalize our 2019 Top Prospects list. Feel free to weigh in on each selection in the comment section! It’s part of the fun!
In 2018 we were given another glimpse of the two sport stand out, Anthony Alford. After committing to baseball full time, Alford climbed up the Blue Jays’ organizational ladder steadily, having very good seasons in 2015 and again in 2017. But, along the way, he began dealing with injuries, which impacted his path. Knee, concussion and then a hamate break combined to make it rather difficult for Alford to maintain the momentum he saw previously. Starting 2018 off with a hamstring issue didn’t help matters and Alford saw himself in Buffalo most of the year.
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He had a difficult time getting back into the groove of things, compiling a line of .238/.314/.339 with 29 of his 94 hits going for extra bases. The speed was still there for him as he swiped 17 stolen bases last season. However, his ability to get on base was hampered bu a career high 120 strike outs in 112 AAA games. Unfortunately, his inconsistency meant that he was tried in a number of different spots in the lineup, but nothing sparked a return to his previous form.
Defensively speaking, Alford made starts in all three outfield positions for the Bisons, making a couple of errors in each, but never looking out of place. In fact, his glove is expected to be an above average tool in the once he takes a full time position in a major league outfield. Defensively speaking, Alford is ready to take a big league job in Toronto if one were available to him.
Unfortunately for him, his offensive struggles have created some question marks and resulted in him sliding down our Top Prospects list this year. His spot at #11 has more to do with his struggles in 2018 and others taking steps forward than anything else. The truth is that 11th spot seems rather low for a guy who looks to be headed for a career as a solid MLB outfielder. However, he’ll need to use 2019 to regain his offensive form.
2019 will be an interesting year for Anthony Alford. Fangraphs lists his hit tool as a 40/40, which makes him more of a bench type hitter than an everyday one. That said, when healthy, we’ve seen him produce at a much higher level in the minors. To start off this coming season, at age 24, he’ll need to get back to that in Buffalo to prove his hit tool wrong and to earn a call up, which is what we’re all hoping for.
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.