The Chicago Cubs will send three representatives to this year’s All-Star Game at Nationals Park in Willson Contreras, Jon Lester and Javier Baez.
On Sunday, the Chicago Cubs closed out an impressive 7-1 homestand after defeating the Cincinnati Reds. Jon Lester picked up the start during the series finale but was unable to record a decision in the process.
Lester yielded four earned runs on six hits across 6 1/3 frames before the bullpen took over. Chicago received run support from their young stars as Javier Baez tallied the go-ahead RBI in the seventh.
Baez has proven to be not only a talented defensive player but a clutch hitter. A full 360 as the infielder had an issue with striking out in his first few seasons in the majors.
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Now, he will take the field with some of the best players the majors have to offer. According to Carrie Muskat via MLB.com, Javier Baez, Jon Lester, and Willson Contreras were selected to the 2018 All-Star Game in Washington.
For Lester, it will be his fifth selection and his second as a member of the Chicago Cubs. His first being in 2016 when Chicago sent a handful to San Diego. He has proven his worth as ace, carrying an 11-2 record and 2.45 ERA through the first half.
Not to mention, he launched a three-run homer during the homestand and got all of it. I mean, all of it. Something we’re not used to seeing from a guy who hasn’t swung the bat a whole lot leading up to his arrival in Chicago.
But for Baez and Contreras; this is a first. Both men left their native countries, learned a new language and made their dreams come true. A dream that led them to a World Series title in 2016.
Interesting fact before we move on, Baez is Chicago’s first middle infielder to hit 17 homers before the All-Star Break. Last year, he belted 23 big flies while driving in 75 runs, both career-highs.
In the meantime, he is currently 10 behind his career-high for RBI and six for home runs. Eventually, those numbers will increase as time goes on.
When it comes to Contreras, something heartfelt was captured via Chicago’s official Twitter handle. It’s a video of Willson finding out the news regarding his trip to Washington which resulted in the young catcher getting emotional.
Obviously, a sign that his hard work over the years has finally paid off. Willson made his presence felt right away against the Pittsburgh Pirates back on June 19, 2016. He homered on the first pitch of his at-bat, giving Chicago a 6-1 lead.
Since then, like Baez, he has emerged as one of the league’s best players. Prior to his 2018 All-Star campaign, Contreras recorded 21 homers and 74 RBI in 2017. However, he was not selected.
Despite having only seven homers and 34 RBI, his .287/.372/.466/.838 clip is ranked third in majors.
Thankfully, the fans were able to push him into a starting position for the National League. Finally, after over seven years in the minors.
Congratulations to all three men.