Willson Contreras has been mashing in intrasquad scrimmages.
The Chicago Cubs, even after a rocky 2019 season, have enough power on offense to contend for both an NL Central title and a pennant.
One of the key cogs in this multi-pronged attack is elite offensive catcher Willson Contreras, who has been demolishing anything that comes his way as the Cubs prepare for the first game of the shortened 2020 season.
Contreras has been molten hot during intrasquad scrimmages, as he has launched four home runs, one of which came off of ace starter Yu Darvish. Contreras continued to find the bleachers in Wednesday’s scrimmage, as he annihilated a meatball from starter Tyler Chatwood.
Willson Contreras is looking to top what was an excellent 2019 season.
Even though he played in just 105 games last year, Contreras more than made the most of it, blasting 24 home runs, a new personal best, while posting an OPS+ of 125 and making an All-Star team for the second year in a row. Any doubts that the odd start time and long layoff would have a negative effect on Contreras have been proven incorrect given how locked in he’s been at the plate so far.
Even on a star-studded roster featuring the likes of Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo, the rising star behind the plate might play an important role in 2020. If he starts to slump, the lack of a quality backup behind the plate better than Victor Caratini will make it hard to replace his production.
Contreras became an All-Star for the first time in 2018, but ’19 is when he started to make the leap from good to great. If he starts the 2020 season off hot and continues his upward ascension, he could make a run at the MVP if his power helps push the Cubs to the top of the NL Central.