Getting to know Cubs first round (6th overall) draft pick, OF Albert Almora
(MotherShip)–“If you look at the total package of Albert, he has the ability to no doubt play in the major leagues, but it’s also the makeup and work ethic, how he carries himself and the leadership he’s shown,” said Jason McLeod, vice president of scouting and player development. “It’s what we’re looking to do here with the Cubs — to bring in somebody that will be an impact player and to impact those around him.” The No. 6 overall selection, Almora becomes the first draft pick in the Cubs’ Theo Epstein era. Epstein, who became the club’s president of baseball operations this winter, has targeted the draft as an important piece of the organization’s rebuilding process. McLeod is aware that Almora and the club’s new management of Epstein, McLeod and general manager Jed Hoyer will be forever linked. “It goes back to the evaluation of him as a player on the ability, but even more on the makeup side,” McLeod said. “He’s driven to succeed and be the best. We feel that in this market there is something to the whole ‘Theo Epstein first draft’ and our first draft. But that will subside quickly and it will be about him and what he does for this franchise moving forward. We feel he will handle it well because of who he is and what it means to him to be great.”
I am not going to sit here and pretend to know a god damn thing about this Albert Almora kid, but I think there are a couple of things to note. 1) Almora is a HS kid which means he is probably at least 4 years away from contributing at the Major League level. Historically(and remember I am an Epstein expert) Theo has favored spending high draft picks on college players(see: Pedroia, Ellsbury, Papelbon, Bard, Renaudo, etc). So Almora must have clearly been the best player on Theo’s board in order for him to stray from his draft day norms. 2) I think the Cubs repeatedly talking about the character of Almora is huge. They want winners. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you’re a fucking moron like Starlin Castro it doesn’t matter. They need their best players to also be leaders and it appears that’s what they hope will happen with Almora.
PS: Miami delenda est
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