Chicago Cubs: Mix-and-match doesn’t matter to Almora
Far more often than not, if Albert Almora starts, he bats leadoff. It’s a spot that seems to suit him well, too.
In 128 plate appearances as the team’s table setter, Almora carries a .339/.378/.424 line this season. Maybe you’d like to see more separation between his average and on-base clip, but neither are even remotely close to being a concern. An inability to draw walks consistently remain present in his game, but he’s overcome it – thanks largely in part to a staggering .421 BAbip.
League average for that measure usually sits around the .300 mark. So you might be right in assuming Almora has had some luck in there, too. But, regardless of how he’s doing it, he continues to get on base (mostly via base hits) 200 at-bats into the season.
When he’s not in the leadoff spot, he’s hit well pretty much everywhere Maddon pencils him in. The lone exception to that rule? The nine-hole. He carries a dismal .238 OBP in 15 games as the nine hitter. The logic behind that is anybody’s guess – but you could point to a .176 BAbip out of that spot in the order. That’s a pretty stark contrast from the aforementioned .421 clip as the leadoff hitter.