Willson Contreras is the 17th player with at least 4 seasons of 20 or more homers with the Cubs
When Willson Contreras hit his 20th homer in 2022 last week, he became the 17th Cubs player with at least four seasons of 20 or more homers.
The leaders are Ernie Banks and Billy Williams with 13 seasons each, Sammy Sosa with 12 and Ron Santo with 11.
Four 2016 World Series champion Cubs are in the club. Anthony Rizzo hit 20 or more seven times for the Cubs, and Kris Bryant and Javy Baez hit it four times each to precede Contreras.
Among players in the 20th and 21st centuries, those with at least 10 seasons of 20 or more home runs have four of the five highest Fangraphs positional player wars in Cubs history. Santo, at 71.9, is trailed only by 19th century star Cap Anson (81.8). Banks (63.3) is second, Sosa (60.7) fourth and Williams (58.9) fifth.
Ryne Sandberg, with six 20-or-more homer seasons with the Cubs, sits between Banks and Sosa at 61.0.
The 2016 champions haven’t had enough time together to reach this level. Rizzo (32.8) is 16th, Bryant (31.1) 17th and Baez (19.9) 30th. The count continues for Contreras, who is 41st at 15.4.
The other three are also building numbers, but with other teams and with mixed success.
Rice: A main member of Aaron Judge’s supporting cast on the American League East-leading Yankees, Rizzo is tied with the Twins’ Byron Buxton for eighth in the majors and third in the AL with 28 homers. (until Sunday). Judge holds the category with 46. The Phillies’ Kyle Schwarber, who had three 20-or-more homer seasons with the Cubs, leads the National League with 34.
Treated to the Yankees last July, Rizzo hit eight home runs for them in 2021 after hitting 14 for the Cubs.
Rizzo’s career .265 batting average has dropped to .221 this season, but he has 52 walks and has been hit on 17 pitches for a .337 on-base percentage. With an .828 OPS, Rizzo created 136 more weighted points, 36% better than the major league average.
Bryant: Traded to the Giants last July, Bryant added to his home run list by hitting seven for them after hitting 18 for the Cubs in 2021.
He signed with the Rockies, but a predicted surge at Coors Field didn’t happen. Injuries sidelined Bryant for most of May and June, and he was out in August. Bryant has just 181 on-set appearances. His five homers all came in July.
Hitting .306/.376/.475 for an .851 OPS, Bryant is not far off his career .879 OPS. With a 125 wRC+, Bryant produced while on the lineup.
Bez: He gave the Mets a good few months after the Cubs traded him last July, hitting .299/.371/.515 with nine homers that brought his season total to 31.
It was a different story with the Tigers in 2022, however. After an .826 OPS in April, Baez fell to .681 on May 5 and hasn’t seen .700 again this season.
Now at 0.222/0.264/0.369 for a 0.633 OPS with 11 homers, Baez is far from what the Tigers expected. His 79 wRC+ is 21% lower than an average hitter, and adding to his list of 20 homer seasons is a long way off.