Cubs’ Willson Contreras named National League starting catcher
Willson Contreras is an All-Star, again.
The Cubs’ backstop was named the starting catcher for the National League Friday night. It’s his third All-Star selection — each time he has been a starter. Contreras beat out Atlanta’s Travis d’Arnaud for the starting nod.
“It meant a lot,” Contreras told Taylor McGregor in Los Angeles after he was named. “It’s really overwhelming, for sure.
“It makes you think of the work that you put in before the season, all the judgment you have to make during the season everything that I had to block out to keep my focus on baseball.
The honor is well-deserved for Contreras, who is slashing .274/.392/.498 this season with 13 home runs and 35 RBI this season with an OPS+ of 147, 47 points above league average.
“It means it means everything to me,” Contreras said. “Like I said before, I haven’t seen myself wearing a different jersey besides the Cubs one and hopefully, this is not only a third time going to All-Star Game as a catcher but I would like to go to a few more with the Cubs jersey.”
Among NL position players, Contreras ranks 8th in wins above replacement, per Baseball-Reference. Contreras is hopeful that his brother, William, will join him in Los Angeles. William Contreras was a finalist for the starting DH role but lost out on the nod to the Phillies’ Bryce Harper. But Contreras is optimistic, they’ll be together at the festivities in Southern California
“As a as an older brother, you always want to set an example for your younger brothers and watching him here in the All-Star Game in his first full year is gonna mean a lot to me, it means that I did the right things to set a good example for him to follow,” Contreras said. “It means even more, because it’s going to be out first time spending a clubhouse in the same team in our life. So, I can’t wait. I can’t wait.”
Here’s the rest of the NL starting lineup:
C – Contreras (CHC)
1B – Paul Goldschmidt (STL)
2B – Jazz Chisholm Jr. (MIA)
3B – Manny Machado (SDP)
SS – Trea Turner (LAD)
OF – Ronald Acuña Jr. (ATL)
OF – Mookie Betts (LAD)
OF – Joc Pederson (SFG)
DH –Harper (PHI)