The “Top 100 prospects” lists just keep coming and the latest is Keith Law’s ESPN Top 100 prospects which rolls out this week. Today, Law revealed his prospects ranked 51 through 100 and Cubs catcher Miguel Amaya was ranked as the 91st-best prospect in baseball. (ESPN+ sub. req.) Cubs infielder Nico Hoerner was mentioned yesterday in Law’s “Just Missed” category, coming in at number 110. (ESPN+ sub. req.) Those were the only two players to receive a mention from Law in his 2019 Top 100 prospects ranking.
In his ranking of Amaya, Law noted that the 19-year-old Amaya made a huge step forward in 2018, He calls Amaya “an offensive catcher” with a future 55 power (on the 20 to 80 scale) and “a solid idea of the strike zone.” He praises Amaya’s “simple swing” and “good balance” at the plate thinks he could hit 15 or more home runs in the majors one day and possibly even more than that if he adds some weight.
Law also thinks that Amaya can be an average major league catcher on defense with the added bonus of a strong arm. He noted that Amaya threw out 41 percent of runners in the Midwest League.
On the downside, Law also noted that Amaya needs to add some strength and stamina, as he badly wore down in the the second half of last season. That observation that has been made here and elsewhere. However, he didn’t sound too worried and felt that it was something that Amaya could work on as he moved up the minor league ladder.
Overall, Law felt that Amaya’s upside was that of a solid everyday major league catcher and that even his floor was that of a major league backup.
In Law’s evaluation of Hoerner, he noted that he was more “skills” than “tools” and that would limit his upside, as well as explain why he didn’t rank him in his top 100. While Law felt that Hoerner was likely destined to play second base in the majors, he noted that his baseball instincts are so good that Hoerner might be able stick at shortstop. Law also praised Hoerner’s baserunning skills. He was concerned about Hoerner’s on-base skills, especially since he is unlikely to develop any significant power.
The farm system is certainly down from its glory days of 2014 and 2015, but as Law noted in his introduction to his Top 100 list, those strong Cubs farm days led to a World Series title. But Amaya and Hoerner are showing that the Cubs system still has players with the potential to be important pieces of future Cubs championship teams.