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Anthony Alford
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Alford with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2017
Toronto Blue Jays – No. 30
Outfielder
Born: (1994-07-20) July 20, 1994 (age 25)
Columbia, Mississippi
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
May 19, 2017, for the Toronto Blue Jays
MLB statistics
(through 2018 season)
Batting average.111
Home runs0
Runs batted in1
Teams
* Toronto Blue Jays (2017–present)

Anthony Joseph Alford (born July 20, 1994) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He is ranked 10th on MLB's 2019 Top 30 Blue Jays prospects list.[1]

High school and collegeEdit

Alford attended Petal High School in Mississippi, where he was the quarterback of the football team in addition to playing baseball. As a senior, he recorded 2,058 passing yards and 20 passing touchdowns, in addition to 1,731 rushing yards and 24 rushing touchdowns,[2] and played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.[3] In the same year, he batted .483 with four home runs and stole 14 bases in 14 attempts.[4]

Alford attended University of Southern Mississippi, where he played college football. In the 2012 season, he contributed to the team as the starting quarterback in only five games due in part to a suspension for getting into a fight on campus.[5] He was a dual-threat quarterback with the Golden Eagles. In the 2012 season, he was 57-of-127 for 664 yards and two touchdowns through the air. He had 105 carries for 329 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. Due to a coaching change at Southern Miss and his ineffectiveness at quarterback, Alford transferred to the University of Mississippi where he also struggled.[6][7]

Professional careerEdit

Minor leaguesEdit

Alford was projected as a first-round talent going into the 2012 Major League Baseball draft, but made it clear that his intention was to continue playing football, leading many teams to pass over him due to signability concerns. The Toronto Blue Jays drafted Alford in the third round, 112th overall.[8] He signed a contract with Toronto which paid him a $750,000 bonus and allowed him to attend university to play football, and then play baseball in the summer.[8]

File:Anthony Alford Dunedin.jpg

Alford made his professional baseball debut as a member of the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays in 2012 and played in five games, where he hit .167 with one home run and four stolen bases.[9] Following the baseball season, he began attending the University of Southern Mississippi as a member of the football team, but transferred to the University of Mississippi after one year following an on-campus fight.[3] Alford played six games in the Gulf Coast League in 2013, batting .227 with two RBI and two stolen bases.[9] Due to NCAA transfer rules, he was not allowed to play football for the Ole Miss Rebels in 2013. The following year, Alford played nine games for the Bluefield Blue Jays of the Appalachian League and was then promoted to the Class-A Lansing Lugnuts for five games. In total, he batted .259 with two home runs, five RBI, and five stolen bases.[9] He was relegated to a backup safety role for the Rebels in 2014, and made just six tackles in four games.[3] On September 30, 2014, it was announced that Alford was leaving Ole Miss to join the Blue Jays organization full-time, and planning on attending their fall instructional league before playing in the Australian Baseball League.[8] He would go on to play 36 games with the Canberra Cavalry, and batted .200 with three home runs, eight RBI, and seven stolen bases.[10]

Alford opened the 2015 season with the Lansing Lugnuts. On June 5, he was named a Midwest League midseason All-Star. At that time, Alford led the league with a .446 on-base percentage.[11] He was promoted to the Advanced-A Dunedin Blue Jays on June 25, and played the remainder of the season there. Alford played in 107 total games in 2015, and batted .298 with four home runs, 35 RBI, and 27 stolen bases.[9] He was invited to Major League spring training on January 12, 2016,[12] and reassigned to minor league camp on March 12.[13] Alford was assigned to the Dunedin Blue Jays to open the 2016 minor league season.[14] On June 10, Alford suffered a concussion after colliding with a teammate in the outfield, and needed to be stretchered off the field.[15] He returned from injury on June 22. Alford struggled in 2016, batting at or near the Mendoza Line for the first half of the year. Near the end of July, he appeared to find his stroke, raising his season batting average to a high of .249 on August 16.[16] He finished the season with a .236 average, nine home runs, 44 RBI, and 18 stolen bases.[9] After the 2016 season, the Blue Jays assigned Alford to the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League.[17] On October 31, Alford was named an AFL All-Star.[18] The Blue Jays added him to their 40-man roster after the season to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.[19] Alford appeared in 23 games for Mesa during the Fall League season, and hit .253 with three home runs and 15 RBI.[20] He was named an AFL Rising Star at the end of the season.[21]

Alford took part in 2017 Major League spring training, and was praised by manager John Gibbons for the improvements he had made over the past year. On March 17, he was assigned to the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.[22][23] Prior to the start of the season, Alford was ranked third on Major League Baseball's 2017 Top 30 Blue Jays prospects list,[24] and 70th on the Top 100 MLB prospects list.[25] In 33 games with New Hampshire, Alford hit .325 with three home runs, 11 RBI, and nine stolen bases before being called up to the majors.[26]

Toronto Blue JaysEdit

On May 19, 2017, Alford was called up by the Blue Jays.[27] He started in left field and batted eighth, going 0-for-2 with a strikeout in his debut against the Baltimore Orioles.[28] In Toronto's 4–3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on May 23, Alford was called on to pinch-hit in the seventh inning and recorded a double for the first hit of his career.[29] He was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured wrist the next day.[30] After recovering from the injury, Alford was optioned to Double-A New Hampshire. He earned a late season promotion to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, where he finished the 2017 season. In 77 minor league games, Alford hit .299 with five home runs, 29 RBI, and 19 stolen bases.[9]

In January 2018, Baseball America ranked Alford as the third-best Blue Jays prospect, and 60th overall in baseball.[31] He was recalled by the Blue Jays on May 5, 2018,[32] and optioned back to Buffalo on May 13.

ReferencesEdit

  1. "MLB 2019 Prospect Watch". MLB.com. http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2019?list=tor. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  2. Stephens, Mitch (July 16, 2012). "MaxPreps 2011-12 Boys Athlete of the Year: Anthony Alford of Petal". maxpreps.com. http://www.maxpreps.com/news/UOb4r25ycUSNnhFi_PTV3Q/maxpreps-2011-12-boys-athlete-of-the-year--anthony-alford-of-petal.htm. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Kellenberger, Hugh (September 30, 2014). "Anthony Alford is leaving the Ole Miss program". clarionledger.com. http://www.clarionledger.com/story/olemisssports/2014/09/30/ole-miss-anthony-alford-leaving-baseball/16484183/. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  4. Chisholm, Gregor (October 1, 2014). "Prospect Alford no longer playing football". MLB.com. http://m.bluejays.mlb.com/news/article/97201692/prospect-anthony-alford-no-longer-playing-football. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  5. Hinton, Matt. "Southern Miss quarterback Anthony Alford charged, suspended following campus fight" (in en). https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/southern-miss-quarterback-anthony-alford-charged-suspended-following-campus-fight/.
  6. "2012 Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles Schedule and Results" (in en). https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/schools/southern-mississippi/2012-schedule.html.
  7. "Anthony Alford 2012 Game Log" (in en). https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/anthony-alford-1/gamelog/2012.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Lott, John (October 1, 2014). "Toronto Blue Jays prospect Anthony Alford gives up football, will start immediately to catch up on baseball". sports.nationalpost.com. http://sports.nationalpost.com/2014/10/01/toronto-blue-jays-prospect-anthony-alford-gives-up-football-will-start-immediately-to-catch-up-on-baseball/. Retrieved October 1, 2014.[dead link]Template:Cbignore
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 "Anthony Alford Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference. https://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=alford000ant. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  10. "Anthony Alford Stats, Highlights, Bio". web.theabl.com.au. http://web.theabl.com.au/player/index.jsp?sid=l595&player_id=546990#/career/R/hitting/2014/ABL. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  11. Goldberg-Strassler, Jesse (June 5, 2015). "Four Lugs named Midwest League All-Stars". milb.com. http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20150604&content_id=128612860&fext=.jsp&vkey=pr_t499&sid=t499. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  12. "Blue Jays Invite 14 to Spring Training". bluebirdbanter.com. January 12, 2016. http://www.bluebirdbanter.com/2016/1/13/10760494/blue-jays-invite-14-to-spring-training. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  13. "Ben Nicholson-Smith on Twitter". Twitter. March 12, 2016. https://twitter.com/bnicholsonsmith/status/708770011318521856. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  14. Rosenbaum, Mike (April 7, 2016). "Where the Blue Jays' Top 30 prospects are starting the season". MLB.com. http://m.bluejays.mlb.com/news/article/170923704/where-blue-jays-top-30-prospects-start-season. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
  15. Kennedy, Brendan (June 11, 2016). "Blue Jays' top prospect Anthony Alford suffers concussion". thestar.com. https://www.thestar.com/sports/bluejays/2016/06/11/blue-jays-top-prospect-anthony-alford-suffers-concussion.html. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  16. "Anthony Alford Stats, Highlights, Bio". MiLB.com. http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?sid=milb&player_id=546990#/gamelogs/R/hitting/2016/MINORS. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  17. "2016 Arizona Fall League Rosters". baseballamerica.com. August 31, 2016. http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/arizona-fall-league-rosters/. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  18. Mayo, Jonathan (October 31, 2016). "Fall Stars Game rosters include 16 Top 100 prospects". MLB.com. http://m.bluejays.mlb.com/news/article/207694460/arizona-fall-league-fall-stars-game-rosters/. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  19. Chisholm, Gregor (November 18, 2016). "Blue Jays protect Urena, Alford from Rule 5 Draft". MLB.com. http://m.bluejays.mlb.com/news/article/209204262/blue-jays-add-richard-urena-anthony-alford/. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  20. "Winter Leagues: Arizona Fall League: Statistics". MiLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=l119&t=p_pbp&pid=546990. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  21. Holmyard, Braydon (November 21, 2016). "Arizona Fall League wrap: Alford among top Blue Jays performers". Sportsnet. http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/arizona-fall-league-wrap-alford-among-top-blue-jays-performers/. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  22. Chisholm, Gregor (March 18, 2017). "Top prospect Alford, 3 others among spring cuts". MLB.com. http://m.bluejays.mlb.com/news/article/219869390/blue-jays-anthony-alford-3-others-among-cuts/. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  23. "Toronto Blue Jays Transactions in March 2017". MLB.com. http://m.bluejays.mlb.com/roster/transactions/2017/03. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  24. "MLB 2017 Prospect Watch". MLB.com. http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2017?list=tor. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  25. Trezza, Joe (January 28, 2017). "Vlad Jr. leads four Blue Jays prospects on Top 100 list". MLB.com. http://m.bluejays.mlb.com/news/article/214454876/vlad-guerrero-jr-ranked-on-top-100-prospects/. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  26. Nicholson-Smith, Ben (May 19, 2017). "Blue Jays promote prospect Anthony Alford to MLB". Sportsnet. http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/report-blue-jays-promote-prospect-anthony-alford-mlb/. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  27. Munz, Jason (May 19, 2017). "Anthony Alford promoted to MLB by Blue Jays". hattiesburgamerican.com. http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/story/sports/2017/05/19/anthony-alford-promoted-mlb-blue-jays/332595001/. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  28. Chisholm, Gregor (May 20, 2017). "Prospect Alford goes 0-for-2 in MLB debut". MLB.com. http://m.bluejays.mlb.com/news/article/231239278/toronto-prospect-anthony-alford-gets-promotion/?topicId=27118412. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  29. Nicholson-Smith, Ben (May 23, 2017). "Unheralded Blue Jays come up with big contributions in win over Brewers". Sportsnet. http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/unheralded-blue-jays-come-big-contributions-win-brewers/. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
  30. Nicholson-Smith, Ben (May 24, 2017). "Blue Jays place outfielder Alford on 10-day DL with fractured wrist". Sportsnet. http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/blue-jays-place-outfielder-anthony-alford-disabled-list/. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
  31. "Top 100 MLB Prospects 2018". Baseball America. January 22, 2018. https://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/top-100-mlb-prospects-2018/#IWfFKumRXRYIYjls.97. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  32. "Blue Jays call up Anthony Alford from triple-A Buffalo". Sportsnet. May 5, 2018. https://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/blue-jays-call-anthony-alford-triple-buffalo/. Retrieved May 5, 2018.

External linksEdit

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