Chicago Cubs: Five areas David Ross will improve in 2020

David Ross, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
David Ross, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Willson Contreras, David Ross – Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Ross has to take Contreras to another level

One of the most meaningful and productive accomplishments of Joe Maddon’s tenure with the Cubs is the progression and blossoming of guys like Baez and Willson Contreras. Many consider his work with both young stars some of Maddon’s finest, allowing the supremely talented youngsters to find themselves while providing input and support along the way.

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When others questioned shortcomings, Maddon continued to exude confidence publicly. When the media or fans called for benchings or trades, Maddon exhibited patience and love. To this day, other than the trophy he helped bring to Chicago, Maddon’s work with both Baez and Contreras will probably remain his pièce(s) de résistance.

Now that Maddon isn’t around though, we’re going to find out if there’s another gear for both burgeoning superstars. We have seen Baez and Contreras perform at the highest of levels for long stretches of time- but can they do it for a season or multiple seasons, and can they do it together?

If Ross is able to continue the work that Maddon did, especially with the “blessed” Contreras, it will go a long way in making his own mark and legacy in a town where the fans love and worship their sports legends like gods. A catcher himself, Ross has to help Contreras find that extra set of tools and become a better receiver. Contreras has certainly made great strides in handling a staff and receiving pitches, but having a guy who handled pitchers for a living (without adding a ton of offense late in his career) has to bode well for that shift to fifth (or sixth gear).