Cubs Contreras tops among catching prospects
(Photo by Jeff Waymire)
Out with one catching prospect, in with another. A year after backstop prospect Kyle Schwarber shot up the charts—and into the major leagues—after being selected in the 2014 draft, the Cubs have another young player rising in prospect polls. According to MLB.com, Cubs farmhand Willson Contreras is the top catching prospect in all of baseball, which is a quick ascent for a player largely unknown as recently as a season ago. Here’s some of what MLB.com had to say:
Contreras has a good chance of sticking at catcher. Signed for $850,000 out of Venezuela as a third baseman in 2009, he moved behind the plate in 2012. Contreras is quicker and more athletic than most backstops, and he owns a strong arm and has made progress with his receiving.
The 23-year-old organizational Minor League Player of the Year led the Double-A Southern League in hitting last year with a .333 average and reached base at an impressive .413 clip. He hit eight homers and drove in 75 runs in 454 at-bats while playing solid defense behind the plate. Contreras backed up his strong 2015 campaign with a solid stint in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .283/.361/.547 in 53 at-bats, with three homers and eight doubles. Though the Cubs are mostly set at catcher for 2o15, some believe the third baseman-turned-catcher could be ready for major league action as soon as this year.