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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Anthony Alford

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Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

We are exactly two months away from opening day. And 17 days away from the Blue Jays players reporting and 27 days away from our first spring training game. So, it is time we started to look at our 40-roster, take a look at where each player fits and what the questions are for each.

It’s good that we start with Anthony Alford, mostly because he might be off the 40-man roster in a few days since the Jays need a roster spot for Rafael Dolis (there are guys I’d take off the 40-man before Alford, but I’m not sure the Jays are thinking the same way, Alford doesn’t seem to be in the front office’s plan).

Alford has gone from being a top prospect (he was number 3 on our list in 2018, number 11 last year) to being on the bubble of losing his spot on the 40-man. Alford is 25 now. He’s out of options. He’s had more than his share of playing time with injuries and he’s not really had a good trial in the majors (he’s had a total of 55 MLB at bats).

On a team without a true center fielder and with an extra roster spot this year, you’d think Alford would go into spring training with at very least a shot at a roster spot. To me, he seems like a guy you would want for 4th/5th outfielder. He’s good defensively (I think we’ll need an outfielder defensive replacement), he would be a good pinch runner and he has a bat with occasional power (I keep expecting more power to show up but it hasn’t yet).

And yet there doesn’t seem all that much interest from the Jays to give him a shot.

Last year, in the minors, mostly at Buffalo, Alford hit .264/.348/.434 with 8 home runs and 22 steals, in 80 games. Not great numbers, but he’s getting on base some and, well, he’s that sort of athletic guy that we were supposed to be wanting. I hate giving up on guys like that (of course, I also hate giving up on Richard Urena).

He didn’t get much playing time with the Jays. His big moment was hitting a walk-off home run. I wish he would have gotten more playing time, but if he isn’t to have anymore playing time in the majors, at least he has that memory.

There are a lot of things I don’t understand about baseball. One of those things is why Derek Fisher gets multiple chances and why guys like Alford and Dalton Pompey (or for that matter Urena) don’t seem to get the same chances.

Taking it for granted that Alford isn’t dropped before spring training, he is going to have to have an excellent spring to stay with the team (what are the odds that the Orioles grab him if he goes on waivers, that seems to be what happens to guys we put on waivers).

Alford has continued to drop down the prospect lists (he’s #20 on MLB Pipeline’s list). But the outfielders who have passed him by are further down the ladder. At the top of the minors, it is Alford and Jonathan Davis (and I spent the end of last season referring to them as Anthony Davis). The competition for fourthish outfielder seems to be Fisher, Davis, and Alford. The front office seems to like Davis and Fisher more than Alford.

The question seems to be:

Poll

Anthony Alford

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Is let go before spring training.
    (99 votes)
  • 24%
    Is let go during spring training.
    (134 votes)
  • 19%
    Is let go during the season.
    (106 votes)
  • 36%
    Makes it to the end of the season with the Blue Jays?
    (199 votes)
538 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Does Alford get 150 MLB at bats this year?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Yes
    (260 votes)
  • 47%
    No
    (231 votes)
491 votes total Vote Now