Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

albert almora cubsIce is cold. You know ice is cold. I know ice is cold. And yet, sometimes I think we know that ice is cold in such a fundamental way that we sort of forget what exactly that means and are surprised at just how cold ice really is. Just think of all the times you’ve heard comments on the coldness of ice. See what I mean?

I suspect the same thing applies to Albert Almora‘s defense. We know he is a very good defensive outfielder. We’ve been hearing about his glove the since the day he was drafted, and nothing we have seen since calls that elite glove into question. Even so, I still receive questions time to time asking if Almora is really all that good after all. ‘Isn’t he really just average?’, they ask. ‘Wouldn’t he be better suited to left because of his glove?’

Here’s the answer: Albert Almora is the single best defensive outfielder in the Cubs’ system. He can play any outfield position in any stadium. The minute he claims a starting job in the major leagues he will be a candidate for a Gold Glove.

Not convinced? Just watch this catch from last night a few times:

[Brett: Man, that guy is ridiculous. It’s like he immediately knows where the ball is going to be.]

The angle was good, he caught up to the ball, timed his jump, and held it on the landing. With most other outfielders that ball goes for two bases. With Almora? It is just another out. He isn’t even that excited coming off the field, just as if it was a routine play.

So, remember everyone. Ice is cold. And Almora is a really, really good defensive outfielder.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa needed another late rally, and they got just enough to walk off this 5-4 win.
Tennessee – The Smokies took the game into the tenth, but they lost 7-6.
Myrtle Beach – Myrtle Beach tied it up in the eighth and won it in the ninth for a 5-4 final.
South Bend – South Bend did all their scoring in the fourth inning, but they wound up with a 4-3 loss.
Eugene – Eugene returned to action with this narrow 3-2 loss.
Arizona – The AZL Cubs had the day off.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Javier Baez finished 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts. He did, however, reach on a fielder’s choice in the eighth, and then scored from first on a soft grounder to third and a throwing error.

  • [Iowa] Taylor Davis, John Andreoli, and Taylor Teagarden (including a double) all finished with 2 hits. Chris Valaika had 3 hits.
  • [Iowa] C.J. Edwards gave up 2 hits and struck out 2 in his 2 innings of scoreless relief.
  • [Tennessee] Albert Almora walked, finished 3 for 4, and made that highlight reel catch featured in the intro.
  • [Tennessee] Jacob Hannemann, who has made some impressive catches himself this season, finished 2 for 4 with his 16th stolen base.
  • [Tennessee] Rehabbing Miguel Montero hit a seventh inning grand slam. It was his only hit of the night, and the only home run for the Smokies.
  • [Tennessee] P.J. Francescon gave up a run on a hit and a walk in his 2 innings of relief while striking out 4.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Mark Zagunis doubled, homered (his 7th) and finished 3 for 4.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Pin-Chieh Chen hit his 3rd triple, and Jason Vosler (who has been hitting very well lately) added a double.
  • [Myrtle Beach] David Garner (2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K) and Jasvir Rakkar (1 IP, 1 H) combined to pitch 3 innings of scoreless relief.
  • [South Bend] Tommy Thorpe gave up 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks in his 6 innings of work, but only one of them was earned. He struck out 2.

  • [South Bend] Jeffrey Baez (who happens to be one of the hottest hitters in the organization right now) doubled and finished 3 for 5. He also stole his 23rd base of the season.
  • [South Bend] Gleyber Torres stole his 19th base while finishing 2 for 5. Gioskar Amaya also had 2 hits.
  • [Eugene] Greyfer Eregua pitched 2.1 more innings of scoreless relief in this one. He allowed just one hit and struck out one.
  • [Eugene] Frandy Delarosa and Tyler Alamo both put together 2 hit games.
  • [Eugene] A double from Kevonte Mitchell was the only extra base hit for the Emeralds.

Other News

  • Even Almora’s bat has been looking better lately. Since the All-Star break he has a line of .253/.327/.425. The batting average looks a bit low, but when you consider that he managed to post an OPS of .732 in July (sample size alert) despite hitting just .217, the perception shifts a bit. In August, through the first few games, his line reads .308/.379/.385. Before the All-Star break he had 2 home runs and 13 walks in 55 games. Since that time he already has 3 home runs and 9 walks in just 23 games.
  • The Cubs placed five prospects in the newest edition of MLB Pipelines’s Top 100 (Underwood, Edwards, McKinney, Torres, and Schwarber), but you knew that already.

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