Dexter Fowler was a catalyst for the Chicago Cubs in the leadoff spot for two seasons. In 2017, the Cubs had to replace him. The first option Joe Maddon turned to, without hesitation, was Kyle Schwarber. There are both good and bad to having Schwarber lead off. What are some of these pros and cons?
Home run potential:
It’s always nice to jump out to an early lead. Schwarber has the chance every time he comes to the plate to lead off a game to give the Cubs an early lead with one swing of the bat. That’s a rare commodity to have in a leadoff hitter and one quality that can not be understated.
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Schwarber brings some good things to the plate as a leadoff hitter. But, on the other hand, there are some negatives that have been found with Kyle Schwarber in the leadoff spot for the Cubs.
Low batting average:
Yes, in this day and age, batting average is pretty much becoming obsolete. But, Schwarber’s is currently under .200, which is not good for the lead off spot. However, Schwarber’s OBP is about 120 points higher than his batting average, and that will be enough 10 out of 10 times. Everything about Schwarber’s peripherals suggests he’s going to come out of this slump soon, and he has shown signs of coming out of it recently, over the past week or so.
- Missing a big bat in the middle of the lineup: This is a minuscule thing, but the Cubs can afford to get away with it. Schwarber’s bat profiles as a 4 or 5 hitter in any lineup, so, having him first may leave a team without a big bopper in the middle of the order. The Cubs have Rizzo, Zobrist, Russell, Contreras, etc. The Cubs can afford to get away with Schwarber leading off. This could be viewed as a positive in some light because it gives more pop inn the top of the order due to the depth that the Cubs have.