Willson Contreras, the Cubs' top catching prospect, will be promoted to the team for tomorrow's game, reports Ken Rosenthal. Contreras signed with the Cubs as an infielder out of Venezuela in 2009. Since then, he's seen six minor league teams and a composite batting average of .283.
What Will Contreras Add to the Lineup?
After a handful of turbulent Double-A performances, Contreras had an explosive 2015 season. Putting up a .333 average and 891 OPS in 126 games, the young Venezuelan earned the Southern League batting title and a graduation to Triple-A at the beginning of 2016. While in Triple-A, Contreras continued to flex his offensive prowess.
Coming out of Iowa, Contreras sported an impressive offensive strength. With 239 plate appearances this year, the 24 year old batted .350/.439/.591, with nine home runs and four stolen bases. In his time spent behind the plate, Contreras sniped out 31 percent of stolen base attempts.
Is Having Three Catchers Necessary?
By adding Contreras to the roster, the Cubs now have three active catchers in their arsenal. Miguel Montero has struggled in 2016, hitting just .210/.333/.343, and spent much of April and May on the Disabled List. David Ross, on the other hand, has hit uncharacteristically well, but is 39 and can't really be counted on to continue this kind of production. Both veteran catchers can serve as mentors the third baseman turned catcher, who will also be an imposing pinch hitter on his days off.
Contreras has shown that he deserves a place on a major league roster. Since demolishing nearly every Triple-A pitcher he faced, the newly christened major leaguer has raked in 24 RBIs and a .383 average in his last twenty games. Contreras' impact with the Cubs offense could be powerful and swift. Depending on how Joe Maddon integrates this fresh bat, we could see a yet another potential all star.