Chicago Cubs Draft Pick Albert Almora Gets off to a Bad Start

Darrell HorwitzSenior Writer IIJune 6, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 05:  Theo Epstein, President of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs, speaks with the media before the opening day game against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field on April 5, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs selected Florida high school center fielder Albert Almora as the first pick of the Theo Epstein era. You would think he would be honored as the piece the messiah decided was the building block for the future. Instead, he seemed as excited to be coming to the Cubs as going to the dentist.

When asked for a reaction to the selection, he told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, "My main priority now is college." 

Obviously he's a smart kid and well-schooled by uber-agent Scott Boras, acting as if playing Major League Baseball is just an afterthought at this time.

When given a choice between a pool or a batting cage in the backyard as a kid, he opted for the cage, so who's fooling who with his answer?

Even though baseball instituted a salary slotting system this year for draftees, Boras is going to try to soak as much money as he can out of the Cubs.

The No. 6 pick should receive $3.25 million according to the new rules. The Cubs have a budget they are allowed for their selections in the first 10 rounds, with severe penalties if they exceed it.

Boras has always been difficult to deal with. There are teams out there who aren't interested in any players he is associated with.

His goal is always to get the most money he can for his client, which is admirable, but often at the expense of their best interests, whether that be where they end up or when they come to camp.

I don't know why Almora hired Boras with the new guidelines in place, since the "Wild West" era when it comes to bonuses is gone. Even if he pinches a few extra shekels out of the Cubs, is it worth it?

He's not going to use the full-ride scholarship he received from the "U" (University of Miami). As I said, he's a smart kid, and his lifelong goal has been to play in the big leagues.

If he goes to school, his "dream" will be delayed for three years until he is eligible for the draft again. Anything can happen in that time.

He could get injured, or he could fail to impress at the next level and fall back in the draft. He's already the sixth pick, so other than a few spots, the only way to go is down.

The reality is: he doesn't have any leverage and will sign with the Cubs, whether it's the next few weeks, or waiting until the last hour and delaying his future progress.

For Cubs' fans who have waited so long for a championship, it would be nice if the player who is supposed to be the start of the turnaround said after being drafted, "I am so excited to be drafted by the Chicago Cubs. This is a dream come true, and I can't wait to play at Wrigley Field and help them win the World Series."

Instead, we get a player who seems like he's all about the money and could care less about coming to Chicago.

Boras is the perfect villain. Too bad Almora didn't keep his mouth shut and let Boras handle his role.

They say first impressions are everything. Unfortunately, he already blew his.