As pretty much every website or writer that covers the MLB Draft predicted would be the case, the Cubs used the #6 overall pick in the 2012 draft to select high school (Mater Academy, Hialeah Gardens, Florida) centerfielder Albert Almora on Monday.

As Keith Law said right before the selection, "Cubs taking Almora, which might be the worst-kept secret of the top ten."

Kevin Goldstein later added, "An exec said to me last week, 'If the Cubs had the No. 1 pick in the draft, they'd probably take Almora.'"

So why were the Cubs so high on Almora? Tools, instincts, and mental makeup.

Almora is a great, great kid. There was a tremendous fluff piece about Almora before the draft on MLB Network that made it impossible to come away as anything but extremely impressed with the 18-year-old. He figures to work very hard to get better, and has outstanding leadership qualities.

But, teams aren't selecting a player #6 overall because of their mental makeup. You need great baseball skills first and foremost, and there's no question Almora has such skills.

Almora is a five-tool talent. He has a mechanically-sound right-handed swing, and scouts think he could turn into a 20-25 homer guy down the road as he adds on to his wiry 6'2", 170-pound frame. He has very good arm strength, and while he doesn't have blazing speed, it's good enough with his terrific instincts. If he grows out of the centerfield position, oh well; you move him to a corner spot, and his arm's good enough to play right field.

You're rarely going to see what can be considered a "safe pick" in the MLB Draft, especially when it's a high school player, but Almora seems to be pretty damn close. He's the type of very well-rounded, outstanding instincts and mental makeup player that the new front office covets. And that's the type of player we're not used to seeing in the Cubs' farm system.

Cubs fans should be very excited about this pick.

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