Albert Almora has always carried himself with confidence. However, due perhaps to falling further in the draft than he had hoped or losing much of the past season to injury, Almora now seems to have developed a chip on his shoulder. Gone is the quiet, soft-spoken kid from the summer. Almora is anything but, possessing a boldness that a team coming off its third straight 90-loss season needs. After suffering through a pair of rough seasons under a regime that initially instilled much hope, Chicago Cubs fans are growing weary of the poor play they’re witnessing on the field. Maybe even more tiresome to a few are the constant refrain of patience and the reminders that the Cubs' highly rated farm system will be pumping top talent up to the big leagues in the very near future. There are plenty who are ready to start questioning whether the complete rebuild of the organization that team president Theo Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer and the rest of the Cubs front office have overseen will really lead to sustained success on the North Side. Almora is not one of those people. “You can tell when everything is going in the right direction,” Almora recently said prior to participating in an Arizona Fall League game. “That’s the first thing everyone in the organization put in our heads: winning a World Series is going to happen. It’s not an ‘if,’ it’s a ‘when.’” Almora, who suffered through multiple injuries this summer during his first full season of professional baseball with the Kane County Cougars, appears to be playing in the AFL with something to prove. Though he’s the second youngest player in the league, Almora has posted a .286/.340/.531 line in 13 games and is playing his usual outstanding defense all over the outfield. Despite playing no higher than low-A in his career, Almora appears to be undaunted by the task of facing pitchers who are both older and more experienced. “To be honest, I’m confident in my game,” Almora said. “I’m not trying to sound cocky or arrogant here, but it’s the same game, the pitchers are just smarter. They throw a little harder than what I’m used to seeing, but after a week of 98 (mph) every day... I’m not saying it’s easy, but you see it better. As a player, I might be 19, but I’m ready, I’m ready to play against all these guys. Age is nothing but a number. I feel like I’m capable of playing and my baseball IQ is the same as these guys'.” Almora’s impressive numbers helped earn him an appearance in this past Saturday’s Fall Stars game. His Mesa Solar Sox teammates and fellow Cubs prospects Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant both joined him on the roster.
Almora confident in future with Cubs
ESPN | Nov 5