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Chicago Cubs: What will be the team’s biggest storylines in 2017?

Oct 26, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs player Kyle Schwarber hits a RBI single against the Cleveland Indians in the 5th inning in game two of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 26, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs player Kyle Schwarber hits a RBI single against the Cleveland Indians in the 5th inning in game two of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 2, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs player Kyle Schwarber hits a single against the Cleveland Indians in the 10th inning in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 2, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs player Kyle Schwarber hits a single against the Cleveland Indians in the 10th inning in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

A full season of Schwarber: what does it mean?

The hype is unlike anything we’ve seen. Fans are clamoring to see what Kyle Schwarber in the lineup for a full season does to the Cubs’ offense.

And, really, who could blame them?

He made history already with his postseason performances. Now, with his eyes set on being a big part of the Chicago lineup every day in 2017, the sky seems to be the limit for the catcher-turned-outfielder.

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Chicago Cubs /

Chicago Cubs

Michael Niederman: Given the unknown production possibilities, I think the biggest story of the year will be Kyle Schwarber. We haven’t seen him play a full season in the Major Leagues so we don’t know where his ceiling is. Add in the fact that he doesn’t have a set defensive position, it will be interesting to see how he handles constant change and if that will affect him at the plate. The first step is to stay healthy. After the superhuman effort he put forth in the World Series, it’s safe to say we are all anxious to see what he will do next.

Regular season success limited

In 71 career regular season games, Schwarber is a .242/.353/.479 hitter. The average leaves plenty to be desired, but his performance in the postseason has been nothing less than stellar.

Ryan Tadych: Kyle Schwarber’s return and monster homers will be the ongoing storyline throughout the season, but the Cubs winning back to back championship could end up being the biggest and the beginning of a dynasty could be forming. As with any team, there’s one wild card: injuries. Injuries could change things, but with the depth the Cubs had, they should be fine unless key players go down with major injuries.

With two years of deep postseason runs under his belt and a fully-recovered knee, Kyle Schwarber represents one of the most obvious candidates for Comeback Player of the Year in the NL.

If he’s healthy and takes the field on a regular basis in 2017, the Chicago Cubs’ offense may take a huge step forward from its title season just one year ago.

Next: Looking at Cubs' players MLB The Show 17 ratings

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