The Pittsburgh Pirates took a chance on Anthony Alford. Before his injury, he showed that he is worth a look in 2021 as well.
As the Pittsburgh Pirates have continued their rebuild, they have looked in any possible corner to find pieces for their future. Former top draft picks, or highly touted prospects, who had not lived up to their potential were given a chance to see if a change of scenery would unlock their abilities.
The Pirates took that chance on former Blue Jays prospect Anthony Alford. He had been a consensus top 100 prospect from 2016 through 2018, expected to develop into a solid all around player. However, he was unable to translate his tools to success in Toronto, leading to his being placed on waivers.
Despite his lack of success, Alford remains an intriguing player. The Pirates took a chance, inserting him into their lineup. He showed promise, with a triple and a home run amongst his three hits in 13 plate appearances. Alford drew a walk and only struck out once, showing more contact skills in that limited sample size than he did in Toronto.
However, Alford will not get a chance to build on that success in 2020. He fractured his elbow in the third inning of Saturday night’s game after colliding with a walk, which will cost him the rest of the year. His promising start with Pittsburgh has come to a sudden end.
But that does not mean that his chance is over before it really began. Cole Tucker is currently the Pirates’ starting center fielder, and he has not exactly lived up to expectations either. Jason Martin is listed as the backup on the depth chart, but he has not exactly lit AAA on fire during his time in the Pirates organization.
Alford, meanwhile, has that former top prospect pedigree. He is also just 26 years old, giving him time to develop into the player he was expected to become. With his promising small sample size in Pittsburgh, he deserves another look.
Fortunately, that should come with the Pittsburgh Pirates continued rebuild. Anthony Alford could still be a solid major league option.