Cubs Minors: Miguel Amaya is dominating the Puerto Rican Winter League

Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /

Cubs catching prospect Miguel Amaya is tearing things up down in Puerto Rico.

Miguel Amaya must be hearing rumblings in the baseball stratosphere. Amid a year plagued by a national pandemic and a minor league season lost, the 21-year-old Chicago Cubs prospect is making every effort to continue his development and prove to the brass that he can be the future backstop in Wrigleyville.

Amaya has been an anomaly of sorts throughout his first few years in the league. In 2018, he ranked as the organization’s number 22 overall prospect. Displaying an above-average ability to nab baserunners, as shown through his 41 percent caught-stealing rate that year, the defense had been one of the youngsters’ strengths in what led the Cubs to sign him in 2015.

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In Amaya’s case, he has been playing above his age-curve since day one. Last year, after moving up from Class-A South Bend the season before, Amaya was one of the youngest players in the Carolina League, nearly three years younger than the average player.

Taking his talents to the Puerto Rican Winter League this year, Amaya has been a bright spot for the Criollos de Caguas. The team is currently 10-1, and Amaya is hitting .316 through his first seven games.

On Sunday, Amaya kept his hot streak alive. In a blowout game with his team up 12-0, he hit a grand slam and showed off that swagger that will hopefully continue to carry on to the next levels.

Amaya has now driven in 11 runs in those seven games and continues to display a strong presence at the plate. His ongoing development and patience from the organization have undoubtedly helped his confidence.

While Amaya’s 2019 batting average did not show off the improvements in his game, it was of no concern to anyone who witnessed a career-high 122 wRC+, as well as a decrease in his strikeout rate from 19 percent to 16.8 percent, and an improved 13.2 walk rate up from 10 percent the season prior.

The 2021 season will be a significant one for Amaya’s developmental arc as the hope of a minor league season happening is growing stronger by the day. He will benefit immensely from making time up this year, and although he is still only 21 years old, like many prospects cannot afford to lose valuable time.

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He has been a fun one to watch this offseason, and if you require baseball in some capacity, it would be worth a check-in on the PRWL and Amaya and witness what has been happening from the future hopeful backstop on the Northside.