Albert Almora Jr. posted a robust .319 batting average and .343 wOBA in the first half of the 2018 season (298 plate appearances), which prompted serious discussion about whether he should receive the majority of plate appearances going forward. Oof, those discussions ended too quickly after that.
In the second half of 2018, a perfectly healthy Almora limped to the season-ending finish line with a .232 average and .245 wOBA (168 plate appearances). No other Cubs hitter finished with worse run production.
I keep hearing Theo Epstein’s “production not talent” phrase over and over in my head when thinking of young players like Almora. While the 24-year-old can command center field with as much grace as the league’s elite defenders, I don’t think any of us would be surprised if his name comes up in hot-stove rumors this offseason.