Some mid-game prospect reading for you while you’re enjoying the prospect of prospects getting into today’s game …
- Albert Almora had a great Spring debut yesterday with a couple nice at bats yielding a couple hits. Hopefully it foreshadows a breakthrough year for the center fielder who is coming off of a mixed 2014 season. Although he was healthy, which was an improvement from 2013, Almora’s offensive numbers didn’t shine at High-A and AA as he worked through approach changes at the plate. With a preternatural ability to put the bat on the ball, Almora is going through the tricky process of unlearning some of his habits – namely, just because you can hit most pitches doesn’t mean you should hit them. I like Almora as well as any player in the Cubs’ system for a breakout in 2015, especially when you consider that he’s definitely got it between the ears, and his excellent defense in center means he doesn’t have to be an offensive superstar to be very valuable. And if the things he worked on last year take hold?
- Two great reads on Almora, here at ESPN, and here at Cubs.com. People seem to forget three things about Almora’s 2014 season: (1) he was just 20 years old, and he reached AA; (2) he was tasked with learning and developing significant changes to his approach at the plate, so some struggles were part of that process; and (3) his father was dealing with prostate cancer. Nobody’s offering that last one as an excuse, but Almora is a human being, and he was a young man while his father was going through something very serious. It’s part of the story. Thankfully, for many reasons, Almora’s dad is doing well.
- According to Jesse Rogers, there are some in the Cubs’ organization who are as high on Kyle Schwarber as they are on Kris Bryant. Try to wrap your head around that one for a minute without passing out.
- Rogers spoke with Schwarber about his big day (and how Schwarber is just ready for the next day so he can keep working), and about his approach at the plate.
- A fun read on the prospects tentatively expected to be at AA Tennessee this year (no, the Cubs haven’t announced, so these are just educated guesses via Baseball America).
- Jim Callis’s top 15 fantasy prospects for 2015 is headlined by a couple familiar faces: Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler. Semi-similarly, this FanGraphs piece projects the best NL outfield prospects for 2015 for fantasy purposes, and Soler comes in at number two, behind Joc Pederson.
- A reminder from Luke (whom you should be following on Twitter):
— Luke Blaize (@ltblaize) March 6, 2015