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Anthony Alford - OF TOR


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Very surprised Alford doesn't have his own thread here.

Was just named the top prospect in the Blue Jays org by Baseball America.

2015 was his first year of playing baseball full-time and he oozes with potential.

Here's a few excerpts from the BA Blue Jays top 10 chat..

http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/toronto-blue-jays-top-10-prospects-chat/

Frank (Chicago): How many of these guys have a case for the top 100? Thx
John Manuel: Well, we’re finalizing BA Grades for the Handbook right now … you really, really should order a Prospect Handbook if you have any interest in this stuff, you know. 900 scouting reports in one place, pretty sweet deal. Anyway, Alford is an easy top 100 guy, and more like a Top 50 guy. For me, in Handbook terms, he’s a 60 Medium. I guess that means he’s a 60 Medium since I was the one who came up with BA Grades (heavily borrowing from the methods a couple of clubs use) and also wrote the Blue Jays chapter. … Conner Greene is a top 100 guy for me, easily. Vlad Jr. will probably be toward the back of my top 100 though I know that’s rich for some. I also could see Richard Urena & Sean-Reid Foley in there. Top of the system, to me, is still pretty good. Just the depth has been hollowed out.

Esteban (West Palm Beach): Although I hear that the Blue Jays' system still has prospects, it feels like they're all second-tier prospects. What are the odds that there isn't a major league regular in their system now?

John Manuel: No, you’re not correct. Alford is a first-division guy; I think Greene is as well. Vladdy has a high ceiling, and Urena was in the top 3 in HR in the Midwest League as a teen shortstop. I think you’re pretty light on their potential impact guys. They have some impact, and Alford strikes me as not very risky thanks to his athleticism and plate approach, which are special, especially for a guy with his limited baseball experience. If he’s not a big league regular in 2-3 years, I’ll be very surprised.

Esteban (West Palm Beach): Would you be surprised if Alford has a 30-30 season in the bigs? Is his upside McCutchen?

John Manuel: I would be very surprised, considering he already is strong and has plate discipline, if he started hitting a lot more home runs and do not see him as a 30-HR guy. His upside is below McCutchen.

Prison Mike (Scranton, PA): Where would you rank Dalton Pompey if he were still eligible? His inconsistency is concerning. Would you consider his skill set similar to Alford?

John Manuel: Less certainty in his offense, his approach is less consistent than Alford’s, less offensive ceiling. I did not bear down on him at all because he was not eligible, so I didn’t delve into the bat. But I liked him a lot last yaer; I bet I would have had Pompey 2 as a 50/Medium type.

Sean (DC): Are we looking at a Mookie Betts type upside on Alford? Ellsbury? Some other Red Sox?

John Manuel: Ha .. maybe Ellsbury in his non-30 HR season. I don’t see that kind of home run power with AA but hey, we never thought that would happen with Ellsbury, and he’s never repeated it. Mookie, to me, is more dynamic.

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Here's another opinion:

"Fantasy Impact: Alford has a chance to be an impact fantasy player with the ceiling of a 20 HR/40 SB player. If his hit tool continues to develop, owners could also be looking at a .270/.340 player. If it all comes together, he’s a first round draft pick. If you’re in a new Dynasty League, don’t be afraid to treat Alford as a top 20 minor league player and take him in the early rounds of your draft."

http://prospect361.com/al-prospects/toronto-blue-jays/

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He's the Jays #1 prospect because of his speed, defence and plate discipline. That gives him a high ceiling in real life. The power still has not shown up but he's obviously a very strong kid body wise.

The thing with Alford is he has limited baseball experience so no one really knows his ceiling. This year will be the year we start to find out though I think. To have his approach at the plate with limited baseball experience is extremely encouraging.

It's still hard to project 20 HRs in the future without seeing some in the minors.

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  • 1 month later...

From Baseball Prospectus Blue Jays Top 10 that came out yesterday..

1. Anthony Alford, OF

DOB: 7/20/1994
Height/Weight: 6’1” 205 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft, Petal HS (Petal, MS); signed for $750,000
Previous Ranking(s): NR
2015 Stats: .298/.398/.421, 4 HR, 27 SB in 487 PA for Single-A Lansing and High-A Dunedin
Future Tools: 70 run, 60 hit, 60 glove, 50+ arm
Role: 60—First-division center fielder

Juggling professional baseball and big-time college football is a helluva lot to ask of a young athlete, and especially of a hitter, whose development is so dependent on the accumulation of in-game reps against live pitching. This is why Alford’s offensive breakout came as a bit of a surprise. It’s not that the raw ingredients weren’t present before the 2015 season (they most definitely were), but rather that Alford simply hadn’t been able to rack up a substantial rep volume, with only 110 minor-league plate appearances to his name over three years. Then again, Anthony Alford isn’t your average minor leaguer.

With double-plus speed, a solid-average arm and an instinctual feel for playing the outfield, Alford projects as a plus defender, and his lean, muscled body composition bodes well for his ability to sustain defensive excellence well into his late 20s. Speed, athleticism, and arm strength are the qualities you’d expect would be least affected by the competing demands of a college football career, but his hit tool—the aspect you’d expect would be most affected—is that of a more seasoned, baseball-only guy. With a relatively uncomplicated swing that features a shallow load and a direct bat path, Alford makes consistent, hard line-drive contact to all fields, and possesses an advanced feel for the zone. His hands do have a tendency to drift needlessly upward pre-launch, as opposed to moving horizontally and/or rotationally away from the pitcher at an angle that would be more conducive to initiating and maintaining a level plane through the zone. That said, even if Alford were to change nothing, he has the bat speed needed to make this load peculiarity work. The one aspect of his game that likely won’t reach average is power, as his swing isn’t particularly geared to induce loft. That’s of little concern, however, as the positive aspects of his offensive profile far outweigh this small blemish. While challenges still await Alford in the upper minors, he’ll figure prominently in Toronto’s plans at the major-league level as early as the 2017 season.

Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: Alford could be a true fantasy table setter, who might even be more valuable in an OBPleague than an AVG one—which is crazy considering how raw he was billed as just a year ago. Continued development, would get him to OF2 status as a .280-.290 hitter capable of stealing 30-40 bases.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Good article here on Alford: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/baseball/kelly-whole-new-ball-game-for-blue-jays-top-prospect-anthony-alford/article28899876/?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=Referrer:+Social+Network+/+Media&utm_campaign=Shared+Web+Article+Links

When he was a freshman in college and believed he was still headed to the National Football League, Anthony Alford took his spring break at the Jays minor-league training facility.

The native of Petal, Miss., had never played a full season of baseball – at any age or level. He was good enough at his off-season hobby that he was still projected as a first-round major-league pick.

When he first showed up in Florida, he was an 18-year-old quarterback with no intention of changing jobs.

This was when Montreal Expo legend and current Jays roving instructor Tim Raines first laid eyes on Alford. He’d heard stories about his freakish athleticism (that’s what they called him back in Petal – “the Freak”). His expectations were high.

How’d he look?

“Raw,” Raines said Wednesday.

Anything else?

“I thought to myself, ‘If this kid doesn’t choose baseball over football, it will be an incredible injustice to his talent.’”

Alford played his first full season last year. The Jays expected him to struggle. Instead, he put up a remarkable slash line in low and high-A ball (.298/.398/.421). Consider that he had played a total of 25 baseball games in the previous three years.

When you talk to people about Alford, they say the same thing – that he’s “learning” baseball. He is less experienced than many young teenagers. Much of the nuance escapes him. At the highest level, baseball is almost all nuance.

That part is doable. Alford has more potential than anyone in the Jays’ system (or, perhaps, any other system). He’s already showing four of his five tools. The power isn’t there yet, but it should emerge in time. Physically, the Blue Jay Alford resembles most is Jose Bautista – just noticeably bigger and a lot quicker. Eventually, one might replace the other.

Few people are more fit to judge what Alford might become than Raines. Both played football first. Both have that easy Southern charisma. Both were unusually blessed in their physicality. Raines turned his gifts into a Hall-of-Fame career (even if Hall-of-Fame voters haven’t had the sense to acknowledge that yet.)

Do you see the similarities?

“Skillset? Sure,” Raines said. “Size and strength? Not even close. He can do pretty much whatever he wants to on the field. The only thing he’s lacking is reps.”

What’s his ceiling?

Raines leans back theatrically. This is a man whose first language is Body. He makes a great show of considering something momentous.

“Gold glove. Stolen-base title. MVP. The sky really is the limit.”

A Tim Raines-level player?

Raines grabs my arm, hard, and bends forward this time – mock affronted. Then he sneaks a look back up, grinning.

“Maybe even higher.”

Edited by NYR Fan 116894
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  • 1 month later...

Been an unfortunate start to season for Alford: first of all Blue Jays started him in high A Dunedin rather than AA which was a bit surprising. Now has an undisclosed leg injury which came from an awkward slide and could need surgery apparently. Team being real quiet about it currently but it sounds like this is serious.
Still love him long term in dynasty leagues but think we may be looking more at a 2018 ETA rather than 2017 if this leg injury is serious and given blue jays seemingly wanting to move him slowly.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Very surprised Alford doesn't have his own thread here.

Was just named the top prospect in the Blue Jays org by Baseball America.

2015 was his first year of playing baseball full-time and he oozes with potential.

Here's a few excerpts from the BA Blue Jays top 10 chat..

http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/toronto-blue-jays-top-10-prospects-chat/

Frank (Chicago): How many of these guys have a case for the top 100? Thx

John Manuel: Well, we’re finalizing BA Grades for the Handbook right now … you really, really should order a Prospect Handbook if you have any interest in this stuff, you know. 900 scouting reports in one place, pretty sweet deal. Anyway, Alford is an easy top 100 guy, and more like a Top 50 guy. For me, in Handbook terms, he’s a 60 Medium. I guess that means he’s a 60 Medium since I was the one who came up with BA Grades (heavily borrowing from the methods a couple of clubs use) and also wrote the Blue Jays chapter. … Conner Greene is a top 100 guy for me, easily. Vlad Jr. will probably be toward the back of my top 100 though I know that’s rich for some. I also could see Richard Urena & Sean-Reid Foley in there. Top of the system, to me, is still pretty good. Just the depth has been hollowed out.

Esteban (West Palm Beach): Although I hear that the Blue Jays' system still has prospects, it feels like they're all second-tier prospects. What are the odds that there isn't a major league regular in their system now?

John Manuel: No, you’re not correct. Alford is a first-division guy; I think Greene is as well. Vladdy has a high ceiling, and Urena was in the top 3 in HR in the Midwest League as a teen shortstop. I think you’re pretty light on their potential impact guys. They have some impact, and Alford strikes me as not very risky thanks to his athleticism and plate approach, which are special, especially for a guy with his limited baseball experience. If he’s not a big league regular in 2-3 years, I’ll be very surprised.

Esteban (West Palm Beach): Would you be surprised if Alford has a 30-30 season in the bigs? Is his upside McCutchen?

John Manuel: I would be very surprised, considering he already is strong and has plate discipline, if he started hitting a lot more home runs and do not see him as a 30-HR guy. His upside is below McCutchen.

Prison Mike (Scranton, PA): Where would you rank Dalton Pompey if he were still eligible? His inconsistency is concerning. Would you consider his skill set similar to Alford?

John Manuel: Less certainty in his offense, his approach is less consistent than Alford’s, less offensive ceiling. I did not bear down on him at all because he was not eligible, so I didn’t delve into the bat. But I liked him a lot last yaer; I bet I would have had Pompey 2 as a 50/Medium type.

Sean (DC): Are we looking at a Mookie Betts type upside on Alford? Ellsbury? Some other Red Sox?

John Manuel: Ha .. maybe Ellsbury in his non-30 HR season. I don’t see that kind of home run power with AA but hey, we never thought that would happen with Ellsbury, and he’s never repeated it. Mookie, to me, is more dynamic.

Ellsbury sounds like a good future comp then, which would be very nice. And what power he has should be boosted nicely in Rogers.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Blue Jays prospect Anthony Alford sustained a neck injury and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher after a collision with teammate Richard Urena in a game with High-A Dunedin on Friday.

Alford was down on the field for 10-15 minutes before he was removed. The Blue Jays have yet to provide any further updates on his status, but will certainly play things cautiously with their third round selection from the 2012 draft. The 21-year-old is hitting just .205/.277/.262 with one homer and 11 RBI in 32 games this season.

 

^^What a horrific and frustrating season for a guy who I had hopes for as a sleeper coming into the season....first a knee injury that kept him out all of April, then upon returning he's has been a butcher at the plate (including a 51:12 K/BB ratio), now apparently a serious neck injury.  Hopefully there are no long-term health consequences and he will be ok.

 

 

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Some good news at least:

 

The Blue Jays announced Saturday that CT scan on Anthony Alford revealed no fractures.

Alford suffered a scary neck injury during a hard collision with a teammate during Friday's game at High-A Dunedin. He was released from the hospital on Saturday and diagnosed with a concussion. There remains no clear timetable for his return.
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  • 2 months later...

Alford has been tearing it up lately.. And showing the power that people projected he had.. 

 

Ignoring the first half of the year (due to the concussion and knee injury) 

 

Second half stats:

 

.281/,395/.511, 8HR, 9SB, 32BB/50K this is the Alford we all expected coming into 2016.. He's still a top 50 prospect in my book, no matter how bad his first half was. I'm pumped about the 8HR in the second half of the year.. 

Edited by JenksDodger
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  • 6 months later...

I read Alford had a great fall league. He dropped a lot on many of the prospect Top 100 lists out there but an injury plagued 2016 would do that to anyone. Is he undervalued right now?  Still a raw project but isn't over the hill yet.

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I'd love to hear people's thoughts about Alford as well. Is he a post-hype prospect worth paying attention to? How does he look this spring so far Jays fans? Is the organization still high on him as their CF of the future? 

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  • 1 month later...

Razzball projects he will a be top 50 prospect by midseason and top 25 by 2018. I dropped Tapia and picked Alford up in my 16 team dynasty league...think he's really picking up steam and can help in multiple categories long term.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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