Cubs officially recall C Contreras from Triple-A Iowa, DFA C Federowicz
(Photo by Stephen Green)
The Cubs officially recalled catcher Willson Contreras from Triple-A Iowa Friday. Catcher Tim Federowicz has been designated for assignment.
Contreras, who will wear uniform No. 40, will be available for the Cubs this afternoon as they begin their three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field.
The 24-year-old joins the first major-league roster of his career after batting .350 (71 for 203) with 16 doubles, three triples, nine home runs and 43 RBI in 54 games with Iowa. He has turned in a .439 on-base percentage and .591 slugging percentage, good for a 1.030 OPS. Among Pacific Coast League leaders, Contreras ranks third in on-base percentage and OPS and fifth in batting average and slugging. The right-handed hitter joins the Cubs riding a 20-game hitting streak, during which he posted a .383 (31 for 81) batting average.
Contreras was named Chicago’s 2015 Minor League Player of the Year after winning the Southern League batting title with Double-A Tennessee. Contreras batted .333 (151 for 454) with 34 doubles, four triples, eight homers and 75 RBI in 126 games during his first-ever stop at Double-A. He was named to both the midseason and postseason Southern League All-Star teams, as he ranked second in the league in doubles, RBI and on-base percentage (.413), and third with a .478 slugging percentage. Later in the year, he was named an Arizona Fall League All-Star.
The 6-foot-1, 212-pound backstop went to major-league Spring Training this year with the Cubs for the first time in his career. Heading into 2016, he was named the No. 1 catching prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com, who also listed him as the 51st-best prospect overall. Baseball America named Contreras as the second-best prospect in the Cubs organization.
Contreras originally signed with Chicago as a non-drafted minor-league free agent on July 2, 2009, out of Venezuela. He was primarily an infielder with some outfield exposure for the first three years of his pro career before catching 39 games for Single-A Boise in 2012, one of six positions he played that season. He has caught more than 70 games in every season since and was utilized exclusively at catcher with Iowa this season.
In eight minor-league seasons, Contreras has batted .283 (536-for-1,895) with 97 doubles, 22 triples, 39 homers and 282 RBI in 516 career games.
Federowicz, 28, is batting .192 (5 for 26) with two RBI in 13 games for the Cubs this season.