This will end up being a year to forget for top Cubs catching prospect Miguel Amaya. The 22-year-old missed most of the 2021 minor league season after suffering a forearm strain, but now he’s reportedly going to miss even more time.
According to Cubs beat reporter for MLB.com, Jordan Bastian, the team now believes Amaya will most likely have Tommy John surgery, which will cost the catcher another huge chunk of development.
Cubs believe that Tommy John surgery is imminent for catching prospect Miguel Amaya, per multiple sources. Timetable TBD. Tough blow for Chicago’s No. 4-ranked @MLBPipeline prospect. Missed last few months of ‘21 season with what was initially described as right forearm strain.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) November 23, 2021
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It wasn’t that long ago that Amaya was viewed by some as the Cubs’ top prospect, but following the 2019 season things have gone sideways for the Panamanian catcher.
The COVID-19 pandemic cost Amaya and every other prospect the entire 2020 minor league season and Amaya only played in 23 games at Double-A in 2021 prior to the injury.
Now, Amaya will seemingly miss the majority of the 2022 season, making it pretty much three years of no development for a promising, young player. However, we’re not talking about a pitcher so the recovery time will be faster. If the surgery takes place soon and Amaya has no setbacks during his rehab, then it is possible he does return by the summer. If that happens, then Amaya will at least get a couple months in at the plate. Fingers crossed.
Yet, in terms of playing catcher, he needs to throw, and that will most likely not happen until 2023.
In his last full season Amaya slashed .235/.351/.402, with 11 home runs in 99 games at High-A ball. Amaya is known for his good eye and patience at the plate, while having good defensive skills behind the plate.
Absolutely gut-wrenching for Amaya and it’s especially hard for prospects who haven’t reached the majors yet. Nothing’s guaranteed and now after already sitting out of action for several months Amaya has to return to square one with the pending Tommy John surgery.
A crushing blow for Amaya and the Cubs, who do not have a reliable backup on the MLB roster and their starter is only under contract for one more season. Willson Contreras enters 2022 in the final year of arbitration before he becomes a free agent. There have been talks about a possible extension, however the progress or any details of a potential deal haven’t been reported thus far in the offseason.