Contreras ready to build on success of last year

Mark Contreras grew up playing baseball in California and as a huge fan of Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.

It helped inspire him to be a great defensive player and he leaned on those memories of watching Griffey play once he made his own transition to the outfield in college.

“He was my favorite player growing up with everything he did. He was an amazing outfielder and I dreamed of doing things the way he did,” Contreras said.

Contreras started his baseball career as an infielder before moving to the outfield during his first season during his first year at California Riverside.

“My coach called me in and wanted to get me more playing time,” Contreras said. “We had some older players in the infield but he said there was a spot open in left field. As a freshman, I was excited about it. I didn’t care where I played. I just wanted to be in the lineup.”

Contreras never looked back, remaining in the outfield into his pro career, which began in 2017 when the Twins took him in the ninth round.

Read the full article in the Feb. 6 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at for as little as $38 per year.

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