Nov 1, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs vice president of scouting Jason McLeod (left) , president of baseball operations Theo Epstein (middle) and new general manager Jed Hoyer (right) in attendance at a press conference at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE
This week figures to be an important week for the Chicago Cubs organization. This is the week that the Chicago Cubs front office has zeroed in on since the off-season. This week marks the MLB Draft. More importantly, the first round of the Major League Baseball draft will be held on Tuesday. Cubs president Theo Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer, and vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod have all said the one thing that is missing in the Cubs’ farm system is impact players.
The lack of impact players may be in part of a lack of focus on the farm system by the previous regime. Though, recently, the additions of Brett Jackson and Javier Baez seem to point the arrow in the right direction. However, the knock on the previous regime is that the organization gave more value to their prospects than they actually had in the eyes of scouts and other baseball executives.
Though, that does not seem to be the case. The new regime led by Epstein, Hoyer, and McLeod are determined to add impact players to the team’s farm system. That process began with the trade for first baseman Anthony Rizzo. And, that process will continue on Tuesday when the front office has the opportunity to add an impact player with the sixth overall selection in the draft. As a whole, the Cubs front office has put on emphasis on adding quality pitching with their selections in the draft. However, a consensus is forming on who the Cubs will take with the sixth overall selection.
No matter what mock draft you read or what draft insider you follow on twitter, there is one thing that is a certainty with this upcoming draft. That certainty involves the Chicago Cubs and their sixth overall selection. The one “lock” that all reporters are calling for in the first round of draft on Tuesday is that the Cubs will take high school outfielder Albert Almora of Mater Academy in Florida. The 18 year old Almora is projected to go within the top ten, and many have speculated that the Cubs would take Almora even if they had the first overall selection in Tuesday’s draft. The Cubs’ scouting team including Epstein and Hoyer have had a strong presence at Almora’s games during the later portions of his high school season.
If one were to sum up Almora’s playing ability, the saying “jack of all trades” would come to mind. Almora’s tools in terms of bat speed, power, speed, fielding, and overall hitting ability are all considered to be above average. Almora reminds of Baez in a way that he commands attentions when on the baseball field because of his natural skill at playing the game.