Cubs catching prospect Willson Contreras extended his hitting streaks Saturday night in Iowa’s 4-0 victory over the Memphis Redbirds.
The I-Cubs won their eighth straight game for the first time since 2007. Contreras not only stayed hot offensively but he guided Jake Buchanan, Carl Edwards Jr. and Spencer Patton to a four-hit shutout. The three hurlers struck out 11 and issued only one walk.
Willson Contreras reached base twice and came within a sensational catch by the Redbirds shortstop of recording another multi-hit game. Contreras went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, a run scored and a RBI. Contreras swiped second on the backend of a double steal with Arismendy Alcantara with Matt Murton at the plate in the fifth inning. Murton singled to center, Alcantara and Contreras scored the I-Cubs final two runs of the night.
Willson Contreras extended three streaks Saturday night. Contreras has hit safely in each of his last 13 games. Contreras has at least one extra basehit in 10 straight games and he’s driven in a run (RBI) in his last seven games.
Over his last 10 games, Contreras is 15-for-42 with six home runs, 12 runs scored, 19 RBI, six walks and nine strikeouts. And he’s reached base at least twice in five of his last 10 games.
In 47 games this season, Contreras is batting .335/.428/.585 with 13 doubles, two triples and nine home runs for a 1.013 OPS. Contreras has one less walk (26) than strikeouts (27) in 176 at-bats.
Contreras is third in the PCL in on-base percentage and OPS and is in the top 10 in just about every offensive category.
Jason McLeod and Jed Hoyer fielded questions about Willson Contreras this past week, specifically about when the Cubs anticipate calling him up to the majors. McLeod told the beat writers that Contreras “remains in the finishing phase in the minor leagues.”
“It’s a totally different ball game as you know up here,” McLeod said. “Now you’re trying to game plan for an opposing team. You have a pitching staff that’s here with very high expectations of the guys sitting behind the plate. Willson is aware of that, and we’re doing everything we can to prepare him for that time. But right now, a lot depends on what the need might be up here.”
“The offensive production has been terrific,” Hoyer said. “There is so much more than looking at the offensive stat line. He keeps getting better with his framing. He keeps better at game calling, and the staff down there loves him. He’s going to come up to the big leagues and deal with a lot of veteran guys. Veteran pitching staff, a veteran coaching staff and to be able to be a young catcher is difficult. The work he’s putting in, in Iowa, will make that much easier. We couldn’t be happier with what he’s doing right now.”
For now, Willson Contreras is learning how to be a good receiver while putting up just ridiculous numbers in the Pacific Coast League.