(670 The Score) Cubs catcher Willson Contreras has never been one to lack confidence, as evident this past weekend at the team’s annual convention when he made a bold statement to his future.
“I used to watch a lot of those guys,” Contreras told Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times. “But now I’m watching myself because I know that I’m going to be better than them. That’s my plan. That’s my (mindset).
“I know that I have a lot of talent, and I thank God every day for giving me this kind of talent that I have. In my mind, I want to be the best catcher in the game for a long time — like it was with Yadier Molina, like it is with Buster Posey.”
Those comments made their way to St. Louis, where Molina appeared to take exception to what Contreras believes.
The veteran Molina took to Instagram to reply back to Contreras with his feelings, posting a picture alongside Posey and Royals catcher Salvador Perez from the 2015 MLB All-Star Game.
The message from Molina translates to: “Respect the ranks, rookie. Here are those that have proven they are the hard ones.”
Molina, 35, is an eight-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner, with all of that coming in a Cardinals uniform. Posey, 30, is a five-time All-Star for the Giants and won the MVP in 2012.
The 25-year-old Contreras finished his first full big league season in 2017, hitting .274 with 21 home runs and 74 RBIs. He has a long way to go in catching Molina’s career accolades, though Contreras did post a 3.2 FanGraphs WAR last season, which ranked fifth among all catchers.
Molina finished 15th in those rankings with a 2.1 mark in 2017.