Player #3: William Contreras - Gold Glove & Silver Slugger
What a breakout season it has been for catcher William Contreras. He has made enormous strides in his player development both offensively and behind the dish, and he has easily been the Brewers' most valuable player this season.
Contreras' Gold Glove Argument
Last season, Contreras graded out as, statistically speaking, one of the worst defensive catchers in all of baseball. Now, after spending a good chunk of the offseason with Milwaukee's phenomenal catching staff, Contreras has made such strides behind home plate where he should be in consideration for a Gold Glove Award.
When it comes to pitch framing, Contreras has been one of the best in the entire sport. According to Baseball Savant, Contreras' seven Catcher Framing Runs are the third most in the National League. The only two players ahead of Contreras are Giants' rookie catcher Patrick Bailey, and Mets' rookie catcher Francisco Alvarez, who will both likely be in the running for this award as well.
In addition to his impressive pitch framing, Contreras has also been one of the best at blocking behind the plate this season. He is posting seven Blocks Above Average, and that total is good for fifth-best in the National League, per Baseball Savant, and is significantly better than Alvarez's number of -1 as well as Bailey's total of -10.
Contreras' greatest drawback this season has been his ablity to gun down runners on the base paths. His pop time of 1.95 seconds sits around league average, and it has led to him sitting below league average in Caught Stealing Above Average, according to Baseball Savant.
Still, even to think about Contreras being involved in Gold Glove conversations is something not many people would have predicted heading into the 2023 season. He has been excellent behind home plate for the Milwaukee Brewers, and it's just another way Contreras has found to impact the game.
Contreras' Silver Slugger Argument
On top of being one of the best defensive catchers in the National League this season, Contreras should also be in the conversation for a Silver Slugger Award. For him to be in both the Gold Glove conversation as well as in the mix for a Silver Slugger Award, it's a testament to just how valuable he has been for the Brewers this season.
BA (NL Rank)
OBP (NL Rank)
SLG (NL Rank)
OPS (NL Rank)
wRC+ (NL Rank)
The stats in the table above are courtesy of FanGraphs, and this award is looking to be a tight race. Contreras has the strong advantage in the batting average and on base department, but Atlanta Braves' catcher Sean Murphy has the edge in terms of power hitting.
Murphy, who was involved in the three-team trade that sent William Contreras from the Braves to the Brewers, has put together a sensational season in his first year in Atlanta, and he has done it in 30 fewer games.
However, Wild Bill has put together a fantastic season at the plate and has been one of the overall best offensive catchers in the National League. He leads all NL catchers with 77 RBIs, and his production has been more than enough to merit consideration to be the first Brewers catcher to ever win a Silver Slugger Award.