Chicago Cubs: Why it should be Bryant-Rizzo-Contreras

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

Willson Contreras

Before Contreras injured his hamstring, he was on fire. Like, an absolute inferno. It’s possible that Contreras was putting himself right in the middle of MVP conversation before the injury. But being what it was, the Cubs were able to persevere. But while he was in the four-spot, he was something to behold.

Contreras played 44 games hitting in the four-hole, and it’s not hard to see what he was in the MVP conversation during that time. Contreras slashed a .307/.404/.608 line with a 1.012 OPS. Of his 21 home runs on the year, 13 of them came batting cleanup. And he knocked in 39 of his 74 RBI from the four-spot.

Contreras had a BAbip of .306 from the cleanup spot, and also hit .305 in the second half of the season. If he learned anything, it’s that he can “take a play” off now and then. This doesn’t mean “don’t hustle,” but it doesn’t always have to be as hard as he can go.