Cubs Prospects A-to-Z—Gio Amaya, Tyler Alamo

Second baseman Gioskar Amaya has all the tools to be an everyday major league player but the 21-year-old is still refining his skills in the minors. One of three high school players signed by the Cubs after the 2013 draft, Tyler Almora could develop into the Cubs catcher of the future.

Gioskar Amaya, 2B, 21 (12/13/1992), Bats: Right, Throws: Right, Height: 5-foot-11, Weight: 175

2013 Team: Kane County, Midwest League (A)

Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—# 13

How acquired:—Signed as an international free agent on July 9, 2009

Cubs Career

Amaya earned all-star honors his first three pro seasons after signing with the Cubs as a 16-year-old out of Venezuela. He was named to the Dominican All-Star game in his first pro season hitting .282/.375/.353 with 18 SB. In his first season in the U.S. In 2011, Amaya worked at extended spring training and then dominated the Arizona Rookie League with a slash line of .377/.417/.510, knocking in 36 runs in 52 games. He was named to the AZL post season all-star team and named a Cub organizational all-star by MiLB.

After another stint at extended spring training in 2012, Amaya was promoted to Boise and excelled at the plate with 12 triples (led NWL) and eight homers in 69 games. A Northwest League post-season All-Star, Amaya hit .298/.381/.496 with 15 SB and entered 2013 as the Cubs #18 prospect according to

2013 Season

Amaya experienced some growing pains as the grind of his first full season produced a roller-coaster year for the 20-year-old. After hitting only .229 the first month of the season, Amaya finished the year at Kane County batting . 252/.329/.369 in 117 games. For the second straight year his strikeout rate was above 20% and his walk rate dropped to 8.1%. Amaya showed his ability to hit in the MWL, batting .326/.401/.496 with 17 R, 3 HR and 12 RB in a 33-game stretch from late June to early August.

Amaya had a tough year in the field committing 22 errors for a .959 fielding percentage. He shows the range and ability to make the great play but sometimes lacked concentration to make the routine plays. Has a good arm but needs to become more accurate on his throws, something you would expect from a 20-year-old. Amaya participated in the Cubs Fall Instructional League in Mesa and played a few games in the Venezuelan B League with the Cubs' team.

2014 Outlook

Amaya will continue his development at Daytona and I'm sure he won't miss the snow and 35 degree weather in April of the Midwest League. I look for Amaya's offensive numbers to improve in the Florida State League, and look for more power. I don' think the Cubs are in any rush with Amaya and with the depth in front of him, can afford to patient.

Tyler Alamo, C, Age 18, (5/2/1995), Bats: Right, Throws: RIght, Height: 6-foot-4, Weight: 200 pounds

2013 Team: Mesa Cubs, Arizona Rookie League (R)

Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—Not rated

How acquired:—Drafted in the 24th round in 2013, #708 overall

Prior to Cubs

Alamo was a four-year starter for Cypress HIgh School, CA, earning all-league, all-county and all-state honors. Alamo has some seasoning during his prep career playing for the 2011 USA Baseball 16-U team that won gold at the Junior Olympics. He was named as a 2013 Rawlings 2nd team All-American and to the California All-Region 1st team. Baseball American had the 18-year-old ranked the 348th best prospect in the draft and had committed to Cal-State Fullerton.

2013 Season

After signing for $100,000 on July 12, the slot value for a 24th round pick, Alamo made his professional debut on July 20 (0-4, 3K). He played in 11 games in the Arizona Rookie League, going 3-23 as he collected his first pro hit and RBI on Aug. 7 against the Brewers. Behind the plate he was 0-7 throwing runners out, committed two errors and was charged with a a passed ball. His baseball education continued at the Fall Instructional League, where he homered, looked more comfortable at the plate, and even threw out a base runner.

2014 Outlook

The Cubs' development staff has their work cut out for them transforming the teenager into a big league catcher but Alamo does possess the raw talent to play the position. Coach-ability, work ethic and the adjustment to life as a pro ballplayer will all factor in Alamo's development. The California native should get quite familiar with the Cubs new facility in Mesa as he's likely to play in the Arizona Rookie League but could get a call to Boise.

On Deck: John Andreoli, Roney Alcala, Luis Acosta, Adbert Alzolay

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