Cubs First Round Pick: Albert Almora

In the first rund with the 6th overall pick the Cubs selected Albert Almora. No surprise here.

Almora is a latter-day A.J. Hinch in that he has become a go-to player for USA Baseball national teams from a young age. Almora was USA Baseball's 2011 athlete of the year after being MVP of the 18-and-under Pan American Championships in Colombia in November 2011. He tied Hinch's USA Baseball record by playing on his sixth national team, and scouts love his grinder approach and in-game savvy. What's more, Almora has outstanding tools. The Miami signee, in one scout's words, "has no issues. He's got above-average tools everywhere, and they all play. He has tools and he uses them." He doesn't turn in blazing times when he runs in showcases (generally he's a 6.8-second runner in the 60), but his game instincts help him steal bases and cover plenty of ground in center field. Scouts consider his defense major league-ready right now, with plus grades for his accurate throwing arm. With natural hitting rhythm and plenty of bat speed, Almora is a line-drive machine with a loose swing who stays inside the ball, relishes velocity and handles spin. He should have 20-homer power down the line, sufficient if he slows down and can't play center, and a definite bonus if (as expected) he stays in the middle garden. He plays the game with both ease and energy and may have some projection left in his athletic 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame. The Miami signee is considered one of the draft's safer picks and could sneak into the first 10 selections. — Baseball America

From mlb.com on Almora

Almora has played for USA Baseball as much as any player in history. He's played in big situations and shown natural leadership abilities over the years.

He's also got many tools to get excited about. He should be an above-avearge hitter at the next level, with an ability to drive the ball to all fields. He'll have above-average power as well and shows it in games now, especially to the pull side. He's a solid average runner and knows what to do on the basepaths. Defensively, he's a plus center fielder with excellent arm strength and range.

All of his tools play up because of his plus makeup and work ethic. That combination should have plenty of teams in the first round taking a long look at him.

More updates to come.

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