The Chicago Cubs top catching prospect swung at the first pitch and hit a home run. In baseball that does not sound so strange, but this was the first official bat for Contreras in the majors and he connected for a 415-foot home run at Wrigley Field.
The 24-year old top prospect at catcher for Chicago hit the 2-run homer during Sunday’s games against National League Central rival Pittsburgh. The Cubs went on to win the game 10-5.
Contreras was called up this past Friday. He appeared only as a replacement on defense the first two games of the series and was in Chicago’s bullpen when he was told he would be hitting for Kyle Hendericks the Chicago pitcher during the sixth inning.
When it came time for him to bat, Contreras says he was not nervous. The Cubs fans gave him a standing ovation as he approached the plate. He told reporters following the game that all he was hoping to do was hit a single.
However, A.J. Schugel a right-hander for Pittsburgh hung a changeup and Contreras connected and sent the ball out of the park.
As the baseball cleared Wrigley Field’s ivy-covered wall, the fans erupted in joy cheering on their future catcher as he rounded the bases.
Contreras ran around the bases pointing skyward as he passed first base. He reached home plate and was given a hug and then the dugout where the rest of the team was waiting for him.
Contreras was given a curtain call after his home run, which was the second one given to a catcher for the Cubs in successive days.
The crowd at Wrigley gave a curtain call to David Ross the Cubs’ 39-year old catcher on Saturday after Ross hit a home run that put Chicago ahead.
On Sunday, a storybook start to the major league career of Contreras could be seen as he rounded the bases. Fans in Chicago will close the chapter on Ross’ career this season as he retires and now can see a new one opening for Contreras.
Even Joe Maddon the Cubs manager noted how special the home run by Contreras was.
Contreras is the 27th major league player and the first for the Chicago Cubs to hit a home run as a pinch hitter in his first ever major league at bat.
It is the first time, since Jorge Soler in 2014, that a Cub has hit a home run during his first at bat.
The Cubs will start Contreras at catcher on Monday when they host the St. Louis Cardinals in the first game of a three-game series at Wrigley.