Cubs Catching Prospect Miguel Amaya Reportedly Will *Catch* in the Arizona Fall League

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Cubs Catching Prospect Miguel Amaya Reportedly Will *Catch* in the Arizona Fall League

Chicago Cubs

Great news on Chicago Cubs catching prospect Miguel Amaya’s elbow rehab process (and recent finger injury): not only is he set to play in the Arizona Fall League after the regular season, but he’s going to be CATCHING.

I mentioned the report this morning in the Bullets because I didn’t want it to go too long without mention, but I also want to emphasize that this is a big deal:

It’s been tentatively expected that Amaya would get some time in the AFL for missed at bats, but this is the first confirmation that he will be able to catch after his TJS surgery last fall.

We still need to see progress from Amaya, 23, before we could seriously talk about him as a depth catching option for the 2023 team – much less anything more than that – but returning to, you know, actually catching seems like an important step in that process.

With Willson Contreras set to depart(?) in free agency, the Cubs right now have Yan Gomes and P.J. Higgins under control for 2023 behind the plate, and expected to be on the big league roster. Amaya is the only other catcher on the 40-man roster, and without anyone else in the system really making a strong push, it would be nice to know you have him available as a third option, when needed, even as he continues playing most of next year in the upper minors.

Amaya has been limited to just 31 games this year after his return from surgery and then because of the dislocated left ring finger back on August 19. He’s hit almost exactly league average in that time split between the complex and Double-A (.240/.350/.375/99 wRC+, 13.8% BB, 25.2% K), but the sample is obviously tiny. The guy just needs the at bats: since 2019, he’s had just 229 plate appearances. Total.

Despite that, there is still belief in Miguel Amaya as a future big league defensive catcher, with a bat that could range anywhere from solidly below average (the in-game power never comes, and that erodes the walks and BABIP so that the total slash is weak) to solidly above average (the in-game power does come, the discipline stays strong). No, Amaya’s presence is not going to dictate what the Cubs do or do not do for 2023, but it’s absolutely possible that, by the end of 2023, he’s set himself up to be a viable starting or back-up option in 2024.

It starts with him getting back behind the plate this fall, and continuing to make up the lost at bats.

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.