Last year, the Chicago Cubs saw three top prospects make their way to the big league roster. This year, this have been relatively quite but that changes today as the Cubs call up their #5 prospect.
Yesterday, Chicago Cubs OF Jorge Soler was removed from the game after running the bases. The Cubs later announced that he was being evaluated for a hamstring injury and would undergo an MRI tomorrow.
While the injury did not appear too serious on the field, even some of the minor hamstring issues usually require a stint on the DL.
After the game last night, speculation began as to who the Cubs might call up if Soler hits the DL. The one obvious name was OF Matt Murton. Murton, 34, spent four seasons with the Cubs in the mid-2000s.
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After spending the last six years in Japan, he is hoping to make his way back in the American baseball after the Cubs signed him to a minor league deal in February.
According to Carrie Muskat on Twitter, the Cubs have called up their No. 5 prospect, Albert Almora and placed Soler on the disabled list. The 22-year-old outfield was drafted as the 6th overall pick in the 2012 draft and has moved through the system rather quickly.
Almora, playing in his first year at Triple-A Iowa, has a .315/.335/.444 slash line at Triple-A. He has hit three homers and knocked in ten RBI in 226 plate appearances. Almora does not strike out much, only 29 times in 214 at-bats, but he also doesn’t walk much either (just three times this season).
Almora has above average defense. He is ready from a defensive standpoint. His offensive is a little more questionable. He does not hit for a lot of power but does but the ball in play a lot (as evidenced by his low strikeout and walk totals).
Almora also has a ton of speed with 10 steals in 12 attempts so far this year. This gives Joe Maddon another potential late inning replacement for defensive and speed late in the game.
Calling up Almora now is certainly an interesting move. There is no guarantee that he plays every day, seeing as the Cubs have Javier Baez, Tommy La Stella, and Matt Szczur that they try to give regular playing time too. However, the Cubs calling up Almora could suggest that Soler could be out for an extended period of time as it wouldn’t make sense to keep him up for just two weeks.