Willson Contreras Blistered the Ball Last Night - It's Something He Does

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Willson Contreras Blistered the Ball Last Night – It’s Something He Does

Chicago Cubs

A lot of my friends (enemies) in my fantasy baseball league made fun of me after our draft, because I took … well, I took a lot of Chicago Cubs (hey, I can’t help it if they have all the best players).

And sure, in some case, I might’ve gotten a little too homer-y (Come on, Ian. Four strikeouts?!), but one selection I definitely do *not* expect to regret is Willson Contreras.

Sure, the power results have been lacking this early-season (.080 ISO, .360 SLG), but if last night was any indication, we are in store for a power explosion very soon:

Altogether, Contreras managed to get on base four times last night (2 singles, a double, and a walk), but it was his exit velocity that really had us turning heads:

2nd Inning: Line-drive 1B (110.4 MPH)
3rd Inning: Line-drive 1B (108.5 MPH)
5th Inning: Walk
6th Inning: Fly-out (105.2 MPH)
8th Inning: Line-drive 2B (114.1 MPH)

Four balls in play, four balls hit over 105 MPH. According to Matt Trueblood, Contreras became the first player in 2018 to accomplish that feat – a feat that was only accomplished four times *total* last season. That’s impressive.

And it’s not entirely new.

In his first season at the big league level, Contreras’ contact was just slightly better average, with a 17.7% soft-hit rate and a 32.3% hard-hit rate. Last year, those numbers improved (17.0% soft-hit and 35.5% hard-hit) and this season, well, things are looking very good in a small sample:

Soft-hit rate: 11.8%
Hard-hit rate: 47.1%

Obviously, you can’t expect those numbers to stay that high, but it sure isn’t a bad start to the year – especially when “power” is the only part of his offensive game that hasn’t shown up yet this season.



Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami