Chicago Cubs: Greatest players of the decade – #40-31

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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: No. 40: Albert Almora, Jr.

Albert Almora, Jr. will always hold two important distinctions in Chicago Cubs history. First, he was Theo Epstein first draft pick in Chicago, as the Cubs took him in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2012 draft. The second distinction is that he scored the go-ahead run in the 10th inning of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, though he was still considered a prospect at the time.

Almora got a little taste of the big leagues in 2016, but he stuck in the big leagues in 2017, appearing in 132 games and making 323 plate appearances while playing all three outfield spots. He had his best year offensively in 2017, batting .298 while driving in 46 runs in part-time duty. In 2018, Almora had another solid season, getting more playing time, appearing in 152 games and getting 479 plate appearances. That year, he set a career high in walks, hits, runs, and doubles. He also had a defensive WAR of 1.1

Unfortunately, Almora regressed in almost every way in 2019. He set a career-high in home runs with 12, but pretty much everything else was down, including his defense. Because of that, I speculated in a previous column that Almora may be a non-tender candidate this offseason. Still, he appears on this list mainly for his contributions from 2016-2018.