Anthony Alford – the longest tenured rookie

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22: Anthony Alford #30 of the Toronto Blue Jays in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 22, 2019 in New York City. The Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 8-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22: Anthony Alford #30 of the Toronto Blue Jays in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 22, 2019 in New York City. The Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 8-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Anthony Alford is currently the longest tenured player on the Toronto Blue Jays, but there is a specific designation that makes this noteworthy.

With a young team, a rebuild, and a renewed commitment to free agency this past offseason, it is not a surprise that the Toronto Blue Jays would not have many players that have been with the team for the long haul. In fact, their longest tenured player is Anthony Alford, who made his debut in Toronto in 2017.

Normally, that would not be noteworthy. However, Alford happens to be the Blue Jays longest tenured player, and still has his rookie eligibility.

Despite seeing action in each of the past three years, Alford has not had much of a chance to show what he can do at the major league level. He has all of 59 plate appearances in 33 games, hardly any time to prove whether or not he can be a part of the present or future.

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Alford does have a solid resume. He was a three time consensus top 100 prospect, earning the honor from 2016 through 2018. He has put together a decent .265/.358/.393 batting line in his minor league career, hitting 101 doubles and stealing 114 bases. Those are respectable numbers, but not anything that really stands out.

That success has not found Alford in Toronto. In his extremely limited sample sizes, he has just eight hits and three walks, striking out 23 times. He did not exactly impress during spring training either, with just four hits in 24 plate appearances, striking out 14 times. However, he did steal four bases, including his literally stealing a run, so he could have a place on the roster as the 10th inning designated runner.

At 25 years old, there is still time for Alford to put everything together. But time is running out. His AAA numbers have not been impressive enough to keep generating chances in Toronto, and he has not displayed any potential at the major league level. Maybe everything suddenly clicks, but Alford’s time has to be running out.

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Anthony Alford is the Toronto Blue Jays’ longest tenured player. But unless he steps up soon, that tenure could be ending shortly.