Anthony Alford

Toronto outfielders are all perfectly aware of the position(s) currently up for grabs in the Blue Jays outfield.  You can just see it by the way that Teoscar Hernandez, Anthony Alford, Billy McKinney, and Dalton Pompey have been killing it so far this spring.

At the beginning of Spring Training, fans were asking whether Pompey (who is out of options) might be able to crack the Blue Jays roster.  Given how well so many of their outfielders have been playing the past few weeks, the more realistic question is which two players out of Hernandez, McKinney, Alford, or Pompey the Blue Jays decide to begin the season with.

Back in 2015, Toronto’s outfield, much like it is now, was one big unknown.  Jose Bautista was obviously entrenched in right field; while Michael Saunders was expected to start in left.  As for centerfield however, the door was wide open.  And after Saunders tore his meniscus in late February, left field was there for the taking as well.  An opening that Kevin Pillar made the most of by playing like a man possessed.  Pillar played so hard and well that first month of the season that by April 25 he had already been promoted to starting centerfielder.  A job he’s had ever since.

Much like Pillar was the hungry prospect clamouring for a starters job four seasons ago, now there’s a new group of youngsters who appear to be just as hungry as he once was.

Several weeks ago I would have figured Pillar, Grichuk, Hernandez, and McKinney were a lock to be Toronto’s outfielders come Opening Day.  And that may very well still be the case.  What players like Alford and Pompey or any other outfielder trying to break through need to understand, is that having a good spring might not be quite enough to crack the elusive 25-man roster.  As great as it is seeing them excel in the Grapefruit League, they may have to carry on this strong level of play for a few months down in the minors before truly convincing the Blue Jays they belong with the big club.

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