Having stepped away for a couple weeks to represent his country in the Pan American Games, Albert Almora* is back at AA Tennessee, playing his typical sterling defense in the outfield.

And last night, Almora ripped a laser homer down the left field line for the Smokies, so let’s enjoy that:

With a little over a month left in the minor league season, it would be great if Almora could start to turn the corner a bit offensively. We know that he’s still quite young for his level at just 21, and we know he’s been working on some significant approach adjustments late last year and coming into this year. Seeing some fruit heading into the offseason would be an exciting development for a guy that we’d like to dream on as the center fielder of the future. It would probably take a follow-up next year at AAA with huge steps forward, but this coming month is the start.

On the year, Almora has a disappointing¬†.243/.287/.363 line, though he still never strikes out – just 29 times in 67 games – and he’s walked 16 times this year after just 14 in his entire 2014 campaign. He’s also hitting the ball in the air much more this year than in the past (1.03 ground out to air out ratio this year, versus consistently being in the 1.40 range before this year).

There are signs of progress. The results just aren’t there yet.

*(It looks like he’s no longer listed as Albert Almora, Jr., for what it’s worth. I just want to call him what he wants to be called.)

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