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While the game is away, Baseball America is digging into its video database and asking scouts around the game to analyze what they see from some of the sport’s best prospects. Today’s subject is Cubs catcher Miguel Amaya.
Amaya entered the season as the youngest position player in the high Class A Carolina League. With Myrtle Beach, Amaya hit .235/.351/.402 with 24 doubles and 11 home runs. He also caught 35 percent of runners trying to steal.
Here our our previous installments:
Here’s the video below, followed by what our scout had to say.
SCOUT: This guy is a solid all-around player for me. He has “now” strength, but it’s a body that you don’t really see going in a bad direction or have to worry about as he gets into his man strength. He is only going to add good strength to an already strong build. It’s evident that he has strength in his hands both with the bat and the ability to stick pitches as a receiver.
Defensively, he has plus mobility in his hips and folds up well behind the plate. He gives the pitcher a good target to throw to, and this guy was some sort of impressive with his ability and willingness to block the baseball. He would be a guy that pitchers will be able to trust to bury their best out pitch in the dirt with a runner on third base.
The arm is average for me. It plays up a tad because he can get it out quickly and has a clean release, but it’s not a pure plus arm in my looks. He shows the ability to stick pitches down in the zone. I really like that he can get below them at the bottom of the zone and give a good presentation to the umpire.
He will get a little aggressive trying to bring pitches back to the zone that are clearly balls, but I think that will improve as he gets more games back there and learns when to back off attempting to frame pitches. Easier to throttle back the aggressive mindset than try to teach aggressive mentality. Overall, I see a complete defender who lacks elite skills, but when packed together, he is a plus at his position.
Offensively, he has strength and has power. There is good timing and rhythm to his approach at the plate. It’s a relatively flat, line-drive path and I think that is going to translate into home runs in the future. He hit almost 25 doubles as a 20-year-old in the Carolina League and I see the ingredients for that to translate to putting about that many into the seats in his prime in the big leagues.
There is an advanced approach and knowledge of the strike zone. He is a disciplined hitter who takes his free passes and rarely chases outside of the zone. He will cut down his swing and look to put the ball in play with two strikes, so his power is going to most likely come early in counts, but don’t see this guy being a high strikeout guy as he progresses.
I don’t see a natural hitter here, and I think that as the zone shrinks and pitchers execute their stuff in the zone, the bat is going to be below average, but I see the power numbers being solid on mistakes and early-count damage.
Overall, given the plus package defensively, age on his side and the chance for solid power production, he is a plus player. He is an all-star capable type guy who will be dependable and an asset behind the plate and put mistakes into the seats for you.
I don’t see an elite player, but rather a really good big leaguer who fits as a plus everyday catcher.