Chicago Cubs: Willson Contreras a season of highs and lows

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Living up to the hype in the first half

It was a slow start to the 2018 season for the Cubs but a combination of Contreras (.264/.350/.418), Ben ZobristJason Heyward and Javier Baez helped carry the team as others struggled early on.

Contreras’ red-hot May saw him improve to a  .273/.369/.500 slash and finishing the first half with an equally scorching hot July (.309/.405/.471).

Defensively in the first half, Contreras committed six errors and was charged with five passed balls, not quite Posey or Molina-esque, as both posted just two errors and two past balls.  But his ability to nab base stealers and pick off runners remained his strong suit.

Coupled with a savvy defense that maximized the abilities of Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, Addison Russell and Kris Bryant, the Cubs carried an edge few other teams possessed. When the offense struggled, we often saw the defense at least try to carry the club.

It was this defensive ability coupled with putting together a first-half slash line of .279/.369/.449 that earned Contreras in his first All-Star Game.