Mesa, Arizona —— At the top of this post, watch our 2016 Arizona Fall League scouting video of Toronto Blue Jays outfielder prospect Anthony Alford, taken from a portion of his at-bats during the 2016 Arizona Fall League while playing for the Mesa Solar Sox.
Anthony Alford scouting report notes
A former college football player with obvious, unquestionable athleticism in his game, Anthony Alford took the Arizona Fall League by storm in October and November of 2016 with stellar foot speed on the bases, exceptional bat speed at the plate, and a surprisingly mature approach at home plate that you wouldn’t expect based on his extensive football history.
Alford has everything you could want from a rangy, athletic center fielder of the future: exceptional speed combined with good instincts on the bases, good range and aggressive, hard-charging routes in the outfield, and even some sneaky power in his bat that could turn into 20 home run-level production in the big leagues if things all go in a best-case scenario.
But the most surprising part of Alford’s Fall League tenure, at least to me, was his ability to show patience at the plate; being a former high-level college football player, you’d imagine that with a relative lack of baseball experience, he’d be jumpy at the plate as he continues to learn his strike zone. That’s not the case here, though, and Alford shows good patience and an even better sense of balance as he adjusts and reacts to breaking balls and difficult pitcher’s counts. That alone may be the best predictor of success right now for Alford. He’s not up there to hack as much as he is take a decent at-bat. Seeing that, you can’t help but wonder if he’s a natural fit for the top of a batting order in the big leagues.
Serious injuries in 2016 robbed Alford of much of the year, and he had to play some catch-up in the Fall League to get back to where he needs to be entering 2017. Healthy now, it’d seem this is the season he not only solidifies his top prospect reputation, but in a best-case scenario gets a taste of life in the big leagues. He’s well on the way, with a big league manager in Toronto who already raves about the way he plays.
Anthony Alford scouting report: 140 characters or less
Unrivaled athleticism disguises a remarkably mature approach at the plate; Anthony Alford will impact the big leagues very soon.
Anthony Alford video
Below, here are a few of our Anthony Alford video clips from the Toronto Blue Jays outfielder’s time in the Arizona Fall League last October and November:
More than virtually any high-level prospect I’ve seen in the minors recently, you can’t help but admire the athleticism oozing out of Alford’s swing. Yes, he’ll get fooled at times by breaking balls with that huge leg kick, but man, when he connects, it’s as pretty and picturesque as any swing in the game.
Anthony Alford scouting report GIFs
In addition to our Anthony Alford video database, here are a few GIF sequences from the Toronto Blue Jays outfielder if you’re looking for swing mechanics and more:
Beautiful. You’ll soon see your fair share of Anthony Alford baseball highlights making their way to TV and YouTube screens around the world when he reaches the Toronto Blue Jays late this summer or early next season.