Chicago Cubs: Center fielder of the future – but with what team?
Albert Almora, to me personally, represents the highest upside of any player on this list.
Now, that’s a bold statement, I know, given the other names here, including three other first-round draft picks. But this is a guy whose defensive instincts are off-the-charts and who, at times, has shown the ability to do just what you need him to do with the bat.
The Cubs’ 2012 first-round pick played in a career-high 152 games this season, slashing .286/.323/.378. Despite taking roughly 150 more at-bats than in 2017, he drew just five more walks, which continues to be the biggest hole in his game, offensively.
Still, you can’t really complain about a guy who provided stellar defense on a daily basis and hit just under .290 at the end of the day. But people do – because Almora faded down the stretch in a big way.
After hitting .319 pre-All-Star Break, he scraped together a measly .232 mark with a .267 OBP in the second half, as the team’s entire offense went on a hiatus, ultimately costing them a third-straight National League Central title.
Moving Almora wouldn’t be easy and seems likely, really only if the team lands Harper or another outfielder this winter. He’s sure to fetch a strong return – but losing his glove would hurt in a big way.