Age: 19 Years Old
Level: High-A South Bend Cubs
Joined the organization via: IFA Signing in 2021
2023 Stats: .274/.394/.457 8 HR, 12 2B, 5 SB, 32 RBI, 28 R
Moises Ballesteros was our choice for the best hitter of the first half at High-A South Bend. There’s a lot to like about him as a player but I’ll start simply by comparing him to Hernandez because they were signed in the same international class and are both just19 years old.
Ballesteros plays the position on the field that takes the longest to develop and yet he has been promoted to High-A this season while Hernandez is still struggling in Low-A Myrtle Beach. Ballesteros has walked 52 times this season compared to just 45 strikeouts. Ballesteros has also not been caught stealing in his five attempts.
Since being promoted to High-A he’s walked 12 times and struck out 15 times. For his (albeit brief) career, he’s walked 114 times compared to 116 strikeouts. To have a hitter patient enough to draw that many walks but with strong enough bat-to-ball skills to not strike out a ton is exceedingly rare. It’s even more rare for that player to be a catcher and somehow even more rare still for that player to be a teenage catcher at High-A.
The Cubs are in a great position with catchers in their system. Miguel Amaya is hitting his stride and learning from two of the best defensive catchers going right now with Yan Gomes and Tucker Barnhart at the major league level. Pablo Aliendo is seemingly closer to the bigs than Ballesteros at Double-A and they just drafted a couple of guys that have intriguing tools at the plate if they can stick behind the dish. That being said, Ballesteros is the best out of all of them and it’s not close in my opinion. I can’t wait to see this kid over the next couple of years and eventually at Wrigley Field.