Chicago Cubs Gradeout: Kyle Schwarber put on power display in 2015


LF/C. Chicago Cubs. KYLE SCHWARBER. A-. 69 games, 57 hits, 52 runs, 6 2B, 16 HR, 43 RBI, .246 avg

It all started in 2014 when the Chicago Cubs drafted a 21-year-old catcher from Indiana University in the first round of the MLB Draft. This was the Cubs third consecutive Top 10 first round draft pick and like they had done in the previous year’s draft, they went straight for power and chose Kyle Schwarber.

Coming into spring, Schwarber was expected to be a September call up at most, but things quickly changed in June when the Cubs played six consecutive Interleague road games and decided to call up Schwarber to be their designated hitter in both Cleveland and Minnesota.

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He excelled offensively, collecting four hits and two RBI in his first big league start, but as the Cubs promised, he was sent back to Triple-A after appearing in six games during Father’s Day week.

The Cubs did not have any plans to call him back up later in the season, but things changed again in mid-July when the Cubs starting catcher, Miguel Montero suffered a thumb injury that led to a stint on the disabled list.

Chicago recalled Schwarber on July 16th and he continued to excel with his bat, when he hit both a game tying and go ahead homer run in a July 21st 5-4 extra inning victory over the Reds.

Schwarber was doing so well offensively, the Cubs decided to keep his bat in the lineup once Montero returned and found a spot of him out in left field.

While Schwarbers’ defense was shaky at times throughout the playoffs, he only committed one error in 41 games in LF.

He did, however, commit four errors behind the plate, but for a 22-year-old rookie – who has always been questionable on his defense – Kyle held his own throughout his 69 games in both the outfield and behind the dish.

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Schwarber provided the Cubs with a .246 average with 16 homers and 43 RBIs. The more impressive statistics are his postseason stats, where he clubbed a franchise record five homers, including one that landed on the video board in right field.

Schwarber also has the most homers in a single postseason by a player age 22 or under in MLB history.

It’s quite impressive for a player his age, who hasn’t even played a full season in the big leagues, to already have the Cubs record for most postseason homers, and he is definitely going to get more opportunities.

All in all, Schwarber put on quite the show for Cubs fans throughout the season and I give his season a A- rating. His major flaw being the defense. His bat will provide a lot of offense in the years to come. The only question remains is how will his defense hold up and is he the Cubs catcher of the future?

Only time will tell.