Chicago Cubs need Albert Almora to find sustained success this season

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

After an All-Star caliber first-half last season, Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora faded down the stretch. Can he put it all together in 2019?

Last week, we learned the Chicago Cubs are heading into spring training with a projected outfield of Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora and Jason Heyward. That likely means you’ll see Ian Happ as the team’s fourth outfielder while Ben Zobrist sees more reps at second base early in the year while Addison Russell serves the remainder of his 40-game suspension.

As has been the case annually under manager Joe Maddon, this is a roster with tremendous versatility. Zobrist, Happ, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez are all capable of moving around the diamond on a daily basis. You could even make the case catcher Willson Contreras belongs in that group, too. But while versatility is nice, what the Cubs really need this season is consistency from its core.

The 2018 campaign has not and never will be labeled as ‘consistent’. The team’s complete offensive collapse down the stretch wound up costing them a division title – and another deep October run. But one guy who may be overlooked heading into a new season is Almora, a guy who has the tools to hit .300 and play Gold Glove-standard defense in center field.