The Blue Jays called up outfield prospect Anthony Alford, but will he stick?
Injuries and the brief suspension of Kevin Pillar have created a need in the Toronto outfield
According to Jason Munz of the Hattiesburg American, the Blue Jays will promote outfield prospect Anthony Alford from Double-A. It's likely Alford will be in the lineup for Friday night's game against against the Orioles in Baltimore. The essentials ...
Anthony Alford, OF, Blue Jays
Drafted: Third round, 2012, Petal HS (Miss.)
Signing bonus: $750,000
MLB.com 2017 prospect ranking: No. 62 overall
Career position(s): CF, 125 starts; LF, 11 starts; RF, five starts
2017 position(s): CF, 21 starts; LF, five starts; RF, three starts; 1B, one start
Career stats: .273/.375/.407 with 19 home runs and 65 stolen bases across parts of six minor-league seasons
2017 stats: .325/.411/.455 with three home runs, seven doubles, and nine stolen bases at Double-A New Hampshire
Rapid-fire scouting report: Elite speed, plus fielding in center. Has some contact issues, but bat speed and strength may mean more power down the road. Played college football and didn't devote himself solely to baseball until 2015.
Alford gets the call in part because center fielder Kevin Pillar hasn't yet completed. As well, recent injuries to Darrell Ceciliani and Steve Pearce have also left them thin in the outfield (and don't forget that Dalton Pompey has been sidelined since suffering a concussion during the World Baseball Classic). The Jays recently promoted Dwight Smith Jr., but they're still a little shorthanded until Pillar returns.
Speaking of which, that's why Alford's stay in Toronto might be a very brief one. Pillar is playing at an All-Star level this season, and Ezequiel Carrera has been fairly productive in left. While Jose Bautista's numbers are down overall, he's been improving at the plate. Also, his veteran status means he's not likely to be dislodged this soon (and Alford probably doesn't have the arm for right field at the highest level). While making Alford the light half of a platoon with Carrera would make some sense, that doesn't seem likely, either. Development is the focus for Alford, who, as noted, is a top-100 prospect. That's why the Jays likely want him to have regular playing time as opposed to a more limited role in the big-league roster. He's also yet to see action at the Triple-A level, which is another reason why he may not stick just yet.
Either way, Jays fans will soon get a taste, however brief, of one of their best prospects.