Chicago Cubs: Outfield defense much improved with Almora in center
Now, talking about Albert Almora’s offense, we delved a bit more into metrics. But with his defense, a simple eye test does a lot. This guy utilizes his tremendous athletic ability to not only get to balls most wouldn’t – but also make the catch.
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Even trailing late Sunday to the Cardinals, Almora laid out and made a spectacular grab in the eighth – just the latest evidence of his defensive gifts. But what I personally like even more than these highlight reel grabs is the overall quality of the Chicago outfield with him in center field.
We all know what Jason Heyward is in right field. Simple. He’s the best right fielder in the game. A perfect combination of athleticism, arm strength and pure instinct, Heyward saves more runs than folks realize with his defense – even when he’s struggled at the dish. Pairing him with Almora on that side of the outfield certainly puts the Cubs in an enviable position.
But even when you switch over to left field, where guys like Kyle Schwarber take most of the reps, there’s a tremendous advantage to having his improved defensive ability side-by-side with Almora, who ranks well above league average in terms of most metrics.
Again, this is mostly eye test feedback. And I’m sure I’ll catch some flak for that – but sometimes, watching a guy on a daily basis tells you just as much as numbers. Albert Almora is one of those guys.