The Kane County Cougars enjoyed a rare day off Tuesday. So how did Cougars center fielder Albert Almora spend part of his day?
He went to a baseball game at Wrigley Field.
The 19-year-old Almora was the Cubs’ first-round draft pick last year. After having surgery in the spring to remove his hamate bone in his left hand, Almora is off to a good start for the Cougars.
He has a hitting line of .353/.387/.519 in 38 games with 11 doubles, 3 triples, 3 home runs and 18 RBI. Because he missed time at the start of the regular season, the Cubs aren’t in a rush to move him up a level, which means he will get to enjoy the Chicago area a little longer.
So why come out to Wrigley?
“Just having fun,” he said. “Just try to stay healthy. I’m having a good year so far.”
Almora has become a fan favorite in Kane County, and part of that is because of his interaction with the fans, whether signing autographs or saying hello.
“That’s just the way I was raised,” he said. “I was blessed to play for USA Baseball. You play for fans. You play for country. Now, that’s the same way with the Cubs. It’s a profession. I try to give back to the fans as much as possible.”
Almora said he’s learning something about the Chicago market while playing for the Cougars and their enthusiastic fan base in Geneva.
“I love it;, we have great fans,” he said. “We haven’t been doing too well, and they still come out. I love playing in front of those guys. It’s a great place to be.
“They definitely have passion. Those fans are great. Any game, they’re there all nine innings. Some places you play, the seventh, eighth inning, no one’s there anymore. It’s a great place to play.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.