Chicago Cubs: Scouting report compared Kyle Schwarber to Babe Ruth
By Jake Misener
An initial scouting report on Kyle Schwarber from beloved scout Stan Zielinski compared him to Babe Ruth – multiple times.
The lore surrounding Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber is prodigious. Yet to play his first full big-league season, his postseason exploits speak for themselves.
In two years of postseason play, the former first-rounder carries a .364/.451/.727 slash-line. Last year, he returned from what was believed to be a season-ending injury to DH for the Cubs in the World Series in Cleveland.
And, as they say, the rest is history.
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Speaking of history, longtime Chicago scout Stan Zielinski drew comparisons between Schwarber and one of the greatest players to ever play the game: Hall of Famer Babe Ruth.
"“I believed today,” Stan Zielinski wrote in May 2014. “I will send clip. To preview, squint your eyes and imagine a grainy film of Babe Ruth hitting a ball in the stands at Yankee Stadium. I swear I saw that reenacted today as the ball flew out over the 2nd fence in RF.”"
The details in this piece by Patrick Mooney on Zielinski and what he was to baseball are incredible – and it definitely warrants a reading.
Now that Schwarber is finally healthy and ready to see what he can do over a full season, Cubs fans are anxious. Will he live up to this hype? Is he the player Zielinski (and most who have watched him play) believe he is?
At this point, there’s no reason to think otherwise.
In seven games this year, the slugger has struggled a bit. He’s hitting just .222, but carries an impressive .382 on-base percentage out of the leadoff spot. Manager Joe Maddon is hoping Schwarber’s patience and approach help push the Chicago offense to new levels this season.
A love of the game – an insatiable work ethic
If there’s one thing we’ve already learned about Kyle Schwarber it’s this: he works hard. Maybe harder than anyone else in the league. It’s the only way you come back from a major knee surgery as quickly as he did last season.
Even as a college player, Schwarber showed that trait.
"“He really loves to play,” Zielinski wrote. “He can work out inconsistencies with his mechanics behind the plate with teaching. He’ll be a major-league catcher. … He has the best college bat I’ve seen in a long time, and remember I’m old so I’ve seen a lot of them."
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There’s no way to quantify what Zielinski brought to Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. But there’s no denying the eye he had for talent. With a World Series title under his belt, Kyle Schwarber hopes to be the next name on an impressive list of talent the longtime scout unearthed across the country.