|Albert Almora Jr.|
Almora with a fan
|Chicago Cubs – No. 5|
|Born: April 16, 1994|
Hialeah Gardens, Florida
|June 7, 2016, for the Chicago Cubs|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2018 season)
|Runs batted in||101|
|Career highlights and awards|
Reinaldo Albert Almora Jr. (born April 16, 1994) is an American professional baseball outfielder of Cuban descent, who currently plays for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB). Almora primarily plays center field.
Almora attended Mater Academy Charter School in Hialeah Gardens, Florida. In 2011, Almora was named USA Baseball's athlete of the year after leading the 18 and under team to a 9–0 record and being named the tournament MVP. He played on six national teams while in high school, tying a record. He won the USA Baseball Richard W. "Dick" Case Player of the Year Award in 2011. He committed to play college baseball at the University of Miami.
The Chicago Cubs selected Almora in the first round, with the sixth overall selection, in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft out of Mater Academy Charter School. He signed with the Cubs, receiving a $3.9 million signing bonus. MLB.com ranked Almora as the second best prospect in the Cubs organization in 2013, and the 39th ranked prospect in all of baseball.
Almora spent 2012 with both the AZL Cubs and Boise Hawks, batting .321 with two home runs and 19 RBIs in 33 games. He played for the Kane County Cougars in 2013. He had a .329 batting average in 61 games played, as he missed time due to injury. After the 2013 season, the Cubs assigned Almora to the Arizona Fall League to gain more experience. In 2014, he played for the Daytona Cubs and Tennessee Smokies where he slashed .270/.291/.392 with nine home runs and 60 RBIs in 125 games.
Almora spent 2015 back with the Smokies where he batted .272 with six home runs and 46 RBIs in 106 games. He began 2016 with the Iowa Cubs.  At Iowa prior to being called up, he was batting .318 in 54 games.
Almora was promoted to the Cubs on June 7, 2016 when Jorge Soler was placed on the disabled list. He made his first career start in left field on June 8, 2016 against the Philadelphia Phillies and on his first fielding opportunity threw out a runner at home to complete a double play. The following day, he got his first major league hit.
On November 2, 2016, in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, Almora took over as a pinch runner for Kyle Schwarber, the Cubs designated hitter who opened the top of the 10th inning with a lead-off single to right. Almora advanced to second base on a rare tag-up play from first base thanks to a deep fly ball out hit by Kris Bryant. After Cleveland Indians pitcher Bryan Shaw intentionally walked Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, Almora scored the go-ahead 7th run for the Cubs off of a double by Ben Zobrist. The Cubs went on to win the game 8-7, earning their first World Series victory since 1908 thanks in part to Almora's baserunning skill.
In 132 games, Almora finished the season with a .298 batting average, eight home runs, and 46 RBIs. He also changed the name on the back of his jersey from 'Almora Jr.' to just 'Almora'.
On April 22 in a game against the Colorado Rockies, Almora made three leaping catches in center field in the 1st, 2nd and 9th innings of the Cubs' 9-7 win. Almora finished his 2018 campaign batting .286 with five home runs and 41 RBIs in 152 games, and was the final out of the 2018 NL Wild Card Game against the Rockies, struck out by Scott Oberg to end the 13 inning, 2-1 Rockies victory.
His father, Albert Sr., played baseball in Cuba before he defected to the United States. Almora began training with his father when he was three years old. Albert is so close to current MLB player Manny Machado that Almora considers him to be his cousin, though they are not related by blood. Machado was quoted as saying that he would love to play with Almora and win a World Series together, a dream they had as kids.
Almora chose "Tico" as his nickname for the Players Weekend during the 2017 and 2018 season.
- "Prep star Albert Almora could be a top-10 Draft pick | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- "Reese McGuire Wins USA Baseball Player of the Year Award". Baseball America. Archived from the original on July 4, 2015.
- "USA Baseball names year-end award winners". usabaseball.com. Archived from the original on July 5, 2015.
- "How Almora Jr. became part of the World Series puzzle". February 25, 2017.
- "Albert Almora: Albert Almora's dedication a family affair – Chicago Tribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. October 12, 2013. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- "Albert Almora leads Mesa's charge as Cubs stars shine | cubs.com: News". Chicago.cubs.mlb.com. October 9, 2013. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- Gonzales, Mark (June 7, 2016). "Cubs place Jorge Soler on 15-day DL, Albert Almora Jr. promoted". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- Gonzales, Mark. "Cubs' Albert Almora Jr. makes first start in left field, first pitch moved to 12:20 p.m." Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
- Bastian, Jordan; Muskat, Carrie. "Chicago Cubs win 2016 World Series". MLB. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
- "Cubs' Albert Almora Jr. gets married on his off-day, then sent to Iowa". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- staff, Chicago Tribune. "Cubs' Albert Almora Jr. says wife Krystal 'is doing much better'".
- "MLB Players Weekend to showcase unique nicknames, colorful uniforms".