Chicago Cubs: Four players looking to rebound in 2020
Chicago Cubs: If the front office is going to continue to trust Albert Almora Jr. to be a key contributor, then he will need to show it.
Center field is a big question mark now and missing out on Shogo Akiyama could really sting if his talents translate to the majors next year. Outside Happ the other option in center currently (Jason Heyward is slated in right primarily) is Albert Almora.
Almora, while never having much pop or ability to draw walks, did record a .289/.326/.412 slash and 2.8 fWAR in his first three seasons. While not mind-blowing or ideal numbers for a leadoff man, he was not putting up bad stats. His 9 DRS in 2018 made him valuable in centerfield.
Last year he played in 130 games and put up a .236/.271/.381 slash with a 64 wRC+, .651 OPS, 53.1 percent groundball rate and -0.7 fWAR. His UZR/150 in center dropped from 2.9 to -4.1. What makes the 2019 season alarming is that is has been a trend since the second half of 2018 when he slashed .232/.267/.280 during that span.
His fit on the team moving forward really just does not seem to be there, but if he will be around, we all want to see him bounce back. No, he will not be an on-base guy who is a run producer, but the glove coming back and at least putting up respectable batting numbers like he did early on would be nice to have in 2020.