Cubs News: Albert Almora Jr. has been optioned to South Bend

Albert Almora Jr. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Albert Almora Jr. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Cubs’ Albert Almora Jr. has been optioned to South Bend, and it was the right call.

The Chicago Cubs and Albert Almora Jr. was sent down to South Bend, and the belief is to work out the issues he had while in Chicago. To be honest, he was a top-notch fielder. The bat? Eh, not so much. Let me give you the details on that.

Almora is striking out 26.5% of the time. His ISO is .033 and his wRC+ was 35. But still, his maximum exit velocity is 111.7 mph, and he got the barrel on it 3.9% of the time–highest since his rookie year (4.3%). But the slash line is not so pleasant. .167/.265/.200 with an OBP of.465? Yikes.  In 2017, he was fantastic. He hit .298 in 132 games. Since then, he’s gone down in every category. So what’s his story?

He’s always been good with the leather. He’s had a .986 fielding percentage or higher with the Cubs. Now the bat? He’s got a swinging strike percentage of 13.6%–the highest it’s ever been. He’s got to keep that down and increase the walk numbers if he’s looking to find the bat in 2020.

He keeps swinging the bat and missing, which is not good. His first strike percentage is 64.7%, five over league average. If he would take a strike–he’d be suitable for the at-bat. But alas, he is not. A .167 is a clear indicator of that.

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Kris Bryant and Steven Souza Jr. will return–possibly tomorrow. With Cameron Maybin due up, it was Almora that was due to spend some time in South Bend to ‘get his work in.’ In time, Almora might be due to come up to the majors. But for now, South Bend is his home.