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‘In good hands’: How Miguel Amaya put himself back on Cubs radar in short stint in majors

11 months agoAndy Martinez

It would have been easy — and probably fair — to write off Miguel Amaya.

The 24-year-old catcher had been a top-ranked prospect for a few years and was added to the Cubs’ 40-man roster in 2019 but had played in just 116 minor league games since.

But in just 8 days, Amaya put himself back on the radar for the Cubs. Amaya played 6 games in his first trip to the majors after being recalled from Double-A Tennessee, started 4, hit .231 and was impressive defensively behind the plate in that short time.

“No doubt it gives a lot more confidence I think going forward,” president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said. “He’s a guy that’s been a top prospect for a long time, it’s just he had two major injuries and hopefully now he can stay healthy.

“I think a healthy version of him should play catcher in the big leagues for a long time.”

[RELATED: Miguel Amaya’s parents reflect on an unforgettable week for their family]

Amaya was optioned Wednesday afternoon to Triple-A Iowa — a promotion within the news of him being set down — after the team activated Yan Gomes from the 7-day concussion IL.

That provides insurance to the big-league level — if the Cubs suffer another injury with one of their backstops, Amaya is more than capable to come up and the team and pitching staff won’t miss a beat. Since he’s on the 40-man roster, the Cubs won’t have to play musical chairs with their roster to try and provide cover with a catcher if needed, either.

“I think it’s just extremely rewarding, knowing we’ve got somebody that [in a] position [that’s] really hard to find in the major leagues, and we got a young man come in that we have high hopes for,” Ross said.

After his outing on Sunday, rookie Hayden Wesneski was asked about that aspect of Amaya’s game and he was blunt.

“I tried to be overly prepared today, thinking that like I didn’t know how prepared he was gonna be,” Wesneski said.

But, the game-calling, preparation and defense were most impressive for the Cubs. Quickly in his start, Wesneski went into the dugout and realized that Amaya had done his homework.

“Dude, he was more prepared than I was,” Wesneski said. “It actually blew my mind today.”

Amaya took advantage of his time, spending time with pitchers and coaches and trying to add any grain of knowledge he could get.

“If you guys get to know him, he’s not like a very talkative guy, but it was just like we would sit together, he would just be there taking it all in,” Gomes said. “He asked the right questions.”

Now, Amaya will head to Iowa and continue to develop and add some more seasoning to the game — and knowing he’s just a short call away.

“He did a tremendous job,” Gomes said. “Got nothing but praises from everyone in here. I talked to him today — he impressed a lot of people.

“I think it’s one of those things, the more and more time he starts playing, we’re gonna be in good hands whenever he gets that chance.”

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