Now that the New Year has begun, it’s time for a new top prospects list. Prospects Live dropped the first Cubs list of 2020 and it had a big surprise at the top of it. Well, sort of. Benjamin Chase of the PL staff tabbed catcher Miguel Amaya as the top prospect in the Cubs’ system. He’s been at or near the top since the first half of 2018, but was surpassed at times by Nico Hoerner and/or Brailyn Marquez.
Amaya’s trip to the Arizona Fall League cemented his rise back to the top, further confirming the maturity, work ethic, and outstanding defensive skills he’s displayed as a pro. While Chase may be a little premature with his assessment of the young catcher’s impact on this offseason, there’s no doubt the Cubs see loads of potential for the future.
Blessed with excellent offensive skills since he was signed by the Cubs, Amaya has been working on the defensive side, and much like Willson Contreras, he took a huge step forward in his time at High-A […] Amaya is a guy that is already allowing the Cubs to shop Contreras in just his first year in arbitration, so it seems likely they’ll clear a spot for him eventually.
This isn’t a definitive ranking, of course. Baseball America has Brailyn Marquez at the top, MLB Pipeline still has Nico Hoerner, and others have Brennen Davis. There are going to be several other prospect lists over the next 6-8 weeks, all of which figure to be quite different based on what they prioritize and what their eyes and sources tell them.
It’s actually good that there’s a lack of consensus on who the top prospect is, since it shows the depth of talent the Cubs have in the system. Beyond the more obvious top spots, most of the prospects in the top 30 were about what you’d expect. Except for lefty Jack Patterson, whose absence was a head-scratcher. Instead, the last spot went to pitcher Adam Laskey, who has yet to throw since being drafted out of Duke last summer.
It there is an important theme from this list to follow as you see others being released, it’s that the youth movement has finally taken over as several older prospects have begun to fall off. In addition to guys like Davis, Cole Roederer, and Kohl Franklin, you’ll start to see more international prospects cracking the ranks across multiple outlets.