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BP Top Prospects: Chicago Cubs

Minors : : General
Jason Parks        
Published: Thursday, November 08, 2012

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State of the Farm:
Please don't be long. Please don't you be very long. Please don't be long.”

Prospect rankings primer

The Top Ten

1.     OF Albert Almora
2.     SS Javier Baez
3.     OF Jorge Soler
4.     RHP Arodys Vizcaino
5.     1B Dan Vogelbach
6.     OF Brett Jackson
7.     RHP Pierce Johnson
8.     RHP Duane Underwood
9.     3B Christian Villanueva
10.   RHP Dillon Maples

1. Albert Almora

Position: OF
DOB: 04/16/1994
Height/Weight: 6’1’’ 170 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1
st round, 2012 draft, Mater Academy Charter School (Hialeah, FL)
2012 Stats: .347/.363/.480 at rookie level AZL (18 games); .292/.292/.446 at short-season Boise (15 games)
The Tools: Shows all five; plus projections on hit/power 

What Happened in 2012:
 After getting drafted sixth overall, the five-tool teenager showed mature baseball skills and polish beyond his years in his brief professional debut.

Strengths: Well-rounded tool collection; feel for the game is outstanding and allows tools to play above grade; 5 arm; 5 run; 6 glove; future hit could be easy 6; excellent bat speed; gets into zone quickly and efficiently; power has above-average potential; shows advanced game skills; lauded for work ethic/makeup; now talent that could move fast.

Weaknesses: Range in CF is tied to read/react skills and instincts, not plus raw speed; lacks high-end physicality; lacks elite tools; upside isn’t as sexy as teammate Javier Baez; aggressive approach has yet to be tested; small professional sample

Overall Future Potential: 6; first-division starter

Explanation of Risk: Moderate risk; more polished than the average teenager; shows advanced feel and instincts for the game; high floor; respectable ceiling; most likely falls short of star status.

Fantasy Future: .290/.350/.450 from premium defensive position, with 10-15 home run pop, plenty of doubles, and a chance to steal 15-20 bases at a high success rate.

The Year Ahead: Almora will most likely jump to full-season ball, where he will play the majority of the year as a 19-year-old. The highly praised hit tool will be tested by more advanced pitching, and the aggressive approach will need to refine to avoid exploitation. With now skills and advanced feel, Almora should continue to progress up the prospect ranks, and has a chance to emerge as a top tier player in the minors if the solid-average skill-set plays up beyond its projection. 

Major league ETA: 2016

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