On Wednesday, the Miami Marlins traded longtime veteran shortstop Miguel Rojas to the Dodgers for Jacob Amaya (15th-ranked Dodgers prospect at the time, according to MLB Pipeline). This ends Rojas’ 8-season tenure with the team and he goes back to where he played his rookie season. Amaya, on the other hand, now goes to a Marlins team that has a long-term opening at shortstop. He’ll get an opportunity to prove that he deserves the job.
Amaya spent the 2022 season in AA and AAA, producing good overall numbers.
2022 Stats: .261 BA, .369 OBP, .427 SLG, .795 OPS, 17 HR, 71 RBI
Fits the bill of the type of players Kim Ng said she'd target. High contact rates, good on base ability. Only a 19% chase rate last season, 84% zone contact and he can run into some. 109 mph max EV last year is not bad.— Aram Leighton (@AramLeighton8) January 11, 2023
Amaya, a right-handed batter, was amazing against lefties (.320/.423/.541 with 6 HR), but not as much against righties (.240/.349/.387 with 11 HR).
Amaya is extremely patient at the plate as he walked at a 14.8% rate in AA and 14.0% in AAA. His strikeout percentages were 13.4% in AA and 23.6% in AAA. Compared to other recent trade acquisitions Jordan Groshans and Xavier Edwards, Amaya arguably has the most power. He hit 17 homers in 2022, a higher total than anybody on Miami’s major league roster had. There’s the potential for him to develop into the kind of well-rounded hitter that the Marlins want.
Amaya is actually most known for his good defense—you can even compare him to a younger version of Miguel Rojas. He is projected to stick at shortstop.
On Thursday, Kim Ng spoke to the media and said that she expects Amaya to be on the big league club at some point in 2023. The timing of his arrival to Miami will depend a lot on the status of Joey Wendle, who had some trouble staying healthy last year and is also a pending free agent. Amaya could take over for Wendle in the event of another injury, or if the Marlins are no longer in contention and strike a deal to trade Wendle.
For now, the 24-year-old Amaya will be taking some reps in spring training and is expected to start the regular season with AAA Jacksonville. He has two minor league options left.