Bears

Cubs sign first-round selection, Albert Almora

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Cubs sign first-round selection, Albert Almora

The Cubs have signed their first-round selection in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, Albert Almora. Almora, who comes out of Mater Academy Charter School in Hialeah Gardens, Fla., reports to Mesa today.

The North Siders have now signed 28 players overall from the draft, including 19 of their top 20 picks.

Almora batted .603 with 13 doubles, five triples, six home runs and 34 RBI in 25 games last season for Mater Academy. He recorded a 1.164 slugging percentage and a .667 on-base percentage, while being walked 14 times compared to only three strikeouts in 87 plate appearances.

Almora's resume consists of being named the second-best outfielder available in the draft by Baseball America, and third-best high school player in the 2012 draft class. He's been named the top defensive player and second-best pure hitter with third-best strike zone judgement among high school players in the draft.

Training Camp Daily: Peter King Talks Bears Upside

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USA TODAY

Training Camp Daily: Peter King Talks Bears Upside

Training camp Daily: Peter King joins the Under Center Podcast on Day 2 of practice in Bourbonnais. King and John "Moon" Mullin talk Trubisky year 2, Trubisky comparison, Bears upside this season and Urlacher's Hall of Fame Induction.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded link below:

 

Cubs infielder Ryan Court had a special night in Iowa

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USA TODAY

Cubs infielder Ryan Court had a special night in Iowa

The farm system doesn't have the big names it once did, as the majority of the top prospects have graduated to the Major League roster, but that doesn't mean the minor league clubs aren't having fun. 

Take 29-year-old Ryan Court, a minor league infielder who has bounced around from Arizona and Boston's systems and found a home this year with the Cubs triple-A affiliate in Des Moines, IA. Court has had a solid season in Iowa, slashing .272/.347/.410 in 74 games, but might have had his finest game as I-Cub Friday night against the New Orleans Baby Cakes. 

Court came up in the 8th inning last night needing just a triple to hit for the cycle, but his club was on the verge of taking the lead in the after scoring three runs prior to his at-bat.

With Bote on 1st, the game tied at 8 runs apiece, Court placed a ball in front of the right fielder who overplayed the ball and allowed Bote to score from first and Court to scamper to third to complete the cycle. 

The I-Cubs would tack on another run to polish off a 5-run 8th inning and take home the win in a 10-8 victory over the Baby Cakes, and according to Des Moines Register's Tommy Birch, it was the first time in two decades an Iowa player has hit for the cycle. 

It's unlikely Ryan Court will make his way to the big leagues with the Cubs already carrying plenty of infielders, but for one night he played the hero and got his team the win, finishing the night 4-5 with 2 RBI, 4 runs scored and one massive smile on his face.