David Ross knows a thing or two about being a top-shelf glove-first back-up catcher in the big leagues.
So when the manager of the Cubs says this about the organization’s top catching prospect, you listen:
Ross' parting words to Amaya: "I told him, 'you can back up in the big leagues right now with your catching ability, catch and throw. But I think you have higher goals than that.' I think he’s going to be a real impact catcher in the major leagues at some point."
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) March 10, 2020
Miguel Amaya was cut from big league camp today, but that was long expected and is no shot at his future ability.
Amaya, who only just turned 21 yesterday, is not only the Cubs’ top catching prospect, but is among the best catching prospects in the game. He has yet to play a game above High-A, and Ross is already telling the young man that he could succeed as a big league back-up right now on the strength of his glove. I believe it.
That’s the thing about Amaya, and what makes him such a compelling prospect to me: he already has the floor of a capable big league back-up because he is advanced defensively behind the plate and works so well with pitchers. Moreover, as one of the youngest players in the Carolina League – again, as a catcher – he put up a slash line 22% better than league average.
So, then. Amaya will head to AA Tennessee as the starter there, in a much friendlier offensive environment, and we’ll see what he does this year. Like Ross said, the future could be very bright for Amaya if the bat continues to develop, and this is all a part of that process.
How Amaya factors into the mix for the Cubs, with Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini ahead of him, is a question for another day. No real need to worry about it just yet. Take the big compliment and enjoy.