C Contreras, RHP Williams win organizational player, pitcher of the year
The Chicago Cubs today named catcher Willson Contreras and right-handed pitcher Ryan Williams the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively.
Contreras and Williams will be honored during an on-field ceremony prior to the Cubs 7:05 p.m. CT game next Monday, Sept. 28, against the Kansas City Royals at Wrigley Field.
Contreras, 23, led the Southern League with a .333 batting average (151-for-454) to go along with 71 runs, 34 doubles, four triples, eight home runs and 75 RBI for Tennessee this season, his first time at the Double-A level. He ranked second in the league in doubles, RBI and on-base percentage (.413) while his .478 slugging percentage ranked third and his 217 total bases were fifth.
The right-handed hitter became the first Tennessee player to win the league batting title since Joe Gate in 1978. Contreras hit .371 (33-for-89) against left-handed pitching and posted a .323 mark (118-for-365) against right-handers. He enjoyed a season-high 14-game hitting streak from July 28-August 10, in which he batted .519 (28-for-54) and earned Player of the Week honors for July 27-August 2.
Behind the plate, Contreras recorded a .987 fielding percentage (8 E/600 TC) and threw out 27-of-97 (27.8 percent) baserunners attempting to steal. He also played eight games at third base.
Signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in December 2009, Contreras has hit .275 (465-for-1,692) with 81 doubles, 19 triples, 30 homers and 239 RBI in 462 career minor league games.
Williams, 23, combined to go 14-3 with a 2.16 ERA (34 ER/141.2 IP) in 26 games (24 starts) between Single-A South Bend and Tennessee. He walked just 18, struck out 98 and surrendered just two home runs in 537 batters faced. His 14 victories and 2.16 ERA both led the Cubs minor league system, while his 98 strikeouts ranked fifth.
Named the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of May, Williams started the year with South Bend and was 4-1 with a 1.17 ERA (7 ER/53.2 IP) in nine games (eight starts) for the Cubs before he was promoted to Double-A on June 3. He proceeded to go 10-2 with a 2.76 ERA (27 ER/88.0 IP) in 17 games (16 starts) with the Smokies, leading the team in victories, and earning Southern League Pitcher of the Week honors for August 10-16 (2-0, 0.75 ERA).
Williams was selected by the Cubs in the 10th round of the 2014 draft out of East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. He is 16-4 with a save and a 2.03 ERA (38 ER/168.1 IP) in 37 career minor league outings, including 24 starts. He has struck out 127 batters, walked just 21 and allowed only four home runs.