Chicago Cubs: No need for Christian Yelich; Albert Almora is the future
Chicago Cubs: You must think long-term with Almora
There’s no denying Yelich is currently the superior player. But is there any evidence to suggest Almora can’t reach Yelich’s level in the near future? After all, Almora is two years younger.
Since his debut, Almora confirmed what we all surmised from the beginning: he’s as solid as they come in the field. He’s quick and consistently takes efficient routes to the ball. According to FanGraphs, Almora’s UZR/150 in 2017 was 2.3, compared to -0.7 for Yelich. There’s a strong case to be made that Almora is the best defensive center fielder on the Cubs, and yes, that includes Jason Heyward.
Yelich can stick
The bat is where the real value lies with Christian Yelich. He’s a career .290 hitter who has developed some real power (39 combined home runs from 2016 and 2017) over the past two seasons.
In his first two seasons, Yelich slashed .285/.365/.400 with 13 home runs and 70 RBI in 933 plate appearances. Comparatively, Almora has slashed .292/.330/.448 with 11 home runs and 60 RBI in 440 plate appearances over the course of his two-year career.
With more than twice the amount of plate appearances, Yelich drove in only 10 more runs than Almora at the same point in his career. Now, Yelich has been phenomenal for the entirety of his five-year year career. But Albert Almora looks to be heading in a similar direction.