Cubs Catching Prospect Moises Ballesteros Gets Some Rankings Love

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Cubs Catching Prospect Moises Ballesteros Gets Some Rankings Love

Chicago Cubs

Because he was “the other” bonus baby in the International Free Agent class that was headlined by Cristian Hernández, Chicago Cubs catching prospect Moises Ballesteros has never gotten as much attention as he deserved. The 18-year-old backstop signed out of Venezuela for a $1.2 million bonus before the 2021 season, immediately hit well in the Dominican Summer League, and came over stateside this year to play in the Arizona Complex League.

So far, albeit in just 10 games and 37 plate appearances, Ballesteros has raked: 303/.378/.576/148 wRC+, 10.8% BB, 21.6% K, and .276 ISO. All just wonderful numbers for an 18-year-old prospect making his stateside debut.

And now he’s getting some rankings love:

From the MLB Pipeline report:

A veteran of Venezuelan national youth teams, Ballesteros received the second-highest bonus among catchers in the 2020-21 international class. He signed for $1.2 million, also the second-largest outlay in the Cubs’ crop behind Cristian Hernandez’s $3 million. He’s an offensive-minded player who has the chance to develop into an average defender behind the plate.

Ballesteros has a smooth left-handed swing to go with advanced feel to hit and control of the strike zone. His bat speed and strength give him solid to plus raw power that could translate into 15-20 homers per season once he’s fully developed. He does get a little pull-happy and he’ll need to drive more balls in the air to tap into his pop.

Ballesteros keeps the running game in check with solid arm strength and a quick release. He has the soft hands to become a good receiver but must improve at blocking balls. A well below-average runner with a thick frame, he’ll have to watch his conditioning.

Some visuals on Ballesteros if you’ve never seen the swing:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.