Most baseball fans are plenty familiar with Willson Contreras. The two-time All-Star and World Series champion for the Cubs has been mentioned among the best catchers in the game for years, and he’s well on his way to a third All-Star game this season. Contreras is hitting .277 on the year with ten homers — good for a .933 OPS. His wRC+ also ranks second in the majors among catchers… behind who else other than his younger brother.
Catcher wRC+ leaders (min. 80 PA)
William Contreras – 189 wRC+
Willson Contreras – 161 wRC+
Alejandro Kirk – 153 wRC+
Jose Trevino – 132 wRC+
Tyler Stephenson – 131 wRC+
Jonah Heim – 130 wRC+
— Foolish Baseball (@FoolishBB) June 9, 2022
After struggling last season, William Contreras has burst onto the scene in his first 23 games, already mashing eight homers to go along with his .304 average and .384 OBP. The sample size is obviously much smaller than his brother’s and the rest of the catchers on the list above. Regression is probably in line, but with that being said, William’s numbers could take a considerable step back, and he would still be among the best offensive backstops in the majors.
It’s always wise to be wary when announcing that a young player has arrived. There’s still a chance that the rest of the league figures William out, and he begins to slump considerably. However, I am very close, and I think it’s time for the Braves to find out. I wrote last week that William Contreras needs to be in the lineup more, and I’m doubling down on that statement.
If he’s not catching, he needs to be the designated hitter on some nights, even if that means benching Marcell Ozuna, and I also wouldn’t mind seeing the Braves give him more chances in the outfield. He didn’t look great in his first opportunity, but there will undoubtedly be a learning curve, and it would be an excellent advantage for the Braves if they were able to utilize him in left field as well.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire