One of the biggest surprises of the 2016 season in my opinion, was the impact of rookie catcher Willson Contreras. After getting called up to the big leagues on June 17th, Contreras hit .282 with 12 home runs and 35 RBIs in only 76 games played. His impact on the Cubs was immediate as he went yard during his first big league at-bat which was a perfect introduction of Contreras to the rest of the National League.
Contreras is in position to be the Cubs full time catcher now that David Ross has retired and Miguel Montero still cannot throw anything with a pulse out if they attempt to steal a bag. The 24-year-old Contreras is poised to put up even bigger numbers this year now that his playing time will increase and he can begin to get consistent at-bats day in and day out. I think the biggest question surrounding Contreras will be his ability to catch and maintain the best pitching staff in baseball but judging from the sample size I saw in 2016, I think he’s more than capable of getting it done.
Contreras is currently enjoying the last part of his off season in his native country of Venezuela but even Contreras couldn’t stay away from a bat while he was back home.
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