Cubs Minor League Daily: Checking In On Miguel Amaya, the Cubs' Top Catching Prospect

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Cubs Minor League Daily: Checking In On Miguel Amaya, the Cubs’ Top Catching Prospect

Chicago Cubs

Miguel Amaya is arguably the best catching prospect in the Cubs farm system … and it’s only “arguably” if you’re still thinking of Victor Caratini as a prospect. Otherwise, it’s Amaya. Clearly.

Amaya has a great arm and already is winning praise for his work behind the plate. The question coming into this season was how he would do with the bat. He didn’t have an awful year for Eugene last summer – he was just 18 – but he did finish with a wRC+ of just 71.

This year we already see improvements across the board in full-season Low-A. Amaya is past the 100 PA threshold, and he is now hitting .247/.311/.473 with four homers (including one yesterday). His walk rate is way up (9.1% vs 4.5% last season), his strikeout rate is down (18.2% vs 20.1%), his ISO is up (.180 vs .110), and he’s doing all of that in a league that is much tougher on hitters than the Northwest League.

Oh, and he’s only 19. Keep a close eye on this guy.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa 4, Omaha 2
Thanks to this five game winning streak, the Cubs are now 5-4 in May.

  • Alec Mills: 6.2 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 2 BB, 7 K
  • Cory Mazzoni: 1.2 IP, 1 K
  • Ryan Court: 2 for 5
  • Chesny Young: 2 for 5
  • Efren Navarro: 2 for 5
  • Chris Gimenez: 1 for 4, 2B
  • Ali Solis: 3 for 4, 2B

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Jacksonville 3, Tennessee 2 in ten innings
The awful extra innings rule resulted in boring baseball in the tenth.

  • Thomas Hatch: 7 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 1 BB, 9 K
  • Tommy Nance: 2 IP, 3 K
  • Yasiel Balaguert: 1 for 4, HR

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Down East 4, Myrtle Beach 2 in ten innings
Hudson turned in a very nice start.

  • Bryan Hudson: 6 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 5 K
  • Tyler Peyton: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 3 K
  • Jordan Minch: 1.1 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 1 K
  • P.J. Higgins: 2 for 5
  • Jhonny Pereda: 2 for 4, BB
  • Wladimir Galindo: 1 for 3, 2B, BB
  • Daniel Spingola: 1 for 4, 2B

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 4, Burlington 2
The bullpen pitched five scoreless innings in this one.

  • Tyler Thomas: 4 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 1 BB, 4 K
  • Brendan King: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 K
  • Ben Hecht: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 K
  • Rafael Narea: 1 for 4, 2B
  • Austin Filiere: 2 for 3, BB
  • Miguel Amaya: 2 for 4, 3B, HR
  • Brandon Hughes: 1 for 3, 2B

Other Notes

  • I suspect any discussion of sending down Victor Caratini for Chris Gimenez is purely academic at this point, but if the Cubs do decide to make such a move, at least Gimenez has been playing better of late. He has hit safely in six of his last seven games. His line has moved from .200/.270/236 on May 1 to .225/.304/.275 today.
  • In the tenth inning of the Smokies game, the two teams combined for four walks (three of them intentional) and two sacrifice bunts. At no point did the ball leave the infield. Thank you terrible, awful, ‘start a runner on second’ extra innings rule for converting what should be the most exciting baseball of the day into a snoozefest of a bunting contest.
  • He’s officially listed as a left fielder, but word from the Arizona Rookie League last year was that Nelson Velazquez might just be able to handle center after all. Sure enough, South Bend played him in center yesterday.

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Author: Luke Blaize

Luke Blaize is the Minor League Editor at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @ltblaize.