We got the Nico Hoerner teaser already, but now the full Arizona Fall League rosters are out, and Hoerner will be joined by one of his fellow “top four” Cubs prospects: catcher Miguel Amaya.
At just 20 years old, and not having played above High-A, it’s really impressive nod to Amaya’s ability that he’s getting the call to the talent-rich and competitive AFL, as everyone else the Cubs are sending has already reached AA. We’ve been loving on Amaya for a while, and it’s fantastic that he’s going to see some more advanced pitching, even if he struggles. And he’ll get to CATCH some really advanced pitching, too. I love it.
It’s also really impressive that the Cubs feel like he’s ready for more competitive baseball at the end of a long season – remember, he wore down a bit as a young catching prospect last year in his first full-season league, but that hasn’t happened this year. I am so stoked about this guy’s future: a plus-defense and plus-receiving catching prospect who is currently posting a 127 wRC+ in High-A when he’s young for the league? And now he’s headed to the AFL? Tell me again that the Cubs don’t have significant prospects.
The other AFL participants from the Cubs:
- Erich Uelmen, RHP, 23 – a quality starting pitching prospect who missed a chunk of time with an injury, which is pretty much exactly the type of guy you most want to see heading to the AFL. Uelmen was the Cubs’ 4th round pick in 2017, and he’s already reached AA, despite limited professional action. He’s a guy.
- Keegan Thompson, RHP, 24 – basically the same story as Uelmen, though he was the 3rd rounder that year.
- Jordan Minch, LHP, 26 – a pure relief prospect at the AA level, Minch has periodically flashed big league stuff as a lefty bullpen arm. I’m guessing this is a scouting play, with the Cubs seeing something they hope a little more instruction can unlock.
- Jared Young, 1B/OF, 24 – possibly the most disappointing positional season down on the farm given how much deserved hype Young got after his minor league player of the season year in 2018, and how he turned heads this spring. He’s hit just .236/.297/.319 after the jump to AA, which is 20% worse than league average there. The power has just vanished for him, and hopefully some extra time and instruction can help bring it back.
Bryan will have more on these guys soon, and you can read his write-up on some of these guys who showed up in his projected AFL roster (well, not so much projected as the guys he thought should be sent).