Coming into the 2016 season, the main question regarding Iowa catcher Willson Contreras was whether or not he was for real. He’d had only one good year, the skeptics said, and anyone could have one good year. I tended to think his peripheral numbers indicated the year was no fluke and ranked as the Cubs best overall prospect in the last two edition of the Top 40 as a result, but I have to admit I was curious to see how he would handle Triple A pitching.
We’re only eight games into the season and the sample sizes are way too small to tell us anything definitive, but so far he’s taking to Triple A like a fish to water. His line through those first eight games reads .400/.455/.500 with three doubles, two walks, and three strikeouts. He hit safely in the first seven and has reached base in all eight games he has played.
In short, he’s off to a great start. That’s great news for the Cubs, since, in addition to being the best catching prospect in baseball, he is also probably Chicago’s third catcher should they need to call one up.
- Armando Rivero: 1 IP, 1 H
- Dan Vogelbach: 1 for 4, HR, 3 K
- Ryan Kalish: 2 for 2, 2B
- Munenori Kawaski: 1 for 4, 2B, CS
- Tyler Skulina: 5 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 K
- Juan Paniagua: 2 IP, 1 K
- Starling Peralta: 2 IP, 2 K
- Jacob Hannemann: 2 for 4, 2B, SB
- Bijan Rademacher: 1 for 1, 3 BB
- Trevor Clifton: 4.2 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 3 BB, 6 K
- Jason Vosler: 1 for 3, 2B
- Gioskar Amaya: 1 for 2, BB, picked a runner off at second
- Gleyber Torres: 0 for 2, 2 BB
- Ryan Kellogg: 4.1 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 2 BB, 4 K
- Greyfer Eregua: 1 IP, 1 K
- Daniel Spingola: 2 for 4, 2B
- Ian Rice: 2 for 3, 2B, BB
- Eddy Martinez: 1 for 4, 2B
- P.J. Higgins: 1 for 3, 2B, BB
- The newest pitcher for Iowa came from South Bend. Michael Wagner appeared in seven games for Iowa a year ago, but this season all of his 2.2 IP so far have come out of the bullpen in the Midwest League. Right now he projects as more of an organizational depth sort of guy, but he is only 24 and at times he has looked pretty good. We’ll keep an eye on him.
- To make room for Wagner, Stephen Perakslis, a right handed reliever, was sent to Tennessee.
- A long time ago (February, 2013) the Cubs traded a fan favorite outfielder named Tony Campana to Arizona for a couple really, really low level minor league players. One of those players, Erik Leal, is on the mound for Myrtle Beach this evening. Leal quietly had a decent year last season, finishing his 128.2 innings in South Bend with an ERA of 3.85.