Chicago Cubs: Will Willson become the Beast we saw in 2017 again?

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Failing to live up to lofty expectations

Despite the rough end to last season, Cubs fans were expecting a healthy Willson Contreras to take the next step and continue what he started in 2017 over a full season this year. Suffice to say, that did not happen.

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The guy we saw in July and the beginning of August 2017 never really got it going or showed up at all in 2018.  Contreras didn’t hit more than three home runs in any month of the 2018 season, and he only had one month of more than 10 RBI. Compare that to 2017 where he had three months of more than three home runs and five straight months with more than 10 RBI.

His overall numbers reflect the significant drop-off as well, as Contreras slashed only .249/.339/.390 for the season, a drop of 125 points’ worth of OPS. He also accumulated only 2.6 WAR, a gigantic drop from 3.3 WAR in 2017 considering the lost time and fewer at-bats.

That being said, even with the drop-off, Willson was still, coincidentally, the same exact rank in total WAR for catchers, coming in at fourth-best in the Majors.  While this may seem somewhat promising, I think we all expected Willson to be closer to J.T. Realmuto‘s MLB-leading 4.8 WAR for the season.