Braves: Is William Contreras here to stay?

MLB Pipeline

In the absence of Travis d’Arnaud & Tyler Flowers, Alex Jackson continues to prove he’s nothing more than a AAAA player right now — someone who thrives in AAA but can’t hit water in the ocean at the major-league level. He’s currently a career 0-17 hitter with 9 Ks in the bigs. I haven’t given up hope on Alex, but given the circumstances — William Contreras needs to start most days and should take over as the third catcher when Travis d’Arnaud and Tyler Flowers return.

Contreras gained a lot of attention in his early minor league days for being Willson Contreras’ — the All-Star catcher for the Cubs — brother, and he’s slowly showing that he may not be in his shadow for much longer, hitting .667 with a 1.500 OPS in his first major-league series. Even though it’s only six at-bats, Braves fans are rightfully ecstatic. He had a clutch hit in extra innings against New York on Saturday and followed it with three singles on Sunday in his first start. And as good as he’s been with the stick, he’s been just as effecient behind the plate, calling the game and keeping balls in front of him. Following his scorching hot start, many Braves fans are calling for him to stay on the roster when d’Arnaud and Flowers are ready, but is that a possibility?

To be blunt, probably not. As fantastic as William has looked, he’s never played above AA ball, and in a 60-game season, you have to put your best foot forward. Contreras is oozing with potential, but unless he goes nuclear in this next series before the Braves come back to Atlanta, I expect him to be optioned to minor league camp. He’s not the first player to get off to a hot start after being called up. Remember Austin Riley? He looked to be on his way to hitting 40 bombs in 120 games last year, but after tearing the cover off the ball, he ended the season in a mega-slump. And Riley was exponentially further in his development than Contreras is right now. It’s been fun watching the young prospect thrive in his first taste of major-league ball, but his success at the plate is likely not sustainable. Even though that might sound disappointing right now, he has given us a glimpse of his bright future and should undoubtedly be rocketing up prospect charts.

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