Confirming something I’d heard a few days ago (but was not able to confirm, myself), multiple reports out of Kane County say that Cubs prospect Albert Almora has been sent home, and will not return this minor league season.
Almora was placed on the disabled list back on August 7 with a groin issue, that has apparently turned out to be something other than a typical groin strain. Kevin Druley reports that it’s actually a bruised bone in his groin, which sounds awfully uncomfortable. Almora will continue to rest up for the balance of the season. As it was when Jorge Soler’s “season ended,” this isn’t a huge shock, given that there are just two weeks left in KC’s season. At this point, the Cubs might as well be cautious with a young player like Almora.
The real bummer is the total time that Almora has missed this year. Starting with his broken hamate bone and subsequent surgery, Almora missed a big chunk of time early, missed some time mid-season with a hamstring issue, missed a little more time with a hemorrhoid issue, and will now miss the final month-ish of the season with this groin issue.
When he’s been on the field, Almora has clearly lived into exactly what the Cubs’ hoped he would be: a stellar defensive center fielder with a great bat and a little pop. He’ll finish his first full professional season with a .329/.376/.466 in just 61 games, having played in full season low-A at just 19.
Assuming he’s able to recover from this injury in time, we’ll almost certainly see Almora playing some kind of offseason ball, either in the Instructional League or the Arizona Fall League in October. The latter, a challenging and prospect-heavy league, would normally be a bit of a stretch for a 19-year-old who has played only a half season in low-A, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Almora given a shot in the AFL because of his polish and advanced feel for the game.