Dodgers Prospect Watch: A Closer Look at Jacob Amaya

jacob-amaya
(Steve Saenz/Rancho Cucamonga Quakes)

One sure sign that spring training is just around the corner is when teams start to announce their respective non-roster invitees to the big-league side of camp.

According to J.P. Hoornstra of the OC Register, the Los Angeles Dodgers have added 22-year-old infield prospect Jacob Amaya to the group of non-roster invitees reporting to Camelback Ranch in Glendale.

For those unfamiliar with Amaya, he was selected by the Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2017 draft out of South Hills High School in West Covina, CA. His primary position is shortstop, and he’s currently ranked as the tenth-best prospect in the system according to MLB Pipeline.

In one of our annual features here at TBPC, “Dodgers Top Prospects by Position,” we recently tabbed the 6-foot, 180-pound Amaya as the best shortstop prospect in the entire organization.

Amaya is no stranger to major league spring training, as the righty hitter garnered his first non-roster invite last spring. Furthermore, he was included in the club’s 60-man player pool at the alternate training site last season.

Upon being drafted, Amaya made it to the 2017 Arizona Rookie League in time to collect 140 plate appearances, slashing .254/.364/.356 with seven extra-base hits.

Splitting time between Low-A Ogden and Great lakes in 2018, Amaya hit for a combined .311/.432/.436 with four homers and 10 doubles over 274 PA. He was named as a mid-season All-Star for the Raptors in the Pioneer League that same year.

In 2019 for Great Lakes and High-A Rancho, he hit a combined .260/.369/.391 with seven long balls, 28 doubles and an impressive 71 RBI over 559 PA in 124 games, making a total of 65 appearances at shortstop, 53 at second base, and five at third base.

Obviously, Amaya doesn’t have any overwhelming power numbers, but some scouts feel that hitting for contact might end up being his strong suit. Defensively, his glove is solid. He has very quick hands, and his arm is both strong and accurate.

According to MLB Pipeline, “Amaya has outstanding strike-zone judgment and rarely chases pitches out of the zone. Add in his sound right-handed stroke, feel for the barrel and all-fields approach, and he has the ingredients to become a solid hitter. He has gotten stronger since turning pro, displays occasional power to all fields and could become a 12-15 homer threat if he launches the ball in the air more often.”

Adds MLB Pipeline, “an average runner, Amaya has a high baseball IQ and constant energy that help him play faster than his pure speed on the bases and in the field.”

Some scouts believe that Amaya could make his MLB debut as early as the 2022 season.

Jacob is the grandson of Frank Amaya, a middle infielder who played in the Dodgers system back in the late 1950s.

21 thoughts on “Dodgers Prospect Watch: A Closer Look at Jacob Amaya

  1. We never know exactly what the front office thinks of our prospects but Amaya could be a very important piece within the next couple of years if we can’t resign Seager.
    With the prospects of holding on to some of our other valuable assets when they come up for free agency, at some point Andrew may have to let an asset go. If Amaya continues to improve and mature, he may just play himself into a regular role on the team.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the difference in skillsets between Amaya and Busch are intriguing. Some say that Amaya has the best hands in the organization, while Busch has been touted for his power and offensive potential. I wonder which one makes it to the bigs first?

      Looks like Alex Colome went to the Twins on a one-year, $5 million deal. That move has the possibility of paying some big dividends.

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      1. D’backs have signed Soria. I’d really like us to commit a couple of years to Rosenthal. I would think something like 2/16 might do it.

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      2. Pirates say they’ll take those four guys if we add Sborz to the deal.
        They’re sending back their #87 prospect, a 62 year old knuckleballer.
        Sorry, but I can’t divulge my source on this one.

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      3. When you have a team that’s had as little success as they have in the last few years, it doesn’t pay to go half way. I’d still like us to get Bryan Reynolds from them but of course he’s exactly the kind of player they should keep. Cheap and controllable.

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      4. The guy we really need from Pittsburg is Ke’Bryan Hayes. Young right handed hitting, with power and excellent defense, third baseman. He is the kind of guy they should keep, but they still owe us for Clemente.

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      5. We might be able to sneak Reynolds by them because he had a horrible year last year, but Hayes? I think we’d have to give them Clemente in his prime to pry him away.

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  2. Well apparently the Dodgers prefer players who can play multiple positions and the rest of the
    League is following. So now the Dodgers have fortified their bullpen so starters don’t have to go
    More than 6 innings another great Idea the other teams are following. Sometime soon teams are
    Going to add the math that old pitchers get hurt easily and are overpaid. It’s time to let the young
    Birds fly let them Pitch and don’t waste money on guys like Bauer … Spend it on Run Support…Hitters

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looking forward to seeing the kid come spring training. Also want to see what Busch has, and maybe Hoese. I would bet that Kendall does not get an invite this year. He is ticketed for AA.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Kendall was a choice that might have worked but for all his athletic prowess he cannot make consistent contact. The most important talent in baseball as a position player is to be able to hit the ball! They learned their lesson with Vogle as he is Kendall but with good ball contact skills.
      Amaya is Gasp! Right-Handed! And has shown good plate discipline and contact add his good hands and defense and we might have a winner…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Breakout player pick………..D J Peters. I think the kid is going to show some serious stick in spring training. Watch out for Cody Thomas too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. As you said Peters is a a Beast and had the opportunity to get coached last year at the USC site. Peters is still young. Hehas the time to get more plate discipline and the comments on him is he is a very hard worker. He is big (6’6”) , fast and has a good arm. He ccan play CF & all OF positions and move Belli to 1st in some situations or when Belli needs some time off. The Dodgers have been very good at slowly integrating their bench players. Look for Beaty and Rios to get more time in 2021 and both can hit. McKinstry while another Left-handed bat is reportedly a grinder that makes contact. Even without Turner I like this teams chances. DO any of you think they bring up Busch or Amaya if Lux struggles?

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Whether they would bring up Busch or Amaya would probably depend on how well they were doing in the minors, but I’m guessing that if Lux falters the first move would be to play CT3 there most of the time with some time also given to McKinstry. That’s all assuming AF doesn’t trade for Ramirez, Merrifield or Javy Baez this afternoon.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Well the Dodgers are rich in pitching prospects and the Cubs, by some reports, are in rebuild mode. Baez and Bryant are the Gold that the Dodgers could trade for. I doubt Baez is available even with his less than stellar 2020 season. Baez does strikeout a lot as has Bryant lately. Interesting though. Ramirez, Suarez, Bryant if we want to dream how about Hayes from the Pirates?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. No, go with Taylor, and on days he does not catch, Barnes. McKinstry can also play 2nd. Busch might get a September call., But I look for Lux to really shoot to get the job.

        Liked by 2 people

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