Considering that, a year ago, Blue Jays prospect Anthony Alford still considered himself a football player, and only had 110 professional plate appearances, it is pretty amazing that he's making everyone's top prospects list.
Baseball America gives him this scouting line:
Hit: 60. Power: 45. Speed: 70. Fielding: 60. Arm: 40. ETA: 2017. Age: 21
He sits at number 25 on their top 100 prospects list.
Keith Law has him further down the list, at number 52. Law talks about his strange trip to the prospect list:
Alford's path to the top 100 has been a strange one. A first-round talent out of high school in 2012, he chose instead to pursue college football -- despite concussion risks and essentially no chance of an NFL career -- and slipped to the third round, meaning the decision probably cost him nearly a million dollars. He went through a tumultuous year at Southern Miss, was arrested for assault and entered a "pretrial diversion program," transferred to Ole Miss, redshirted a year, saw his parents both arrested for selling oxycodone, got married, and left the Ole Miss football team partway through his first active season with the club. Through all of that, he had all of 100 plate appearances in pro ball before heading to Australia last winter to get another 150 plate appearances before spring training.
I didn't know his parents were arrested.
Law figures he has the power to hit 15-20 home runs in the majors and that he showed "good feel for reading pitchers as a base stealer". He feels Alford's "substantial upside is a high-OBP speed/power guy who can play at least average defense in center." It sounds like we could have the perfect lead off man, in 3 or 4 years.
I am curious to see what he does against pitching in the higher levels of the minors. I'd like see if he can continue to show a great eye at the plate against better pitching.
His future looks looks great, I'm glad Alex didn't ship him off last July.
There are some former Jays on the lists:
- Franklin Barreto comes in at 35 on the BA list and 22 on Law's list.
- Jeff Hoffman is 68 on BA and 90 on Law.