Contreras coming into his own
Contreras began his transformation into something different after the Cubs released Montero. Contreras became the unquestionable starting catcher. After starting opening day as the number eight hitter in the lineup, he spent most of the second half as the cleanup hitter behind Bryant and Rizzo. Then when Contreras was at his hottest, he suffered a pulled hamstring. He was then able to come back and prove that he was healthy before the postseason began.
There has been a lot of talks this offseason about how to arrange the Cubs lineup this coming season. But the one thing that nearly everyone agrees on is that Bryant, Rizzo and Contreras should hit back to back to back. You might be tempted to ask for more of the same from Contreras this season. But I’m not ready to say he has reached the height of his potential.
He still could become something even better than he already is. Contreras has been defying expectations of him for years. So to become even better than he already is really won’t be that different for him.
With so many Cubs hitters having a very realistic chance to improve upon last year’s numbers the Cubs offense could go from great to incredible. Experience and probability tell us that there will be slumps and injuries. However, very few lineups have the combination of both this good of a baseline and this high of a ceiling.