Albert Almora is coming off an inconsistent season at the plate. In the field, Almora is considered ready for the big leagues and his defense was recognized by MLB Pipeline.
MLB Pipeline polled General Managers, scouting directors and executives to find out which players are the top defensive prospects in the game. Jonathan Mayo said they received “21 responses that brought 14 names.” MLB Pipeline did more research, added in the feedback and put together a 2016 All-Defense Prospect Team.
Albert Almora was named to the 2016 All-Defense Team as he prepares for an extremely important Spring Training for the former first round draft pick. MLB Pipeline feels Almora has “gone a bit under the radar” with “so much noise” the Cubs prospects have made. Almora is considered a Gold Glove caliber outfielder “maximizing just average speed with terrific jumps and routes.” And he also possesses a strong and accurate arm.
MLB Pipeline 2016 All-Defense Team: C Reese McGuire (Pirates), 1B Dom Smith (Mets), 2B Jose Peraza (Reds), 3B Matt Chapman (A’s), SS Orlando Arcia (Brewers), OF Byron Buxton (Twins), OF Albert Almora (Cubs) and OF Andrew Stevenson (Nationals)
Offensively, Almora ended up putting together good numbers last year. In 106 games for Double-A Tennessee, he batted .272/.327/.400 with 26 doubles, four triples and six home runs for a .727 OPS. Almora caught fire in August and hit .352/.413/.504 in 31 games with 14 doubles, a triple, a home run and a .917 OPS. He really struggled in three of his five months a year ago.
Jaron Madison told Carrie Muskat during the Convention that Almora could begin the season with Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs felt good about the way he ended the year. Madison said Almora is “in a really good place mentally and feels really good.” The Cubs are looking for him to have a strong Spring Training.
Almora recently said he was motivated by the success his former teammates had in the big leagues last season. Almora played with Addison Russell, Jorge Soler and Kyle Schwarber as the former top prospects moved up through the system.
According to the Tribune, the Cubs think Almora is primed to take a big step forward in his development. Almora worked out at the University of Miami this off-season and built a batting cage near his home. The Cubs would like for him “to attack pitches he can drive and not be content with putting the ball in play.”
Albert Almora should be a non-roster invitee to big league camp again this spring.