Ranked as the #8 prospect in the Royals organization by MLB.com this past season, he was sidelined late in August with a right rotator cuff strain that ended his 2017 campaign.
The future is brighter than it once was for Almonte, who in 2016, pitched to a screeching tune of a 5.55 ERA over 60 innings in Triple A. This year we heard a much more melodious tune from this once touted prospect. He pitched to a tune of 1.72 ERA over 47 innings in Double A and Triple A.
Almonte works with a three pitch repertoire of a Four Seam Fastball (95 MPH), a change up (90 MPH), and a 12-6 Curve (82 MPH). His fastball has some natural sinking action, with late armside run to it. His change up, which is his out pitch, looks dangerously close to his fast ball before dropping off the plate and making pitchers look silly. His curve is more of a fringe offering at this point, but at 24 years old (25 by April 4) the hope is he can still improve.
Here is a shot of his first major league strike out featuring this nasty changeup.
A knock I have on Almonte was his FIP was near 4.00, which means his ERA might go up as well. Still, encouraging signs from this young man heading into Spring Training 2018.
Photo Credits: MLB.com