Chicago Cubs: Five prospects set to break out in 2015

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1. Albert Almora, OF

Mar 7, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Albert Almora (78) scores a run in the ninth inning of a spring training game against the Los Angeles Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The Cubs won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Probably the most known player on this list is Albert Almora, who was drafted out of high school by the Cubs with the sixth overall pick in the 2012 MLB draft.

Almora is a defense first prospect, who scouts claim could handle center field in the major leagues right now. Despite only having above average speed, Almora uses incredible defensive awareness and instinct in the outfield to give him great range in center field. He also has a fairly strong, and very accurate throwing arm.

To go along with the great defensive skills, Almora is an impressive contact hitter who can make consistent line drive contact. His power skill is average, but there is a little bit of upside there as well.

Almora was considered to be a top prospect by most heading in to last season, but he struggled with the bat in 2014 (.270/.291/.392), causing him to slip down most lists.

The biggest knock on Almora is his lack of patience at the plate. The guy can make contact with pretty much anything, but instead of waiting for a good pitch that he can drive with hard contact, all too often Almora chases a ball that causes him to make weak contact.

He spent most of 2014 in High-A, before getting the call to Double-A late in the season. He will likely start this year at Double-A, with a call to Triple-A certainly possible if he improves his pitch selection.

This is big year for Almora to get back on track. He must learn to sit back and wait for a good pitch to hit, instead of always swinging at “pitcher’s pitches” even though he can make contact on them.

Almora is a smart player, who has shown the ability to make adjustments in the past. I fully expect him to make the necessary adjustments and have a strong season in the minor leagues, which will quickly move him up amongst the best prospects in all of baseball.

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