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Cubs Promote Catcher Moises Ballesteros to Low-A Myrtle Beach

The 18-year-old Venezuelan catcher has torn up Rookie Ball with the ACL Cubs this season.

Moises Ballesteros Chciago Cubs Prospects
Photo: MLBPipeline/Twitter

With one Venezuelan catcher halfway out the door involved heavily in potential trade rumors, another in the Chicago Cubs’ system has earned a promotion. According to his Instagram story, 2020-21 International signing Moises Ballesteros was at Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the home for the Cubs’ Low-A affiliate. The Pelicans also updated the roster on their website with Ballesteros’s name included.

The 18-year-old catcher has torn up Rookie Ball with the ACL Cubs his season. Following Christopher Morel’s prospect graduation to the majors, Ballesteros entered the team’s top 30 prospects list, according to MLB.com. In 32 games, Ballesteros had a .268/.355/.536 (.891 OPS) slash line with five doubles, seven homers, and 18 runs batted in.

The Cubs signed the Venezuelan catcher for $1.2 million early in 2021, which was the second-highest bonus among catchers for that international class. It was also the second-highest figure the Cubs shelled out behind only their current second-ranked prospect Cristian Hernandez.

Next Steps for Moises Ballesteros

Moises Ballesteros is an offense-first catcher with a sweet swing from the left side of the plate. The Cubs would like to see him improve defensively. He has only nabbed 15 percent of base stealers this year. However, he cut down 36 percent of runners in last year’s Dominican Summer League. With above-average arm strength, improvements to that area of his game shouldn’t be too hard to make. The game calling, pitch blocking, and framing aspects might be the areas to look closest at as he plays against more mature competition at Low-A.

Seven homers in only 32 games is no small feat for a teenager getting acclimated to professional baseball. This might also be part of the trickle-down effect as the Chicago Cubs look to move Willson Contreras and will need to make internal promotions. All in all, this is positive news as the young catcher seems to be a left-handed masher.

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