Monday, February 24, 2014
Mailbag: Almora says 'I can be a leader'
By Jesse Rogers
Mesa, Ariz. -- Time to open up the player mailbag as 2012 first-round pick Albert Almora answers your questions:
You had a pretty good year in Kane County despite battling injuries, but what do you think you can improve on the most coming into spring training? -- Nathan (Monee, Ill.) Albert Almora: Everything. My whole game. My main thing is actually staying healthy and having a good, productive full year.
If you had to compare your game to one current or former big league player, who would it be? -- Jason (Homer Glen, Ill.) AA: Hmm. I like to resemble my outfield play like a young Andruw Jones. And just the way he handled himself on and off the field I feel like Derek Jeter is a good guy to take after.
Albert Almora batted .329 with a .376 on-base percentage in an injury-shortened season at Single-A Kane County last season.
When is the soonest we could see you, and when is the latest we could see you in the big leagues? -- Thomas (Villa Park, Ill.) AA: I can't answer that. Whenever they think I'm ready.
Scouts often point to your great makeup. What does that mean to you? AA: It's everything. It's how I was brought up. To be a hard-working guy on and off the field. I'm not a vocal guy but I feel like I can be a leader on the field and show guys I'm giving 100 percent in every game.
Albert, much respect to you as one of the great young talents in the Cubs organization. My question is how do you see your future offensive role? In your prime, do you think you'll be more of a table-setter, or more of an RBI guy? -- Dan (Palatine, Ill.) AA: I'm going to be a team guy. Whatever they need from me at that moment is what I'm going to do for them.
What are some of the things you did as a kid to become a great baseball player? -- Omar (Chicago) AA: Work. Everyday since I was 3. It's having that dedication and that goal, that mindset to be where I am.
Who do you have the best relationship with in the Cubs organization? -- Jamar (Chicago) AA: I have a great relationship with everyone. Maybe my roommates. Kris Bryant and Dan Vogelbach, guys like that. They're great teammates and great friends.
You've been described as someone with a great hit tool. If you were the manager where do you see yourself hitting in a lineup? -- Randy (Chicago) AA: Wow, hmm. I don't know. It varies. I guess I'm a top-of-the-order guy but it's whatever they want from me I'll do.
What is the best part of playing baseball to you? AA: Everything. The grass, the field, your teammates. It's the whole package. Competing. It's the whole package. Nothing in particular.
What's the biggest thing (if any) you've changed about your game since you were drafted by the Cubs? -- Mark (Chicago) AA: My plate discipline, for sure. In high school you can get away with a lot of stuff. You can swing at anything and it will work out for you. Here it changes a lot. So plate discipline for sure.
I just received a summer internship with the Daytona Cubs. If you are still there in May, can I get an autograph? -- Shane (Colona, Ill.) AA: Sure. I give autographs to anyone that asks.