Dodgers Prospect Watch: Jacob Amaya
Name: Jacob Amaya..
Vitals: Shortstop, second baseman. 6' 0', 180. Age 21. Bats right, throws right. From West Covina, CA.
How acquired: Taken in the 11th round of the 2017 MLB June Amateur Draft.
Potential date for major league debut: 2022.
Highest level of play: 2019 High-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
Spring Training stats: 14 G, 15 AB, 2 R, 1 H, 3 BB, 2 RBIs, .067/.222/.067.
Baseball America scouting report (subscription required):
“Amaya lacks huge tools but keeps getting on base and playing plus defense everywhere he goes…has the plate discipline and pitch recognition of a leadoff hitter, and his growing strength is gradually producing harder contact…swing is more suited for doubles than home runs…evaluators can envision double-digit home runs to go with an average bat…advanced instincts at shortstop have him in the right position to make seemingly every play…average runner who gets excellent jumps and reads off the bat, and he has an above-average arm with a good internal clock advanced offensive approach and impressive shortstop defense have the Dodgers high on him.”
Comment: The Dodgers love their bloodlines - think Joc Pederson and Tony Gwynn, Jr. to name just two - but this one is a little unusual. Amaya's grandfather, Frank Amaya, was a shortstop who hit .220 in the Brooklyn and Los Angeles organization from 1955 to 1958, making his last minor league appearance for the Yakima Braves of the B-Northwest League in 1959.
Ranked 20th in L.A. organization by Baseball America, Amaya debuted as an 18-year-old with the 2017 Rookie Arizona Dodgers, hitting .254/.364/.356 with two home runs and 14 RBIs in 118 at bats.
Splitting the 2018 season between the Rookie-Ogden Raptors and Low-A Great Lakes Loons, Amaya surged to a .311/.432/.436 line with four homers and 29 RBIs in 225 at bats.
For a larger sample size, see 2019. Again splitting his season between two levels - this time between the Loons and Quakes - Amaya hit .260/.369/.391, with 28 doubles, six triples, seven homers and 71 RBIs in 124 games and 466 at bats.
The three-year .368 on base percentage jumps off the page. With Corey Seager under club control through 2021 (longer if the Dodgers extend him), Gavin Lux just starting out and the team's rumored interest in Francisco Lindor as a possible longtime solution, shortstop is a position of strength for the Dodgers. But there's no rush. Amaya will get an opportunity to impress further on down the road.
And remember, glove conquers all.
Howard Cole has been writing about baseball on the internet since Y2K. Follow him on Twitter.