Prospect Profile: Zoilo Almonte

As he has moved up the ladder, Almonte has often taken some time to adjust to the next level, but he continually shows flashes of his potential.  In 2010, the outfielder began the season with the Charleston RiverDogs where he hit .274/.355/.440 in 58 games.  His performance earned him SAL Mid-Season All-Star honors and a promotion to the Yankees’ High-A affiliate in Tampa, where he put up decent numbers but seemed to be missing some of his power.

Almonte started 2011 back in Tampa, where he seemed to make the adjustment and hit .293/.368/.514 in seventy games.  Not only did his power numbers return, but Almonte showed good patience at the plate, working 31 walks and driving in a career best 54 RBIs before heading up to Trenton.  Once again, Almonte’s numbers dipped when he arrived in Trenton, but if his trend continues he should bounce back when the season starts.

While the young outfielder shows great potential on both sides of the field, he is prone to inconsistencies, often taking some time to adjust to each new level as he works his way through the Minors.  Almonte has above average power to all fields and hits particularly hard to the pull side when hitting lefty. He has great plate discipline, but this is one of the spots where he can be particularly inconsistent.  Interestingly, Almonte tends to focus well in high-pressure situations; his inconsistencies show through earlier in games or when the bases are empty.  Prone to mistakes on the basepaths in the past, Almonte seems to have learned a few things, stealing 18 bases this past season.  Should he continue to become a smarter runner he could turn into a huge offensive threat when he reaches the majors.

On defense, Almonte has some good natural defensive abilities in the outfield.  He is the type of player, however, who can make the tough plays look easy and the easy plays look tough.  His strong arm and his range make him an above average defensive corner outfielder and someone who can fill in at centerfield when needed.

At this point, Almonte’s floor seems to be as a Major League reserve outfielder.  If he can work on his consistency he will likely find himself as an everyday corner outfielder, perhaps even with some All-Star potential.  His switch-hitting, power and natural defensive ability give Almonte a bright future.  He will likely start 2012 in Trenton and – assuming he shows the ability to adjust – Almonte will end the season in Scranton (or wherever it is the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate plays this year).  This should set him up for a shot at taking over for Swisher in 2013.


About Tamar Chalker

Tamar has written for IIATMS since July 2009, having started off writing game recaps before shifting to the minor leagues. Born in Connecticut and having lived all over the country and in South Korea, Tamar now finds herself "temporarily misplaced" in New Hampshire. Please send help - I can pay you in maple syrup.

12 thoughts on “Prospect Profile: Zoilo Almonte

  1. From everything i've watched this spring, he looks like a great choice to take over for Swisher next year. But with the way the Yankees play, i'm not so sure they leave right field up to a young, 23 year old kid. He seems as if he could possibly hit .270 next season, which wouldn't be too bad at all. Picturing a core of him, Mason Williams, the killer B's and possibly more kids along with the current youth in the pitching staff is certainly intriguing.

    • mcmastro I see no reason not to play him next year in right field…if he can do the job…play him! Grandy will be gone after 2013. So, Mason will be ok for the team by then (we hope). One comes up in 13 and the other in 14.
      2013 maybe the year for SS and one starting pitcher. If Banuelos is not ready it will be Warren, Phelps…one of the three.
      What do you think?

  2. Great profile, Tamar. Girardi seems quite high on the guy. Girardi singled Almonte out as the one big surprise this spring.

  3. Even if he adjusts well to Trenton and shows consistency at plate, I doubt that he will be the starting right fielder next season, especially since he will likely start at Trenton this season. Probably 2014 is a better bet. I think Cashman will offer a cheap 1 year deal to some veteran (Ludwick, Byrd, Juan Rivera?) and call up Almonte up in the summer of 2013 and see where he goes from there.

    • I think that is probably the more likely scenario, though as the Yankees try to work on bringing the payroll down I think that gives him a little more of a chance to work his way into the lineup early on. If he keeps up his strong spring it will be interesting to see how he does in Trenton.

  4. Potential All-Star might be a bit aggressive, but I definitely think he has the potential to be a solid big leaguer and a pretty productive regular on the cheap.

  5. The Yankees already have a very promising OF'r with some Major league experience to boot – CHRIS DICKERSON.He has all the physical tools and also happens to be highly intelligent.He simply needs regular playing time.I think he projects to be a .275-.285 BA good for 20HR's and 25 steals with a solid glove and excellent speed in the outfield.So…………get him in the game!

    • I'm actually pretty familiar with Dickerson from his time in CIncy and…no. He's a good fourth outfielder, to be sure, but he's not that fast, actually, and he has solid but not great glove work in the outfield, but his arm is below average, so right field isn't necessarily his best position. Doesn't hit lefties at all, either.

    • I'm not saying they are definitely right, but no major league team agrees with you or he wouldn't have passed through waivers. No team even felt he was worthy of a roster spot.

  6. I hope the Yankees give Cole Garner a good look also, this guy has a great swing and pop in his bat.

  7. Yanks could platoon Dickerson (vs righties) and Andruw Jones (vs lefties) next year in RF.

  8. Replacement for swisher in 2013. etc Jorge Soler, Zoilo Almonte, Ravel Santana, Cody Johnson, Kelvin Duran, Kevin DeLeon, Yeicok Calderson, Taylor Grote, Shane Brown and Ramon Flores