Author Topic: Cubs in '22  (Read 41959 times)

craig

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2021, 08:19:29 am »
From Kevin Goldstein's FanGraphs chat:

..The notion that Contreras is someone you can build around is a weird narrative in the Chicago media.

Unclear what Goldstein is thinking.  Contreras is a good, valuable player.  But he doesn't get a lot of hits.  I'm guessing Goldstein is viewing a "build-around" guy as one who'd be a lineup asset offensively, a middle-of-the-order bat that's better than average even relative to other middle-of-the-order hitters. 

A defense-oriented player can absolutely be a core player and a valuable part of a winning team, we all know that.  But given how hard scoring is, I can understand how Goldstein would envision a "build-around" guy as one who'd be an excellent hitter who gives your team an advantage in scoring runs. 

Willson is hitting .226 this year.  His OPS is a HR-driven .750, which is fine for a strong-defense catcher. 2019 was an outlier big season.  But otherwise his OPS hasn't exceeded .763 in the other 3 recent seasons, and his batting average has dropped every year since the World Series other than 2019.  A good-defense run-prevention catcher who OPS's in the .700's is a useful, good major leaguer, for sure.  But run-creation is part of baseball, and if your build-around star has a .750-OPS, your run-creation side of the game is going to struggle.  He's not a bad hitter, but he's more of a support bat than you're build-around bat. 

If he's your best player, good chance you're going to have a really bad offense and a losing team.

deeg is right, too, that Contreras in his 30's probably isn't going to develop into a better hitter.  He's had thousands of AB's already to develop as best he could.  If we're lucky, he'll stay what he is for some years.  But little chance of getting better, and larger chance that some decline will continue to varying degree and rate.