Power Surge Elevates Cubs Catcher Pablo Aliendo


Pablo Aliendo didn’t waste any time setting the tone for his season.

The 23-year-old catcher hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat of the year for Double-A Tennessee. Since then, Aliendo posted a .910 OPS through 19 games and produced the first multi-homer game of his pro career on April 23. 

After reaching Double-A last year, Aliendo slugged 16 home runs—easily surpassing his previous career high of seven—and 23 doubles in 91 games for the Smokies.

Aliendo is the strongest defensive catcher in the Cubs’ system, and his ability to sustain the power he’s showing is creating a dynamic all-around prospect who is setting himself up to help in the big leagues in the near future.

“Whenever he has come up in spring training, he’s always impressed the coaching staff with his work ethic and how he handles pitchers,” Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said. “Obviously it’s exciting to see the start he’s gotten off to with the bat so far.”

Aliendo is seeing a notable uptick in power that the organization believes can be sustainable. Catchers often take time to develop, particularly on the offensive side, and the Cubs’ patience with Aliendo is paying off.

They previously witnessed that development path with Willson Contreras.

Contreras signed as a teenager out of Venezuela and had his offensive breakout at Double-A, during his seventh pro season. Aliendo is also a Venezuela native in his seventh season since signing with the Cubs in 2018.

That’s an intriguing parallel for the Cubs, who have their top two catching prospects at Tennessee. Moises Ballesteros is the stronger hitter—and has seen time at first base—while Aliendo has the stronger defensive component.

Even with 25-year-old Miguel Amaya in the big leagues, the Cubs can never have too much catching.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone