He's clearly not this
good, but I definitely think he's worth a flyer in any but the shallowest of leagues. I buy into him a bit more than those saying "Shane Spencer all over again". Here's what a scouting report from Fangraphs said last October:
Fangraphs wrote:Almonte, 23, looked a little rough on defense. He overran a ball in right field, although it may have been more over-aggressiveness rather than lack of concentration or ability. I also wasn’t enthralled with his base running and his speed looked averge at best. He’s quite aggressive at the plate and took some huge cuts on balls out of the strike zone, often low. He did not appear to identify breaking balls very effectively. When he does make contact, though, he has pop. Almonte showed opposite-field power with a home run and it was clear that he doesn’t have to pull the ball to hit it out. Even after going deep, the young oufielder had an impressive at-bat with the bases loaded by keeping it simple and not trying to do too much. He took a pitch back up the middle for a two-run single against a left-handed pitcher; if he can take this approach on a more consistent basis he could have a lot more success at the plate and trim his poor walk and K rates. A switch-hitter, he looked much better as a left-handed batter because his swing was not as smooth and natural looking from the right side.
Now, watching his past few games, I think he's showing increased discipline, and his stats so far this year back it up:
2012/2013 MiLB/2013 MLB
Even if he regresses to his minor-league numbers from earlier this year, that's still a big step forward, and his power was never in question. Playing time in the crowded Yankees outfield is probably his biggest risk at this point, but Girardi is clearly sticking with him as long as he's contributing.
Ride 'im while he's hot!