(CBS) The Cubs will call up prized catching prospect Willson Contreras ahead of Friday’s home game against the Pirates, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported.
The 24-year-old Contreras is the highest-rated catching prospect in the minor leagues, per MLB.com, and one of the Cubs’ top prospects. He’s been tearing up pitching at Triple-A Iowa, hitting .350 with nine homers, 43 RBIs and a 1.030 OPS in 54 games.READ MORE: Woman Critical, 1 of 6 People Wounded In Lawndale Mass Shooting
A highly regarded defender as well, Contreras is viewed as the Cubs’ catcher of the future.
“He’s an incredibly talented, athletic catcher who can really throw, can really block and his receiving is much improved,” president of baseball operations Theo Epstein told reporters in January. “He projects to be a front-line catcher in the big leagues for a long time. We’re excited about his development.”READ MORE: Young Woman, 18, Dies After Being Shot In West Elsdon
The Cubs signed Contreras in 2009 as a free agent out of Venezuela.
With Contreas’ call-up, the Cubs will continue to carry three catchers. Catcher Tim Federowicz would be removed from the 25-man roster in some form, according to multiple reports.MORE NEWS: Chicago Fire Paramedic's Cap Grazed At Stroger Hospital; Man Killed In Shooting Nearby
Contreras is just the latest in a string of Cubs prospects to ascend to the big leagues since latter half of the 2014 season. Javier Baez and Jorge Soler each debuted in August 2014, while Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber were key players in their 2015 rookies seasons. Just more than a week ago, Chicago outfielder Albert Almora made his big league debut.