The next Cubbie prospective wave has crashed upon the Major League shore. Last week, Albert Almora, Jr. washed up on the Wrigley coast; today, word has dropped that Willson Contreras will be added to the roster ahead of the big series against the Pirates this weekend.
The catching prospect has absolutely crushed AAA pitching so far in 2016. He's currently in the midst of a 20 game hitting streak and, overall, is slashing a wicked .350/.439/.591 on the season. All of this seemingly proves that his surprising march to the Southern League batting title last season was no fluke.
The converted infielder burst out of nowhere, instantly transforming from just another minor league project to an uber prospect when he played AA pitching to the tune of a .333 batting average. With David Ross retiring after this go-round and Miggy Montero a free agent after 2017, he appears to be the catcher of the future.
I just so happened to pull this from a pack two days ago
However, this roster move still comes as a pretty major surprise. After all, Willson is still relatively new to catching and the party line has always been he needs more minor league seasoning to fully complete his development behind the dish. Furthermore, the Cubs already have three catchers on the Major League roster.
Although, reports are stating that the corresponding roster move will involve Tim Federowicz, so that knocks down one of the pins between "Double L" and playing time. Tim can refuse a minor league assignment and with the glut of catchers at the MLB level right now, I'd anticipate him saying "sayonara" and looking for a clearer path back to the Bigs.
Furthermore, I just grabbed this from my LCS over the weekend
Getting Willson regular playing time will still be a bit of a challenge - it's going to be like the early days of the Kyle Schwarber call-up all over again. Perhaps he'll even spend some time back in the infield - we all know how much Joe Maddon loves his players to be versatile. Additionally, I can't help but wonder, is it possible that the Cubs might be shopping Miguel Montero? After all, franchises don't generally call up blue chip prospects to ride the pine. It could also be that his back is acting up again.
Regardless, it's fairly apparent that Willson's bat is fully-cooked and Major League ready. The only down side is that today is an off day and us Cubs faithful have to try and manage our excitement until tomorrow's contest against the Pirates. GAH! I just want to see him play now!
It's always nice to see a little "home improvement" on an already stellar roster.