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.