Former Cougars Catcher Contreras Joins Cubs, Homers in First At-Bat

Former Cougars Catcher Contreras Joins Cubs, Homers in First At-Bat

Good grief, this Cubs season just keeps getting more fun and amazing for fans in Kane County.

The Cubs announced on Friday, June 17, that former Kane County Cougars catcher Willson Contreras had been selected from Triple-A Iowa. Cubs fans gave him a standing ovation as he entered the game when he made his MLB debut behind the plate for the Cubs in the ninth inning of a 6-0 shutout over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday afternoon.

When he made his Major League debut at the plate on Sunday, June 19, well, you can see the results in the embedded video.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 9.21.33 AMOne pitch, one swing, one home run.

Contreras connected with a first-pitch changeup, held his bat high and watched as a 104 mph line drive sailed 415 feet, over the Wrigley Field ivy and into history.

Contreras, Chicago’s 24-year-old top catching prospect, hit a two-run home run in his first Major League at-bat Sunday in a 10-5 win over the Pirates.

Contreras was in the bullpen when he found out he was going to pinch-hit for pitcher Kyle Hendricks in the sixth inning. Moments later, Contreras walked to the plate ready, he said, not nervous. Contreras came up to the sound of a standing ovation. He said he was trying to hit a single.

When Pirates right-hander A.J. Schugel left a changeup high, Contreras exceeded his own dreams.

“I was ready for my first Major League at-bat, but I didn’t imagine it was going to be a homer,” Contreras said.

As the ball cleared the wall, Wrigley Field erupted with fans cheering the official merger between present and future. There was a noticeable shake throughout the old stadium.

Contreras rounded the bases, pointing to the sky as he came around first. He was met with hugs at home plate and joy in the dugout.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Contreras said. “It’s incredible. I don’t have the words to explain how happy I am to be here.”

For the second consecutive game, the Wrigley crowd gave a catcher a curtain call. One night ago, it was 39-year-old David Ross, who hit a go-ahead homer as part of his magical final season. This time, it was Contreras, who ended his first at-bat in storybook fashion because for once, things in Chicago keep going according to plan.

Signed by Chicago as a non-drafted free agent in December of 2009, Contreras played in 86 games for the Cougars during the 2013 season in which he batted .248 with 46 RBI and 46 runs scored including eight stolen bases.

Listed as the Cubs No. 2 prospect on, Contreras suited up in 54 games with Triple A-Iowa this season posting a .350 batting average with 43 RBI and 40 runs scored. Contreras joins former Cougars outfielder, Albert Almora Jr., who made his Major League debut earlier this month, on the Cubs roster.

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SOURCE: Kane County Cougars, Chicago Cubs news releases

About the Kane County Cougars

The Cougars, Class-A Minor League affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, have been at the forefront of family-friendly entertainment since 1991. In 2015, the franchise became the first Class-A team in Minor League Baseball history to welcome 11 million fans through the gates. More than 130 former Cougars have reached the Major Leagues including Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez and Kyle Schwarber. Follow the Cougars on, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all season long for updates on tickets and promotions.