Cubs' Williams, Wolters go back to talented travel team

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Trevor Williams (32) delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Saturday, May 8, 2021, in Chicago.

    Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Trevor Williams (32) delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Saturday, May 8, 2021, in Chicago.

 
 
Updated 5/9/2021 5:29 PM

Cubs pitcher Trevor Williams shared the story of his powerful travel team in San Diego. It also included current teammate Tony Wolters, as well as a few other recognizable names.

"The ABD Bulldogs; we had Christian Yelich on that team, Nolan Arenado, some guys like that," Williams said. "I think it's from like our freshman year on (in high school) we played travel ball together."

 

Williams said Wolters was actually the starting shortstop on that team, which also included Reds P/OF Michael Lorenzen.

"(Wolters) was originally drafted by the Indians as a shortstop, then they drafted some kid the next year named Francisco Lindor and he got catcher's gear in his locker the next spring training," Williams said with a laugh. "He's always had really good hands. He caught me in a tournament one time and we threw a five-inning no-hitter because we beat a team really bad.

"But it was awesome to see him get the opportunity with us. When he became available, I really pushed for him because I think he's a really great catcher. He loves catching, he loves pitch-calling."

After spending the past five years with Colorado, Wolters was released by the Pirates at the end of spring training. The Cubs needed a backup catcher when Austin Romine was injured, so it was a timely fit.

He's filled in for Willson Contreras a few times, but Wolters' most memorable moment of the season probably was his near steal of home in Cincinnati. He originally was called safe, but the play was overturned by replay.

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"He's a great dude," Williams said of Wolters. "He's a baseball rat. He's a guy that loves playing ball and he loves pushing the envelope. He's always thinking up there. He's always trying to get that one edge up on the next pitch, the next pitcher, the next play.

"He's thinking two, three steps ahead, which is awesome as a catcher when you're pitch sequencing and pitch-calling. But also as a player and a hitter, it's fun to see him do that."

Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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