One of the more intriguing storylines of the season is what the Braves’ plan is with William Contreras. Before the trade for Matt Olson, many assumed Contreras would be dealt, but instead, it was the highly-touted Shea Langeliers. That appears to be a vote of confidence in William Contreras, who now has a wide open path to becoming the starting backstop of the future in Atlanta… or does he?
This very well could be temporary, but Brian Snitker told Justin Toscano of the AJC the other day that they will test Contreras out in right field early on in AAA, hoping to find a way to get his bat into the lineup.
Brian Snitker said William Contreras could play right field when the Triple A season begins. Contreras could be moved around the diamond to find a spot in the lineup for his bat.
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) March 28, 2022
I’ll try not to read too much into this and take it as the Braves doing everything they can to get him into the lineup sooner. It’s clear they value his bat. Contreras flashed a ton of power in his short stints with the Braves, and he dominated AAA, smashing nine homers and recording an .873 OPS in just nine games. If he starts out that way again in Gwinnett, the Braves will want to find a way to get him on the field in the majors.
It does beg the question of what the Braves think of him as a catcher long term, though. If they believed that was where he was best suited, I don’t think they would have signed Manny Piña to a two-year contract with a third-year option. Contreras struggled defensively last season, and it looks like the Braves are more focused on making the most of his strengths rather than trying to groom him into the catcher of the future. Regardless, I have high hopes for Contreras this season and believe he could be a critical piece to the Braves repeating as champions.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
— SportsTalkATL.com (@SportsTalkATL) March 23, 2022