Glancing at outfield prospect Albert Almora’s stat line could be cause for concern for the Cubs.
However, Epstein chalks up Almora’s struggled at Class-A Daytona as “a great example of when I say development isn't always linear.” Almora, the sixth overall draft pick in 2012, is hitting .244 with a .267 on-base percentage, 31 strikeouts and seven walks in 63 games for Daytona.
“I think a lot of us feel Albert might be the best pure hitter we have in our system,” Epstein said. “We trust Albert to go out and hit in the long run as much as anybody in our system.
“This is the first time in his life he's ever struggled, and he's dealing with it really well. He's not backing down at all, and he's continuing to work really hard.”
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While Almora struggles, Epstein touted pitchers Armando Rivero and Adroys Vizcaino, both of whom were promoted to Triple-A Iowa along with Kris Bryant on Tuesday. Epstein is looking forward to seeing how Rivero becomes more locked in against better hitters and continue with his fastball command. With Vizcaino, Epstein hopes he stays healthy and continues to be consistent with his mechanics.
“He's a big league pitcher, he's been up before,” Epstein said of Vizcaino. “It's really just a matter of sort of getting back in the routine, feeling comfortable after the (Tommy John) surgery, and then he'll be up here."