The Blue Jays announced today that they have recalled outfielder Anthony Alford. He was already on the 40-man roster, so no corresponding moves will be required.
It’s an oddly timed move on the surface, as Alford — who is by most accounts one of the organization’s top prospects — wrapped up his Triple-A season a couple of weeks back. He’s also the last 40-man player, aside from outfielder Dalton Pompey, to be activated.
As Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca explains, though, the timing makes more sense when you look more closely. Alford is being asked up as a way of rewarding him for his efforts this year, Davidi writes, the club is wary of allowing him to accrue enough service time that he may ultimately qualify as a Super Two.
To this point, despite very limited MLB action, Alford has accumulated 101 days of service. Had he spent all of September on the active roster and cracked the 2019 roster very early in the season, he might have been on track for an early arb trip.
As things have turned out, there’ll be no real consideration of Super Two status — at least, that is, at the beginning of the 2019 season. The longer Alford remains in Triple-A next year, in fact, the more important the number of service days becomes, because it’ll also be possible for the Jays to keep him short of a full season of MLB service.
Ultimately, this timing call is hardly a major strategic undertaking, since Alford still needs to show he’s deserving of a full look in the majors. Certainly, this situation doesn’t merit the kind of scrutiny that has attached to decisions not to promote some other, more hyped young players (including a certain teammate of Alford’s).
Alford, after all, managed only a .240/.312/.344 slash line in his 417 plate appearances at Triple-A. That’s not what was hoped for after a strong showing last year at Double-A and in the Mexican Pacific Winter League. After running a 45:35 K/BB ratio in 289 plate appearances at the penultimate level of the minors in 2017, Alford’s 112:30 mix this year is especially disappointing.
MLB owners will regret this little scheme they’ve got going, in the next CBA negotiations.
Eddie Nice Guy
You mean the clause that allowed him to collect service time when he got called up, immediately went on the DL with a hamate injury, and now has service time for not playing? Alford got called up as a kindness.. He didn’t earn it with his performance in Buffalo. It’s a bit rich to complain that although he’s getting a mercy promotion and collecting service time, he should be collecting more. Particularly when all his service time is for sitting on the DL,.Toronto loves a narrative bandwagon.
Yep. He didn’t earn it, mercy promotion, Toronto does love a narrative bandwagon. That’s about as accurate as it gets.
I mean, he’s being called up and will get to work with major league coaching/training staff and collect a much heftier paycheck than he would be. I mean, he’ll get about 80K in the rest of the season by my math, and that’s pretty good scratch for sitting around for three weeks.
What little scheme are you talking about 🙂
Alford is a great prospect. Superior athlete but still short on baseball experience coming over from football. I see a better than Loyd Moseby type of player. He still has lots to learn especially at the plate.
If the Jays and fans are patient, and Alford avoids more of the injury bug, he’ll be a good one.
Moseby managed to hit well over .300 with authority in the minor leagues at many levels. Alford hits with zero authority and has his entire young career. Alford should have been traded two years ago IF the Jays were “trying to win”.
Let’s not confuse great prospect with great athlete. He is the latter with a gift prospect ranking by the experts. He’s done nothing to deserve it.
We can be patient all we want. If Alford at 24 years old can’t hack it in AAA we should not expect much in the major leagues regardless of his athleticism. Great athletes have struggled in the bigs. Alford’s had enough time to get it together. Expect little to nothing from Alford since that’s all he has provided at the lower levels.
You do realize 24 is below the average age at AAA, right? He’s still young.
If you’re writing off players by age 24, I can see why no one is paying you for your contribution.
You do realize broken down vets in their 30’s increase the average age, right?
Alford has done close to nothing with the bat at every level. To expect greatness is tall order. Have I written him off? All I’ve said is don’t expect much. That’s pretty fair considering the numbers he has provided up to date.
Bottom line, let’s top calling him a prospect. May as well call Dalton Pompey a prospect. Heck, Anthony Gose had similar to better numbers than Alford. Enough said, maybe I should be paid…
Dalton Pompey was never going to be a good MLB player.
As for Alford, there are such things in MLB as late bloomers. Jays have had many over the years. [Bautista?]
Guys from Cuba and DR start playing and focussing baseball at age 4, Baseball was a sideline for him until he signed with the Jays. in 2012 at age 17. He has 8-10 years of catching up to do. and I see him doing that nicely.
And I am sticking to my normally accurate and reliable longterm scouting gift, Alford will be better than Moseby.
Sorry Jimmer, I will agree to disagree on Alford. I will gladly admit I’m wrong if Alford winds up being better than Moseby.
I know it looks like a longshot, lol. Believe me I can see how ridculous my “better than Moseby” thing is, but the gut is the gut.
Let’s see what happens.
Aren’t you the guy that said Bo Bichette is gonna be a bust?
That was said by an insecure troll, not me.
I said that I thought Bo Bichette was going to be a below average major leaguer but he will still play in the majors 8-10 years. which is amazing for anyone.
All this I originally said a few years ago, so his recent “decline from greatness” at the AA level seems to illustrate what I am saying is coming to be. The scouting gut doesn;’t see him regaining the greatness tag at the MLB level like Vlad will have.
Top 10 prospect league wide becomes below average major leaguer. Guy somehow doesn’t think that’s a bust.
Good god man, you’re a professional scout, why are you wasting your time with us mere mortals
Even tho’ I actually agree with some of your posts; Yeah, you, Jimmertee, stating that you have a “normally accurate and reliable longterm scouting GIFT” is a ridiculous thing to say. It would be ridiculous for even the best current MLB professional scouts to exclaim that to other humans.
Regarding anything in life, that much boastful pride (warranted or not) is not an endearing human trait. ie: Rickey Henderson’s
“I am the Greatest of All Time”, speech for Stolen Base King.
That much pride is a magnet for mockery and disdain.
And yes, I agree with you, Alford is still making up for lost AB’s due to prior injuries and his past dedication to football.
Alford’s got a “good eye at the plate”; to which his OBP would attest.
I think smart money is Alford doesn’t end up an MLB regular. He hasn’t shown anything close with his bat. The Jays need to focus more on his at bats than his service time.