Chicago Cubs: Five players who need big seasons in 2017
Kyle Schwarber, OF
Kyle Schwarber is one of the most feared leadoff hitters in baseball. The guy is a beast and can hit the ball a long way. The baseball that currently rests atop the video board in right field is a testament to Schwarber’s power at the plate.
Last season was supposed to be Schwarber’s coming out party. He was primed to split time behind the plate and in left field, while hitting in the heart of the Cubs order. Instead, Schwarber tore up his knee in the third game of the 2016 season. Schwarber returned during the World Series, and hit .412 with two RBI.
If anyone needs a big season in 2017, it is Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber has not yet played a full season in a big league uniform after logging 69 games with the Cubs in 2015, and just two a year ago.
That Balls Outta Here
Schwarber has the ability to hit 40 home runs, but so far this season, it is his patience at the plate that is bringing him success.
The 24-year-old has drawn nine walks in 11 games so far this season. That is a big reason why Schwarber has a .365 OBP while sporting just a .214 batting average.
Some Cubs fans think putting Schwarber in the leadoff spot is a waste of his RBI-producing talent. Right now, his talent for getting on base is keeping the critics quiet.
OBP is king for leadoff man
Schwarber needs a big season in 2017 to show that he has fully bounced back from his knee injury a year ago. 30 home runs is not out of the question for Schwarber this season. Expect only about 80-85 RBI out of the lead-off spot, but an OBP north of .350 will make-up for the low RBI total.
This season will serve as Schwarber’s formal coming out party after he shocked Cubs nation in the postseason last year. Schwarber needs a big season, and with his abundance of talent, he will get it in 2017.