Outfielder Anthony Alford
Alford opened the 2021 season as the starting center fielder for the Pirates. Following a woeful start to the season he was designed for assignment but went unclaimed. This led to him landing at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Following Alford’s stint at Indy he was recalled in August. After rejoining the Pirates, Alford put together a strong finish to the season.
The right-handed hitting Alford hit for a .266/.328/.477 slash line to go with a 114 wRC+, .211 isolate slugging (ISO) and a 6.7 % walk rate in his final 19 plate appearances of the season. Alford also picked up extra base hits at a 10.1% clip during this stretch, which included 5 home runs. However, his 35.3% strikeout rate continued to be an alarming number.
As a former top-100 prospect who finished 2021 strong, Alford could find a role with the Pirates to start the 2022 season. Especially on a team in need of right-handed hitting. Regardless, he is an overlooked Pirate player to watch whenever spring training begins.