- Rating: 4.83
- Age: 30
- 2019 stats: 38 PA, .290/.421/.548 = .969 OPS, 149 OPS+ 0.5 bWAR
- 2019 salary: Minimum
- 2020 status: Free Agent
Abraham Almonte was originally signed by the New York Yankees in 2005 as a 16-year-old second baseman out of the Dominican Republic. It didn’t take long before the team’s needs and Almonte’s speed resulted in him transferring to the outfield, where he thrived. In his minor league career, Almonte showed promise with the bat, moving steadily through the Yankees’ system. After missing almost all of 2010 due to injury, Almonte returned strong, playing for the A+ Tampa Yankees and assembling a 34-game hit streak. He earned himself a promotion to AA for the 2012 season, where he once again performed well, though not spectacularly. In February of 2013, he was traded to the Seattle Mariners. He played well enough that he earned a call-up shortly before the September roster expansions.
In 2014, he opened the season with the Mariners, but struggled a bit at the plate, eventually getting demoted in early-May. He was then traded at the deadline to the San Diego Padres. The Padres put him on the 25-man roster and that is where he finished the season. The next season, he was yet again part of a deadline trade, this time going to the Cleveland Indians. He finished the 2015 season as one of Cleveland’s primary outfielders before sliding into the role of utility outfielder for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He was then selected off of waivers by Kansas City in April of 2018, only to be cut loose 50 uninspiring games later. The Diamondbacks then signed Almonte as minor league depth in November of 2018.
Almonte opened the 2019 season in AAA-Reno. There, he spent most of the season serving as a veteran fourth outfielder. Even as the Diamondbacks faced outfield depth issues throughout the season, Almonte remained in Reno. While hitting in the offensive environment of the PCL South, Almonte put up the following line:
.270/.382/.558 for an OPS of .923 to go along with 17 HR, 33 2B, and 12 SB
While not a bad line, it is not terribly impressive given the insane hitting environment of the league. Still, the performance was solid enough that Almonte earned himself a September promotion. Almonte made the very most of his short time on the roster, putting together a 149 OPS+ in his 17 games split between center field and right. Known more his speed than his power, Almonte was not without a few flashes of pop.
Unfortunately for Almonte, his strong September showing came to an abrupt end. On September 25th, chasing down a flyball to right, Almonte pulled up lame and exited the game in the fifth inning. This ended his season, and likely his tenure with the Diamondbacks.
Almonte finished the 2019 season eligible for arbitration for the first time. Rather than go down that road though, the Diamondbacks granted Almonte free agency on November 4th. It is still possible he could return to Arizona on a minor league contract in 2020. Although he will start the season as a 30-year-old journeyman, his solid performance in 2019, both in the minors and in his brief time in the majors, means that if he wants to continue playing, he should not have a difficult time finding a minor league deal from multiple teams. Whether that is Arizona or not, remains to be seen. Arizona does currently lack outfield depth on both the MLB and AAA teams, so a reunion which stashes him in Reno is not entirely out of the question.