Chicago Cubs: Contreras finding his power stroke
Two weeks ago, I penned a piece defending Contreras. Too many fans evaluate the offensive performance of players solely on slugging percentage and other power metrics. Home runs aside, the Cubs catcher was performing well at the dish.
But over the last seven days, he flipped that switch. During the past week, he’s slashing .440/.483/.840 with two home runs, five runs and nine RBI. He led the team to a series finale win on Wednesday, driving in three with a homer and, later, a clutch double in the seventh.
With Kris Bryant still sidelined with a shoulder injury and Anthony Rizzo swinging a potent, albeit inconsistent bat this year, Contreras is a big piece of the offense. Javier Baez and Albert Almora continue to lead the charge at the plate, but a power-hitting Contreras to protect these guys changes the dynamic of this lineup.
As I said in that piece in late June, even if he’s not hitting for power, this guy is clearly an above-average catcher. But when he swings a hot bat and stays locked in, he goes from above average to elite in a hurry.