As one of the longest-tenured members of the Cubs organization, Albert Almora Jr. has the perspective of a seasoned veteran.
However some of his teammates view Almora, 24, as more of a younger sibling.
“I see him as my little brother,” stated Kris Bryant, 27, who was drafted in 2013, one yr after Almora. “I know he was drafted (in the first spherical) earlier than many of us, but I really like that man. He’s certainly one of my greatest associates. He’s such a superb man to be around, however he’ll all the time be my little brother.”
The brotherhood extends to fellow first-round decide Kyle Schwarber, who flew to Miami five weeks ago to attend the baptism of Almora’s second son, Antino.
“He’s a very real individual on the sector and off the sector,” Schwarber stated. “He’s there whenever you want him. Him being a dad at such a young age, it’s very impressive. To see the best way he handles himself is something we will look as much as.”
Some fans have referred to as for Almora to start out more typically, however the problem for supervisor Joe Maddon is to distribute sufficient enjoying time in the outfield for former first-round picks Ian Happ, Schwarber and Almora. Then there’s Jason Heyward taking a big share of the enjoying time in right because of his Gold Glove-caliber protection.
Almora’s 3.35 pitches per plate look doesn’t fit the prototypical leadoff hitter, but his .368 on-base proportion was seventh among National League leadoff batters.
And he quieted some skeptics who say he ought to start solely towards left-handed pitchers — he batted .282 towards proper-handers in 2018.
But Almora stole only one base in four attempts, and his batting common dipped 12 factors to .286 and on-base proportion 15 factors to .323 from 2017.
“I attempt not to take a look at any of that stuff,” Almora stated. “This recreation is an extended season and an enormous roller coaster. I simply attempt to limit the downs and stay even.
“The most important factor for me is the mental half, staying confident in that I know I can play (at) a high degree on this league and simply take pleasure in it.”
And get higher.
Almora was irritated that he struck out for the ultimate out within the Cubs’ National League wild-card loss to the Rockies final fall.
He resumed hitting three weeks after the season and devoted a lot of his time to enhancing his velocity.
Almora acquired a plus-9 grade in defensive runs saved however a minus-9 baserunning grade, in line with the 2019 Bill James Handbook.
“In this recreation, you study from expertise,” Almora stated. “And coming into my fourth yr, there’s a variety of expertise for me and the staff, particularly studying to win and lose and the way you deal with it.”
Almora was the final of the Cubs’ “Core Four” of Javier Baez, Bryant and Schwarber to succeed in the majors despite being drafted earlier than the latter two. Almora and Baez signed out of highschool, but Almora — the No. 6…