Chicago Cubs: 5 bold predictions for the regular season

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5 bold Cubs regular season predictions: #1 - Miguel Amaya stays on the field, plays 100+ games in the minors

It wasn't that long ago that Miguel Amaya was pre-annointed as the heir apparent to Willson Contreras. The possibility of Contreras walking in free agency, as he did this winter, wasn't as big of a concern then because it felt like the organization had an answer waiting in the wings.

But that's all changed now. Amaya has played 100 games in a season just once in his professional career, back in 2018 with Class-A South Bend. He followed up that 116 game body of work with a 99-game season in 2019, but it's been injury after injury since and he's fallen out of favor on the national scene.

The 2020 MiLB season was scrapped due to COVID - and between the 2021 and 2022 campaigns, Amaya has managed a grand total of 63 games. He played well with Double-A Tennessee, posting an .864 OPS, but getting his workload back over the century mark in 2023 would go a long way toward re-establishing his stock with the club.

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Given the age of the Cubs' primary catching tandem (Yan Gomes turns 36 in July and Tucker Barnhart is 32) - seeing Amaya re-establish himself as a legitimate long-term answer behind the plate would be a welcome surprise.