Chicago Cubs: It should be P.J. Higgins over Miguel Amaya in 2020
Chicago Cubs: The future is here?
Speaking on Amaya, the 20-year-old spent his 2019 season at Class-A Advanced Myrtle Beach. Despite hitting only .235, Amaya managed to scratch out a substantial .351 on-base percentage as well as a 122 wRC+.
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The young right-hander’s power stayed consistent, as Amaya banged out 11 home runs in 99 games for the Pelicans. He did see a small jump in his overall ISO from .147 the season before to .167 last year.
Amaya is the clear front runner to the Contreras throne; however, what is worrisome at this stage is his age and experience. Contreras signed with the Cubs in 2009. He spent eight years in the pipeline before making his debut in 2016. The paths for both players feel very similar, giving way to the notion the Cubs should continue Amaya’s development one level at a time.
I know the Cubs need to protect Amaya. Letting a prospect like him walk would have been laughable. His development is essential, however, and the Cubs need to make sure to respect it.
Higgins represents a near major league available catcher and, with his overall experience in the minors, should be carried as the third catcher entering into the season. At some point, it would not be a surprise to see Higgins called up, and based on his 2019 season, could be sooner than later.
Regardless, the Cubs are set for the next decade with catching prospects. Both Ronnier Quintero and Ethan Hearn sit in their top 30, so the team does have depth. Either way, it is an exciting time for catchers in the Windy City.