Chicago Cubs: Despite flashy additions by Brewers, Cubs still reign in Central
By Logan Whaley
A young star has emerged for the Chicago Cubs
Mark my words: Willson Contreras will be the best catcher in Major League Baseball.
At just 25-years-old, Contreras has a long and probably colorful career ahead of him. In 2017, he took another step forward to solidify his status as the next most significant star. Contreras posted a 3.2 Wins Above Replacement, including a 1.4 Defensive Wins Above Replacement, according to Fangraphs. He slashed .276/.356/.499 and produced a 119 wRC+.
It is important to realize he did this in just 117 games. Contreras also has arguably the strongest arm in Major League Baseball and frequently shows it off with quick pick attempts. Contreras plays the game with a fiery passion, something that it seems you need to have to be a catcher.
As his career continues to progress it will be fun to see the pinnacle in which he will hopefully one day reach. Accordingly, he is well on his way.
Mediocrity in Milwaukee
Comparatively, it is difficult to put the Brewers backstop(s) on the same plane as Willson Contreras. Nevertheless, it is essential to see what kind of impact the combination of veterans Manny Pina and Stephen Vogt will bring to the Brewers in 2018.
Pina was surprisingly productive in 2017. He was worth 2 Wins Above Replacement and slashed .279/.327/.424 in 107 games. Vogt meanwhile was worth -0.5 Wins Above Replacement in 99 games split between the A’s and the Brewers. He slashed .233/.285/.423.
Keeping in mind, it makes sense that Manny Pina will be the go-to guy for Milwaukee in 2018. In the final positional analysis, even with his numbers last season, it is important to realize that the Cubs carry an almost laughable advantage in the area.