Results tagged ‘ Willson Contreras ’

Two Cubs farmhands on AFL’s top 20 prospects list

Contreras,-Willson-5.11(Photo by Roger C. Hoover)

The crop of Cubs prospects representing the organization at the 2015 Arizona Fall League might have lacked the hype that accompanied Kris Bryant, Javier Baez or Addison Russell in recent years. However, a few prospects did raise their profile in the showcase league and could be part of the next wave of budding stars.

On Tuesday,’s Jim Callis unveiled his top 20 prospects from the AFL, and a pair of Cubs made the list.

5. Willson Contreras, C, Mesa (Cubs No. 10 prospect): After leading the Double-A Southern League in batting (.333) and extra-base hits (46), he continued his breakout 2015 by hitting .283/.361/.547 before straining a hamstring. Like [Gary] Sanchez, Contreras is an offensive-minded catcher with enough defensive skills to be a big league regular.
MLB ETA: 2017

11. Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Mesa (Cubs No. 20 prospect): The Cubs keep churning out impressive offensive prospects, and here’s yet another. Candelario is a switch-hitter with legitimate power (he ranked second behind Sanchez with five homers, 13 extra-base hits and 50 total bases) and arm strength, though he may not have the agility for third base.
MLB ETA: 2017

The 23-year-old Contreras, a converted third baseman, slugged .891 during the Double-A season and was named the Cubs Minor League Player of the Year. He debuted in the Cubs system in 2009 as a 17-year-old in the Dominican Summer League and could be knocking on the major league door sooner than later.

Candelario, who turned 22 on Tuesday, hit .291/.379/.462 between High-A and Double-A in 2015. It was a nice jump from a subpar 2014, though he’s always been one of the younger players at each of his respective stops. He signed with the Cubs in September 2010.


C Contreras, RHP Williams win organizational player, pitcher of the year

Willson Contreras was named the 2015 organizational player of the year. (Photo by Roger C. Hoover)

The Chicago Cubs today named catcher Willson Contreras and right-handed pitcher Ryan Williams the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively.

Contreras and Williams will be honored during an on-field ceremony prior to the Cubs 7:05 p.m. CT game next Monday, Sept. 28, against the Kansas City Royals at Wrigley Field.

Contreras, 23, led the Southern League with a .333 batting average (151-for-454) to go along with 71 runs, 34 doubles, four triples, eight home runs and 75 RBI for Tennessee this season, his first time at the Double-A level. He ranked second in the league in doubles, RBI and on-base percentage (.413) while his .478 slugging percentage ranked third and his 217 total bases were fifth.

The right-handed hitter became the first Tennessee player to win the league batting title since Joe Gate in 1978. Contreras hit .371 (33-for-89) against left-handed pitching and posted a .323 mark (118-for-365) against right-handers. He enjoyed a season-high 14-game hitting streak from July 28-August 10, in which he batted .519 (28-for-54) and earned Player of the Week honors for July 27-August 2.

Behind the plate, Contreras recorded a .987 fielding percentage (8 E/600 TC) and threw out 27-of-97 (27.8 percent) baserunners attempting to steal. He also played eight games at third base.

Signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in December 2009, Contreras has hit .275 (465-for-1,692) with 81 doubles, 19 triples, 30 homers and 239 RBI in 462 career minor league games.

Williams, 23, combined to go 14-3 with a 2.16 ERA (34 ER/141.2 IP) in 26 games (24 starts) between Single-A South Bend and Tennessee. He walked just 18, struck out 98 and surrendered just two home runs in 537 batters faced. His 14 victories and 2.16 ERA both led the Cubs minor league system, while his 98 strikeouts ranked fifth.

Named the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of May, Williams started the year with South Bend and was 4-1 with a 1.17 ERA (7 ER/53.2 IP) in nine games (eight starts) for the Cubs before he was promoted to Double-A on June 3. He proceeded to go 10-2 with a 2.76 ERA (27 ER/88.0 IP) in 17 games (16 starts) with the Smokies, leading the team in victories, and earning Southern League Pitcher of the Week honors for August 10-16 (2-0, 0.75 ERA).

Williams was selected by the Cubs in the 10th round of the 2014 draft out of East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. He is 16-4 with a save and a 2.03 ERA (38 ER/168.1 IP) in 37 career minor league outings, including 24 starts. He has struck out 127 batters, walked just 21 and allowed only four home runs.


Cubs Winter League Recap: 1/22/15

Games were scarce around the Caribbean Thursday, with many leagues taking the day off. However, there was a game in Venezuela featuring a pair of Cubs representatives. Here’s how they fared:

  • 1B Willson Contreras had a two-hit game, finishing 2-for-5, as the Tigres de Aragua took down the Tiburones de La Guaira. He finished with two runs in the finale of the round robin portion of the postseason. Aragua finished 8-8 and will not advance to the finals.
  • LHP Joseph Ortiz pitched a scoreless inning of relief for the Tiburones, earning his third hold of the playoffs. La Guaira finished the postseason 5-11.

Cubs Winter League Recap: 1/21/15

Junior Lake recorded a home run for his Dominican squad in an otherwise quiet day for Cubs representatives around the Caribbean Wednesday. Here are some notes from yesterday’s action:

Dominican Republic

  • CF Junior Lake provided all the offense for the Estrellas de Oriente in their 5-1 loss to the Gigantes del Cibao. Lake hit his second home run of the postseason in the fifth inning, finishing 1-for-3 with a walk. His team reached base only two other times as the Estrellas now trail 3-2 in the best-of-nine championship series.

Puerto Rico

  • SS Javier Baez went 0-for-5 with a walk, though his Cangrejeros de Santurce squad topped the Indios de Mayaguez to tie the best-of-nine championship series 1-1.


  • 1B Willson Contreras couldn’t repeat his solid Tuesday, going 0-for-4 on Wednesday, but his Tigres de Aragua topped the Aguilas del Zulia. The Tigres have been mathematically eliminated from advancing to the championship round.

Cubs Winter League Recap: 1/20/15

Willson Contreras came up big as a pinch-hitter to help his team earn a victory Tuesday. Here are some notes from yesterday’s action around the Caribbean:


  • PH-1B Willson Contreras replaced Wilson Ramos and recorded two hits, including a two-run homer in the fourth inning, to boost the Tigres de Aragua to a win over the Tiburones de La Guaira in the round robin portion of the Venezuelan postseason. However, with just two games remaining, the Tigres have been eliminated from postseason play. The top two teams advance to the final, and Aragua can finish no better than third.

Puerto Rico

  • SS Javier Baez went 0-for-4 as the Cangrejeros de Santurce fell to the Indios de Mayaguez in the first game of Puerto Rico’s championship series.

Dominican Republic

  • CF Junior Lake finished 0-for-4 in the Estrellas de Oriente’s 5-3 loss to the Gigantes del Cibao. The best-of-nine championship series is now tied at two games apiece.

Cubs Winter League Recap: 12/14/14

Javier Baez blasted his first home run of the winter Sunday, while Junior Lake contributed to his Dominican squad. Here are some notes from yesterday’s action around the Caribbean:

Puerto Rico

  • 2B Javier Baez ripped a two-run, first-inning home run for his first round-tripper of the winter. He also recorded a double to go 2-for-4 in the Cangrejeros de Santurce’s win over the Senadores de San Juan.
  • CF John Andreoli struggled at the plate, going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in the San Juan loss.


  • 2B Luis Valbuena had an RBI single. He finished with a hit in his only at-bat in the Cardenales de Lara’s win over the Tiburones de La Guaira.
  • C Willson Contrereas was 0-for-3 as the Tigres de Aragua were shut out by the Navegantes del Magallanes.
  • RHP Loiger Padron got only one batter out, giving up three earned runs on two hits and a walk. His Leones del Caracas squad fell to the Caribes de Anzoategui.

Dominican Republic

  • LF Junior Lake went 2-for-3 and drew a walk in the Estrellas de Oriente’s 10-3 win over the Gigantes del Cibao. He also scored a run.
  • CF Arismendy Alcantara finished 0-for-4 with a walk as the Tigres del Licey fell to the Aguilas Cibaenas.


  • 3B Christian Villanueva went hitless with a sacrifice fly and a walk for the Yaquis de Obregon in their narrow loss to the Aguilas de Mexicali.

Cubs Winter League Recap: 12/7/14

Luis Valbuena had another solid day at the plate, and multiple Cubs relievers pitched scoreless innings Sunday. Here are some notes from yesterday’s action around the Caribbean:


  • 2B Luis Valbuena had a pair of hits, including a double, and scored two runs as the Cardenales de Lara captured a 7-3 win over the Caribes de Anzoategui. The infielder also added a walk.
  • DH Jonathan Herrera recorded a hit and scored a run in the Navegantes del Magallanes’ loss to the Braves de Margarita. He also drew a walk.
  • C Willson Contreras hit a single, finishing 1-for-3, as the Tigres de Aragua topped the Aguilas del Zulia.
  • RHP Loiger Padron pitched to one batter and got him out despite the Leones del Caracas falling to the Tiburones de La Guaira.
  • LHP Joseph Ortiz pitched 2/3 of an inning, giving up one hit and striking out one in the win for the Tiburones.

Dominican Republic

  • RHP Frank Batista pitched two scoreless innings as the Aguilas Cibaenas captured a win over the Tigers del Licey. Batista gave up one hit and struck out one to earn his first hold of the season.
  • LF Junior Lake struggled at the plate, going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and a walk, as his Estrellas de Oriente side fell to the Gigantes del Cibao.


  • DH Christian Villanueva went hitless but drove in his 16th run of the season on a fourth-inning, bases-loaded walk. His club, the Yaquis de Obregon, topped the Naranjeros de Hermosillo Sunday.


Cubs Winter League Recap: 12/2/14

Members of the Cubs organization made an impact Tuesday, especially from the offensive side, and a duo of farmhands participated in Venezuela’s All-Star Game. Here are some notes from yesterday’s action around the Caribbean:

Puerto Rico

  • CF John Andreoli blasted his first home run of the winter in a 6-2 Senadores de San Juan win over the Gigantes de Carolina on Tuesday. The solo shot came in the third inning, and he added another single, finishing 2-for-4 with two runs scored. The 24-year-old Andreoli played 61 games at Double-A last season, compiling a .211/.329/.249 (AVG/OBP/SLG) line, stealing 28 bases and getting caught only twice. Though he lacks some pop, his 13.5 percent walk rate demonstrates his discipline at the plate.

Dominican Republic

  • CF Arismendy Alcantara had a pair of hits as the Tigres del Licey edged out the Aguilas Cibaenas. He recorded his first double of the winter and added a run scored, finishing 2-for-5.


  • LF Christian Villanueva had another monster day offensively for the Yaquis de Obregon in their loss to the Tomateros de Culican. The 23-year-old ripped a sixth-inning grand slam and added three singles. He finished 4-for-4. The home run was his sixth of the winter.


  • RHP Lioger Padron pitched to one batter and got him out for the Future All-Stars side in their 8-0 win over the LVBP All-Stars.
  • C Willson Contreras recorded a single in two at-bats for the Future All-Stars.

Cubs Winter League Recap: 11/30/14

It was a quiet day for the Cubs in Winter League action Sunday. Here are some notes from yesterday’s games around the Caribbean:


  • 1B Willson Contreras drew a walk and went 0-for-2 as the Tigres de Aragua edged out the Aguilas del Zulia 3-2. It’s worth noting that Contreras played first base just twice in 2014. He served primarily as High-A Daytona’s catcher.
  • 2B Luis Valbuena went 0-for-4 despite his Cardenales de Lara side coming away 2-1 winners against the Leones del Caracas.

Dominican Republic

  • PH-RF Junior Felix Arias struck out in his only at-bat for the Gigantes del Cibao in their 9-1 win over the Estrellas de Oriente. He came on as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning.
  • C Luis Flores went hitless in three-at bats for Oriente.

Cubs Winter Leagues Recap: 11/24/14

Junior Lake reached base multiple times Monday in the Dominican, and a pair of catchers recorded hits for their respective teams. Here are some notes from yesterday’s action in the Caribbean:

Dominican Republic

  • PR-C Luis Flores entered the game in the third inning as a pinch-runner and finished 1-for-2 with two runs scored in the Estrellas de Oriente’s 5-4 win over the Gigantes del Cibao. The 28-year-old backstop split time between Double- and Triple-A during the 2014 regular season, hitting .253/.388/.371 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with eight homers in 67 games. He was originally a seventh-round selection out of Oklahoma State in the 2008 draft.
  • CF Junior Lake had a big day in the Estrellas’ win. The 24-year-old reached base four times, with two singles and two walks. He went 2-for-3.

Puerto Rico

  • CF John Andreoli was 0-for-4 as the Senadores de San Juan fell to the Indios de Mayaguez Monday.


  • C Willson Contreras recorded a single and scored a run in the Tigres de Aragua’s loss to the Navegantes del Magallanes. Contreras was 1-for-3 on the day before being pinch-hit for in the eighth inning.



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