Willson Contreras
Willson Contreras
28-Year-Old CatcherC
Chicago Cubs
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Contreras was an above-average offensive catcher in 2019 for the third time in four seasons. The one "down" season saw him perform at a league-average level relative to his position. Last year looked a lot like the guy we fell in love with in 2017, which is what owners who bought him on the cheap wanted to see from the catcher. He maintains his excellence against left-handed pitching, but the bounce-back numbers from 2019 came from his resurgence against righties as he improved his OPS against them by 150 points over 2018. The Statcast numbers do not validate the performance as most of Contreras' expected statistics are nearly a full deviation below his actual outcomes from 2019. That's despite the fact his 42% hard-hit rate was easily the best of his four-year career. Bake in some regression in the numbers, but the skills here have proven to be relatively stable even if the outcomes are a bit wonky. Read Past Outlooks
$Agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Cubs in January of 2020.
Could excel in shortened season
CChicago Cubs
May 18, 2020
Contreras, who has consistently performed better in the first half of seasons, could excel during a shortened 2020 slate, Max Goodman of SI.com reports.
ANALYSIS
For his career, Contreras has posted better offensive numbers across the board in the first half of seasons. Last year, he led the Cubs with a .294 average and .965 OPS through 82 games. This isn't particularly surprising, given the wear and tear that comes with playing catcher. Contreras could end up benefiting from a shortened schedule, especially if teams are allowed to operate with expanded rosters and Chicago decides to keep a third catcher on the roster.
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Batting Stats
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2019
2018
2017
2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
3
11
38
20
3
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
2
16
1
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+16%
OPS vs LHP
2019
 
 
+21%
OPS vs LHP
2018
 
 
+17%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+11%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .908 352 47 16 48 2 .279 .387 .520
Since 2017vs Right .785 1029 110 39 144 8 .260 .336 .449
2019vs Left 1.027 85 15 6 14 0 .320 .400 .627
2019vs Right .851 324 42 18 50 1 .260 .343 .509
2018vs Left .820 134 13 3 13 1 .250 .373 .446
2018vs Right .701 410 37 7 41 3 .249 .328 .373
2017vs Left .916 133 19 7 21 1 .279 .394 .523
2017vs Right .828 295 31 14 53 4 .274 .339 .489
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+11%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+16%
OPS at Home
2018
 
 
+27%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+9%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .860 657 80 31 103 2 .284 .358 .503
Since 2017Away .774 724 77 24 89 8 .246 .341 .433
2019Home .958 192 31 15 37 0 .291 .365 .593
2019Away .824 217 26 9 27 1 .255 .346 .479
2018Home .821 256 27 6 29 2 .280 .363 .458
2018Away .647 288 23 4 25 2 .221 .318 .329
2017Home .818 209 22 10 37 0 .282 .344 .473
2017Away .891 219 28 11 37 5 .270 .367 .524
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Stat Review
How does Willson Contreras compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.37
 
BB Rate
9.3%
 
K Rate
24.9%
 
BABIP
.314
 
ISO
.261
 
AVG
.272
 
OBP
.355
 
SLG
.533
 
OPS
.888
 
wOBA
.383
 
Exit Velocity
88.5 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
37.3%
 
Barrels/PA
7.3%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
Contreras was one of many disappointing catchers as 2018 was an off year for the position. His primary downfall was a precipitous drop in power, fueled by a plummeting HR/FB mark. Contreras hits over half of his batted balls on the ground so he needs to maintain a lofty HR/FB level to generate power. While some pullback from 2017's 26% was likely, falling to a meek 9% was a shock, though supported by a drop in hard-hit rate in a year where the average rate increased. Contreras' plate skills held steady as did his BABIP, so his batting average drop was due to homers converted to outs. Contreras will be 27 years old this season, so chances are 2018 was more fluke than fact. Expect a power rebound, though capped by a 30% flyball rate. Since he'll remain a bell cow behind the dish, hitting in the meat of the Cubs' order, Contreras is a strong candidate to return top-five backstop status, likely at a discounted price.
Although he was limited to just 117 games last season, mainly due to a hamstring injury which cost him almost a month, Contreras still finished as a top-six catcher in standard formats. He posted a mighty healthy .223 ISO, which would have been a top-50 overall mark in baseball had Contreras logged enough plate appearances to qualify, and he improved both his strikeout (22.9 percent) and walk (10.5 percent) rates from his already strong marks as a rookie. The 25-year-old barrels the ball up consistently and he hits same-handed pitching well, as evidenced by his .273/.347/.486 career line against righties (.292/.379/.514 against lefties). Contreras has established himself as a legitimate middle-of-the-order bat in a good offense, and his ability to play the outfield and first base in a pinch helps pad his counting totals a little more than other starting catchers. Buster Posey may go ahead of Contreras in a lot of drafts, but Contreras could outproduce the veteran in 2018.
After taking a big step forward at the plate during his 2015 campaign at Double-A, Contreras raked at Triple-A Iowa to begin the season and forced his way onto the Cubs' 25-man roster in short order. Especially for a 24-year-old, his performance was impressive, as he continued to show a discerning eye (9.2 percent walk rate) while flashing 20-25 home run pop. Additionally, Contreras proved to be an above-average defender, which should give him the starting job again in 2017 regardless of what the team does with Miguel Montero. Although his overall line fell during the second half, Contreras cut his strikeout rate from 26.9 percent to 22.1 percent during that span. Moreover, Contreras demonstrated the ability to handle righties and lefties, swatting 10 of his 12 homers against the former while maintaining a slightly higher OPS against the latter (.854). Contreras' pop and run-production potential give him a chance to finish as a top-five catcher in 2017.
Contreras spent the whole year with Double-A Tennessee in 2015 and easily had the best season of his professional career. The 23-year-old backstop batted .333 with 75 RBI and 71 runs for the Smokies and has played his way into the Cubs' long-term plans. With Kyle Schwarber possibly sticking in the outfield, another good year in the minors for Contreras could put him in contention for a spot on the 2017 roster. His BB:K ratio was abysmal coming into 2015, but he learned to take pitches last year, and it paid off in spades. That 57:62 BB:K is appealing, especially coming from a catcher, but he'll need to do it again before we should get too excited.
More Fantasy News
Homers during three-hit game
CChicago Cubs
March 10, 2020
Contreras went 3-for-3 with a solo home run and two runs scored in Tuesday's Cactus League game against the Giants.
ANALYSIS
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Gets $4.5 million
CChicago Cubs
January 10, 2020
Contreras agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Cubs, avoiding arbitration, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Day off Saturday
CChicago Cubs
September 28, 2019
Contreras is not in the lineup Saturday against the Cardinals.
ANALYSIS
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Sitting Thursday
CChicago Cubs
September 26, 2019
Contreras is not starting Thursday against the Pirates.
ANALYSIS
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Held out of second straight
CChicago Cubs
September 22, 2019
Contreras is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Cardinals.
ANALYSIS
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