With a Venezuelan receiver halfway through the gate heavily embroiled 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 of the Cubs’ Low-A affiliate. The Pelicans also updated the roster on their website with Ballesteros’ name included.
The 18-year-old wide receiver tore up Rookie Ball with the ACL Cubs his season. After Christopher Morel’s prospects graduated from the majors, Ballesteros entered the team’s top 30 prospect list, according to MLB.com. In 32 games, Ballesteros had a .268/.355/.536 slant line (.891 OPS) with five doubles, seven homers and 18 RBIs.
The Cubs signed the Venezuelan receiver for $1.2 million at the start of 2021, which was the second-highest bonus among receivers in this international class. It was also the second-highest number the Cubs had shelled out behind only their current No. 2 prospect, Cristian Hernandez.
Next steps for Moises Ballesteros
Moises Ballesteros is an offensive first receiver with a smooth swing to the left side of the plate. The Cubs would like to see him improve defensively. He’s only caught 15% of base stealers this year. However, he knocked out 36% of last year’s Dominican Summer League runners. With above average arm strength, improvements in this area of his game shouldn’t be too difficult to make. The play-calling, height-blocking and framing aspects might be the areas to take a closer look at as he plays against more mature competition at Low-A.
Seven homers in just 32 games is no mean feat for a teenager getting used to professional baseball. It could also be part of the ripple effect as the Chicago Cubs look to move Willson Contreras and will have to promote from within. All in all, this is good news as the young receiver seems to be a left-handed drummer.
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