Chicago Cubs: Miguel Amaya, C
Rolling in number four overall is an extraordinary young talent in Miguel Amaya. The 20-year-old backstop has made waves in his first few seasons at the professional level. In each of his subsequent four years since the Cubs signed him in 2014, Amaya has moved through the pipeline with ease.
Last season was a massive step in the right direction for Amaya’s development. He improved in every offensive category, slashing .256/.349/.403 with a much-enhanced amount of power, and saw his wRC+ rise from 71 in 2017 to 114. Amaya was an above-average player and displayed that in South Bend.
This season, Amaya made the jump to Myrtle Beach. While there was a dip in batting average, he still managed to slash .235/.351/.402 while simultaneously raising his walk rate of nearly three percent. If that wasn’t enough, Amaya posted a .354 wOBA and 122 wRC+. His overall ISO has also improved from a .072 in his first season to .167 last season.
Defensively, Amaya is as solid as they come at his stage in his career. He has posted back-to-back seasons with a .989 fielding percentage, managing to throw out 41 percent of baserunners at South Bend and 35 percent of baserunners at Myrtle Beach.
The Cubs have zero plans to move on from their star catcher Willson Contreras as he is set to hit the first stage of arbitration. What will be interesting to see is if the Cubs decide to add Amaya to the big league roster.
He is Rule 5 eligible this year, however, don’t think for a second Theo Epstein and company will fathom losing Amaya to a new team. A catcher with above-average speed and strength behind the dish, Amaya is here to stay for the long haul and could make that impact sooner rather than later.