Pittsburgh Pirates 2021 Season Grades: Outfielders
By Cody Flavell
2021 Stats: 49 games, .233/.311/.406, 5 home runs, 11 RBI, 0.4 WAR
It feels like Anthony Alford has been a Pittsburgh Pirate forever. However, he has only played 54 games in a Pirate uniform.
In his five games with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2020 Alford seemed like a wonderful waiver wire addition from Toronto. Ben Cherington had Alford when he was the general manager of the Blue Jays. In fact, Alford had risen as high as third on their prospect lists before injuries and performance derailed that momentum.
Alford unfortunately hurt himself making a leaping catch at the wall in 2020 and missed the remainder of the season. The beginning of his 2021 season had him barely hanging onto a roster spot.
Alford batted a woeful .083 with 16 strikeouts over 29 plate appearances to open the year. This got him sent to Triple-A with the intent to cut down on his strikeouts and become a better player.
The second half of his season was much more productive. Over his final 27 games, Alford hit .276 with four of his five home runs coming in that time span. In what were meaningless games to the team over that span, Alford used that opportunity to show he does belong at the MLB-level.
He doesn’t play elite defense but he isn’t bad at it by any stretch. As an outfielder on a team without much of a succession plan right now, Alford fits the bill of a guy that will open 2022 on the main roster.