Willson Contreras was named a finalist for the 2022 NL Silver Slugger award at catcher on Thursday, joining Will Smith, J.T. Realmuto, and Travis d’Arnaud. Contreras became the second catcher in Cubs history to start three All-Star games, tying Gabby Hartnett, and is also the first Cubs catcher ever with four seasons of 20 or more home runs.
Congratulations to Willson Contreras, an NL #SilverSluggerAward finalist!
Willy is the first catcher in franchise history to record four 20-homer campaigns. pic.twitter.com/wzQ10DjulX
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 27, 2022
His 22 homers tied him for second among all NL backstops and his 132 wRC+ trailed only younger brother William Contreras for the league lead. And that all came despite missing several weeks with an ankle injury suffered during the Field of Dreams Game. I’m not sure how much this will factor into the decision, but Contreras played only 72 games and had 317 plate appearances as a catcher, while another 168 plate appearances over 39 games came as a DH.
A bulk of his run production came when he was wearing the gear, so that’s certainly a mark in his favor. Something tells me this will end up going to either Smith or Realmuto, and I think I’d put money on the Phillies star.