Chicago Cubs: Multiple players could break out this season in a big way
By Erik Mauro
Albert Almora ready to show he’s the man
Nobody really knows what Albert Almora is yet in terms of playing time. He has killed lefties, but has struggled, at times, against right-handers. Last year, his OPS against southpaws was nearly 200 points higher than against righties.
With Jon Jay likely headed elsewhere, it’s on Almora and fell youngster Ian Happ to patrol center field for the Cubs. Almora is coming off a .298 average in 132 games, but his .338 OBP leaves plenty to be desired, especially from a potential leadoff man.
In 2018, all signs point to Almora being the everyday center fielder, and he has a chance to really show off his stuff. Joe Maddon believes Almora can hit 20 home runs each season. The former first-rounder has shown flashes of his great defense out there, which is what his scouting report says.
The Cubs would love it if Almora took the next step, as it would reinforce Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer’s steadfast belief in him throughout the years.