Just a week after calling up top outfield prospect Albert Almora to the big leagues, the Chicago Cubs made another bold leap. Following their 5-4 series loss at the hands of the Washington Nationals, they made the decision to bring up another promising star.
How deep is this farm system? A few years ago, we witnessed the debuts of Arismendy Alcantara, Neil Ramirez, Tsuyoshi Wada, Kyle Hendricks, Jorge Soler, Junior Lake, Eli Whiteside, and Javier Baez before Joe Maddon was hired on to lead this ship full of young talent.
And you can’t forget Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, and Kris Bryant who took the league by storm last season. A handful of young men who made noise throughout the minor league circuit only to make their way to the big leagues within a small time frame.
For instance, Schwarber was catching for the Hoosiers and made his major league debut with the Chicago Cubs in the same year. It has been done before but it’s a first for this organization that won 97 games in 2015.
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With Almora earning his wings with a go-ahead RBI double in-game two against the Washington Nationals, it’s time for Chicago’s next big thing.
Contreras signed with the Cubs as an International Free Agent when he was only 17-years-old back in 2009. He began his journey with the Dominican Summer League Cubs and eventually made his way to the Boise Hawks, Kane County Cougars, Daytona Cubs, Tennessee Smokies, and the Triple-A Iowa Cubs affiliate.
After slashing through the Southern League with eight home runs, 75 RBI, 57 walks, four triples, 34 doubles, 151 hits, and a batting line of .333/.413/.478, Contreras was named the team’s Minor League Player of the Year.
Prior to being promoted, he appeared in 54 games as a member of the I-Cubs. He recorded nine big flies, 43 RBI, three triples, 16 doubles while slashing .350/.439/.591. There’s no telling how long he’ll stay in the majors — for this year but it’s exciting.
Think back to Geovany Soto when he came up and took the league by storm as he went on to earning himself Rookie of the Year honors on top of leading the Chicago Cubs to a division title and postseason appearance.
Like Schwarber, having Contreras working with veterans such as David Ross and Miguel Montero will pay off nicely. Unfortunately, Kyle is unable to play following his collision with Dexter Fowler in early April.
Expect Contreras to at least make a pinch-hit appearance tomorrow evening against the third place Pittsburgh Pirates.