Willson Contreras still has a lot of years to give to the game he loves so much. He joins the rank of players like Alexander Ovechkin who left their home country for the United States to reach the greatest tier of the game of baseball. Willson is a professional baseball player from Venezuela who turns out as a catcher for the Major League Baseball side, Chicago Cubs. He has been with the Cubs since 2009, however, after a few years of turning out in the minor leagues, he finally got called up to the Cubs team in 2016 and many would say that he has taken his chance well.
Willson Contreras’ bio, age
The baseball catcher was born Willson Eduardo Contreras in Puerto Cabello, Carabobo, Venezuela, on May 13, 1992.
Contreras did not join the Cubs through the conventional MLB draft. He was brought on the franchise’s books as a free agent from his home country of Venezuela. After the Cubs signed him in 2009, he moved to the Dominican Republic where he would start his professional career. He joined the Dominican Summer League Cubs, a rookie league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs and recorded a batting average of .205 in 29 games in the same year. He was just 17 at the time.
The next year, Willson Contreras hit .313 batting average in 17 games. He moved on to the Boise Hawks where he spent the 2011 and 2012 season. In 2013, Willson turned out for the Kane County Cougars, the Daytona Cubs in 2014, and the Tennessee Smokies in 2015. For his high batting averages and eight home runs in 2015, he won the award for the Cubs Minor League Player of the Year. He was also ranked No.57 on the top 10 prospect list compiled by Baseball Prospectus ahead of the 2016 campaign.
His time in the minor leagues saw him play in different positions: first to third base, and right and left field. He was named to the 40-man roster of the Chicago Cubs at the end of the 2015 season.
Two days after his promotion to the Cubs major league team, Willson hit a two-run home run on his first at-bat following to failed pick-offs by the pitcher to first base. This achievement made him the 30th player in the history of the MLB’s modern era to do so. He continued to shift positions throughout the season, establishing himself as a versatile player. At the end of his first major league regular season, Contreras recorded 12 home runs, 35 RBIs, a batting average of .275 and 80 hits in 29at-bats.
In a game against the San Francisco Giants at the 2016 National League Division Series, Willson’s pinch-hit two-run single in the ninth inning helped send Chicago to the National League Championship Series. Also in the same year, the Cubs were victorious in the 2016 World Series in a final game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. This was their first championship title in 108 years.
For the 2017 season, Contreras was in the squad for the Opening day game where he played as a catcher against the St. Louis Cardinals. He went on a home run streak in the first week of August 2017, recording 5 home runs in 6 games, effectively winning the National Leagues Player of the Week award. Sadly, he suffered a hamstring injury the following day and was sidelined until his return on September 10, 2017, as a pinch hitter.
Five days later, he received a one-game suspension for indirectly hitting the umpire Jordan Baker with his mask. He finished the 2017 season with a batting average of .276, 104 hits, 21 home runs, 74 RBIs and 5 stolen bases in 377 at-bats. During the postseason, Willson hit a 491 feet home run, the longest ever recorded during the postseason since 2015.
Willson Contreras’ family: parents, siblings, wife
While Willson is doing his thing and pushing through the ranks in the MLB, he constantly keeps one eye on his parents William and Olga who are cheering him from back home in Venezuela. The catcher has a younger brother, William, who plays for the Atlanta Braves.
Contreras had been dating a woman named Andrea Villamizar for a while. However, the catcher popped the question on Valentines Day in 2018, and on May 3, 2018, the couple tied the knot at the City Hall in downtown Chicago. Some of his teammates and his parents made it to the wedding.
Willson Contreras’ height and other facts
- The Chicago Cubs catcher stands at a height of 1.85 meters, which translates to 6.06 feet.
- Williams talks about how unsafe Venezuela is for his parents as he fears they have become targets from money-grabbing criminals who want to get rich fast at the expense of the parents of a famous athlete. His fears made him purchase a home for them in a gated and secure neighbourhood while they work through the proceeding of obtaining visas for them.
- Willson’s wedding may have been more elaborate but for the circumstances. The wedding had to happen on an off-day while the rest of his teammates were preparing for a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Willson made sure he had the wedding before his parents who were in the US at the time had to go back to Venezuela. His team manager Joe Maddon, said the following day that he did not even know Willson had gotten married.