Albert Almora Jr. may have surprised us with his excellent work at the plate at the Major League level this season (.294/.314/.441), but his work in center field has been as expected. As good as expected.
In last night’s loss to the Cardinals, Almora flashed some of that plus-plus glove in center field, with a running and diving catch on a slicing blooper to right center field:
I was at the game, and I can tell you that this catch was exceedingly well received by the fans in the bleachers. Thanks to Statcast, we know that Almora took his first steps at 0.23 seconds, before running 21.6 MPH to cover a distance of 95 feet(!). That’s good for a 94.6% route efficiency on a slicing blooper, pushed away by the wind, to right center field.
Almora’s been up for just 13 games and his defense has already been on display a number of times. This is but the latest example of the type/amount of value he can provide in center field. The guy already has 3 DRS!
I suspect we’ll be seeing much more of this over the next few years.