The Chicago Cubs players have been racking up awards in the last few seasons. Kyle Schwarber looks to add to that hardware in 2017.
Kyle Schwarber hasn’t even played a full season with the Chicago Cubs and he’s already a fan favorite. From his impressive rookie season in 2015 to his miraculous comeback in the 2016 World Series, Schwarber is ready to go. Not only will be contributing to the team on the field, he could also be chasing an award: the Comeback Player of the Year Award
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In 2015, Schwarber slashed .246/.355/.487 in 232 at-bats to go along with 16 home runs. He had an impressive rookie season and was poised for a big season in 2016. However, a collision with now former Cub Dexter Fowler during the third game of the season left him with a season-ending knee injury. Schwarber did not play the rest of the season but shocked the world when he returned for the World Series.
After not having faced live pitching since April, Schwarber batted .412 in the World Series with a couple RBIs. He also started the 10th inning rally in Game 7 that lead to the Cubs first championship in 108 years.
But everyone knows this already. Schwarber’s focus won’t be on winning the award, however. He’s going to do whatever he can to get the Cubs back to the World Series, both offensively and defensively.
From a fans perspective, it’s hard to ignore that fact that he could legitimately win this award. Schwarber’s2015 numbers were impressive. Based off his2015 numbers, Schwarber projects to hit 30+ home runs and 100+ RBIs over a full season. A season like that should definitely put him in the running. The question becomes if he can produce at that level all season long.
The 2016 winner was Anthony Rendon, who slashed .264/.344/.363 with 20 home runs and 85 RBIs. It’s easy to see Schwarber surpassing those numbers. The problem is that there is no set criteria to be eligible for the award. Typically, it’s given to a player who has re-emerged after a down year or from an injury. Schwarber definitely falls into that category, but it’s hard to predict who else in the NL does as well.
The Cubs have always been high on Schwarber. His return in the World Series proves the type of player he is. To go a whole season without facing live pitching and then come back in the World Series and bat .412 is impressive. He made more of an impact than anyone expected.
Because of that and his impressive rookie campaign, he is my pre-season pick to win the NL Comeback Player of the Year. For Schwarber, he just wants to stay on the field in 2017 and contribute any way he can.