Willson Contreras

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Willson Contreras
Willson Contreras on May 9, 2016.jpg
Contreras with the Chicago Cubs in 2016
Chicago Cubs – No. 40
Catcher
Born: (1992-05-13) May 13, 1992 (age 27)
Puerto Cabello, Carabobo, Venezuela
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
June 17, 2016, for the Chicago Cubs
MLB statistics
(through 2019 season)
Batting average.267
Home runs67
Runs batted in227
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Willson Eduardo Contreras (born May 13, 1992) is a Venezuelan professional baseball catcher for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2016.

Career[edit]

Minors[edit]

Contreras signed with the Chicago Cubs as an international free agent in 2009. He made his professional debut with the Dominican Summer League Cubs that year. He batted .205 in 29 games at age 17. In 2010, he batted .313 in 17 games at age 18 with them. In 2011 and 2012 he played with the Boise Hawks. Contreras spent 2013 with the Kane County Cougars, 2014 with the Daytona Cubs and 2015 with the Tennessee Smokies.[1][2] He was named the Cubs Minor League Player of the Year in 2015 after batting .333/.413/.478 with eight home runs.[3][4] During his minor league career, he played the positions of catcher, first base, second base, third base, left field, and right field.[5] The Cubs added him to their 40-man roster after the season.[6]

Contreras was rated 57th on Baseball Prospectus' top 101 prospect list prior to the 2016 season.[7]

Chicago Cubs[edit]

2016 season[edit]

He was promoted to the Cubs major league team on June 17, 2016, playing catcher.[8] On June 19, he hit a two-run home run on the first pitch of his first major-league at-bat after two pick-off attempts by the pitcher to first base, becoming the 30th player in the modern MLB era to do so.[9] In his fifth game, he started at the first base position,[10] and started in left field in his eighth game, establishing himself as a versatile player on the field.[11] Contreras finished the 2016 regular season with 80 hits in 295 at bats with 12 home runs, 35 RBIs and a .275 batting average.

In Game 4 of the 2016 National League Division Series against the San Francisco Giants with the Cubs having a 2-1 series lead, Contreras had a pinch-hit two-run single in the top of the ninth inning, tying the score at 5. Contreras was forced at second by a Jason Heyward bunt but the Cubs scored the go-ahead run later that inning, sending them to the National League Championship Series.[12] The Cubs won the 2016 World Series over the Cleveland Indians, giving the Cubs their first championship in 108 years. Contreras drove in a run with a double in the seventh game.[13]

2017 season[edit]

On April 2, 2017, Contreras was the Cubs' opening day starting catcher against the St. Louis Cardinals. After hitting 5 home runs in 6 games, he was selected as the National League's Player of the Week on August 8. On August 9, Contreras suffered a moderate hamstring strain while running to first base against the San Francisco Giants.[14] At the time of the injury he was batting .274 with 93 hits in 339 at bats, hit 21 home runs and had 70 RBIs.[15] Willson returned from the injury on September 10 as a pinch hitter. On September 15, 2017, Contreras was ejected and suspended one game for throwing his mask, which bounced and hit umpire Jordan Baker in the shins. [16] In 377 at bats, Contreras finished the season with a .276 batting average, 104 hits, 21 home runs, 5 stolen bases and 74 RBIs.

Contreras chose "Willy" as his nickname for the Players Weekend for the 2017 season;[17] however, Jon Lester and pitching coach Chris Bosio gave him the nickname "Killer". [18]

On October 18, 2017, in Game Four of the NLCS, Contreras hit the longest postseason home run (491 feet) since Statcast started recording such data in 2015.[19]

2018 season[edit]

Batting .287 with seven home runs and 34 RBIs,[20] Contreras was voted to start in the 2018 All-Star Game, his first All-Star appearance. He finished his 2018 campaign batting .249 with ten home runs and 54 RBIs in 138 games.

2019 season[edit]

Contreras had a fast start to the 2019 season, batting .315 with an on-base plus slugging percentage of 1.069 into mid-May.[21] Additionally, on May 11 he had his first career walk-off hit, a solo shot off the Milwaukee Brewers' Burch Smith, ending a 15-inning marathon.[22] Contreras and teammate Javier Baez started for the National League in the 2019 All-Star game. Neither registered a hit. On August 3, Contreras strained his hamstring running to first base and was put on the 10-day injured list.

Personal life[edit]

Contreras' younger brother, William, plays for the Atlanta Braves organization.[23][24] Contreras married Andrea Villamizar on May 3, 2018.[25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Adam Greene. "Smokies' catcher Willson Contreres honors family by playing the right way - News Sentinel Story". KNS. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  2. ^ "Willson Contreras emerges as Cubs best catching prospect". chicagonow.com. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  3. ^ News Sentinel staff. "Willson Contreras, Ryan Williams top Cubs' minor leaguers - News Sentinel Story". KNS. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  4. ^ "Cubs name catcher Willson Contreras and right-handed pitcher Ryan Williams Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year". Major League Baseball. September 21, 2015. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  5. ^ Associated Press (June 24, 2016). "2 key hits by Giancarlo Stanton help Marlins beat Cubs 4-2". ESPN. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  6. ^ "Cubs make roster moves for Rule 5 Draft". Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  7. ^ "Baseball Prospectus - Prospectus Feature: The Top 101 Prospects of 2016, With Write-Ups". Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  8. ^ "Cubs call up top prospect, catcher Contreras". Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  9. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs - Box Score - June 19, 2016 - ESPN". Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  10. ^ "Cubs' Anthony Rizzo sits out loss with back stiffness". ESPN. June 24, 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  11. ^ Associated Press (June 25, 2016). "Bour and Stanton each drive in 3, Marlins top Cubs 9-6". ESPN. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  12. ^ Chris Haft and Carrie Muskat (October 11, 2016). "Cubs deliver Giant stunner, advance to NLCS". MLB. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  13. ^ Bastian, Jordan; Muskat, Carrie. "Chicago Cubs win 2016 World Series". MLB. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  14. ^ Lancaster, Marc. "Willson Contreras injury update". www.sportingnews.com/mlb. The Sporting News. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  15. ^ "Willson Contreras". mlb.com/player. MLB. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  16. ^ "Ban of Cubs' Contreras reduced to one game".
  17. ^ "MLB Players Weekend to showcase unique nicknames, colorful uniforms".
  18. ^ Sullivan, Paul. "What's in a nickname? Too bad baseball can't ask Shakespeare".
  19. ^ DiCoMo, Anthony. "Contreras hits HR off scoreboard to ignite Cubs". m.mlb.com. MLB.com. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  20. ^ "Javy Baez, Willson Contreras and Jon Lester named All-Stars".
  21. ^ https://www.mlb.com/player/willson-contreras-575929
  22. ^ https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/chicago-cubs-walkoff-home-run-willson-contreras-509805031.html
  23. ^ Gonzales, Mark. "'Special' time shared by Cubs' Willson Contreras and family".
  24. ^ "Cubs' Willson Contreras and girlfriend engaged". WGN-TV. February 15, 2018. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  25. ^ "Willson Contreras gets married Thursday". Cubs HQ. Retrieved May 4, 2018.

External links[edit]