Chicago Cubs: Earning the opportunity
2022 is as close as far away gets. While there is an excellent chance Contreras signs an extension before the market snatches him from the Cubs’ grasp, the team will continue to monitor the next crop of near Major League-ready talent in their system. Enter top overall prospect, Miguel Amaya.
The Cubs signed Amaya as part of their 2015-16 international free agent class. His contract settled at $1.25 million. Chicago hopes that, in Amaya, they have their future backstop and potential successor to Contreras behind the plate.
Amaya significantly improved from 2017 to 2018, as every offensive category saw a boon. Seeing action in 116 games at Class-A South Bend, Amaya slashed .256/.349/.403 with 12 home runs and 52 RBI. More impressively, he increased his walk rate substantially from 4.5 percent the year before to a whopping 10.4 percent last season. Amaya finished with an above-average .345 wOBA and 114 wRC+.
Through his first three years in professional baseball, Amaya has a .988 fielding percentage behind the plate. In 2017, he posted a 41 percent caught stealing rate, which is a solid number considering he was just 18 years old at the time. The prospect of Amaya one day taking over in Chicago is realistic, and Cubs fans should be ecstatic at his ceiling.