With their first pick with the Cubs, president of baseball operations, Theo Epstein, and general manger Jed Hoyer selected outfielder Albert Almora from Mater Academy(Fla.). The Cubs passed up on Stanford pitcher, Mark Appel because of money issues.
Almora, 18, has played for USA Baseball a record six times. He was MVP in the under-18 Pan Am Games last summer in Colombia. The young outfielder has many tools that Cubs fans can be excited about. In his senior years, Almora batted .603 with 13 doubles, five triples, six home runs, 34 RBIs and 24 steals. He also had a 1.164 slugging percentage and a .667 on-base percentage in 25 games.
He should be an above-avearge hitter at the next level, with an ability to drive the ball to all parts of the field. Almora is a very well polished hitter for his age. He projects to be a high average hitter. As Almora continues to mature physically, his power will become a bigger part of his game as well. Currently, he features above average power, especially to his pull side.
Almora also has good above speed that will allow him to be a good base stealing threat. He is a great defender as well. With a great range and strong arm, Almora has the potential to be a future gold glover.
With a great makeup and a strong work ethic, the future is very bright for Almora. Theo has been following Almora for many years and he finally got his man. Almora is best compared with Baltimore Orioles center fielder, Adam Jones.
The Cubs have two more picks tonight with the 43 and 56 overall picks.
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Baseballprospectnation.com views Almora as a “very polished player for his age. Instinctual player in the field, at the plate and on the bases. Has potential to be 15-homer, 15-20 steal type that hits for a good average and plays outstanding defense up the middle. Needs improved physicality to reach his ceiling. Polish could move him fairly quickly through a system, but will have to catch up physically. May need some tweaks to timing mechanism at the plate to be more consistent against pro pitching, but that’s a minor change. Potential above-average up the middle player that contributes across the board.”