Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Overlooked Players Entering 2022

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Anthony Alford #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the San Diego Padres at PNC Park on April 13, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Anthony Alford #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the San Diego Padres at PNC Park on April 13, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 24: Anthony Alford #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on September 24, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 24: Anthony Alford #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on September 24, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Outfielder Anthony Alford

Earlier this month we took a look at potential Opening Day outfield options for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This included the often times overlooked and forgotten right-handed hitting 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.

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