Top pick Almora takes first cuts at Wrigley

Top pick Almora takes first cuts at Wrigley

Top pick Almora takes first cuts at Wrigley
CHICAGO -- When Albert Almora, the Cubs' No. 1 pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, signed in July, he didn't have time to take batting practice at Wrigley Field. Wanting to get to work right away, Almora went to play in the Rookie League.

On Friday, Almora got his swings in at Wrigley.

The 18-year-old outfielder from Hialeah, Fla., took part in batting practice, hitting a couple of balls into the left-field bleachers.

"This has been one of the best days of my life," Almora said. "This is awesome."

When he signed, Almora did take a tour of Wrigley Field and checked out the view from center. But this time, he was in uniform surrounded by big league players.

"I was in center field, and I don't know how much history has been on this field, but I feel very blessed and very thankful," he said.

"It's just to let them see what the ultimate destination is and see some guys who could be their teammates down the road, if they put the work in," Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said about the visit.

Almora will spend the weekend in Chicago before reporting to Mesa, Ariz., for the instructional league. When he arrives, he will have to wear his socks high. That's the rule in the Cubs' Minor League system. Almora switched before he hit on Friday.

"That's the first thing I asked -- do I have to show sock here?" Almora said. "They said, 'You're in The Show, man. You can do whatever you want here.'"

One of the Cubs' other top prospects, Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, will come to Wrigley Field on Saturday for a workout. Soler, 20, and Almora were teammates and roommates in Mesa. Did they talk about someday playing together at Wrigley?

"We try to take it one step at a time," Almora said. "We could only control Arizona. That's what we talked about."