By now you may be asking yourself, “Is he really going to write a post every time Albert Almora parks one in the yard?” Rhetorical though it may be, I’m going to answer it anyway: Yes. Well, probably.
Yeah, that’s pretty much all I’ve got to say about this AA-bomb. Jordan Miller provided a bit more on Twitter last night (don’t get on him too much for tagging himself in his reply) and the numbers speak for themselves, quite loudly too, I might add.
Since August 1st of last year Albert Almora has a .343/.409/.500 slash line in 230 PAs. #CubsProspects
— John Carter (@CoachMillerWP) April 29, 2016
@Cubs_Prospects In that span he has an 8.6% K Rate and an 8.2% BB Rate.
— Jordan Miller (@Cubs_Prospects) April 29, 2016
I know it’s impossible to directly compare minor league stats to those compiled at the MLB level, but I going to do so anyway just to provide some context. It had long been thought that Almora’s Achilles Heel was his inability to draw walks. To wit, he drew a free pass in only 3.1 percent of his high-A plate appearances in 2014. Upon being promoted to AA, that number actually dropped to 1.4 percent. In all, he walked only 14 times in 529 trips to the plate.
In a full season of AA in 2015, however, he drew 32 walks in 451 PA’s (7.1 percent). The AAA season is young, but Almora has already walked six times in 73 PA’s (8.2 percent) and has struck out only eight times. Call me crazy, but I think we’re seeing a trend developing.
Only nine MLB centerfielders walked at a clip greater than 8 percent in 2015, so Almora’s improved approach would put him in good company there. Now, you wanna guess how many among that group actually had “good” — mandatory caveat about general squirelliness — defensive numbers? According to FanGraphs’ overall Def metric, only Dexter Fowler (0.6) and Mike Trout (2.1) put up positive numbers in the field.
Understand that I’m not making direct correlations here, only pointing out that this kid, who’s only two weeks removed from his 22nd birthday, absolutely has the ability be a very good Major League player. And I’m not just talking about the glove.
This would normally be the point at which I ride off into the sunset on my valiant steed, but it appears I’ve beaten him to death. I guess that means you’re stuck with me and my fussing over each of Almora’s exploits. Admit it though, you love it too.