Chicago Cubs: Looking at Kyle Schwarber’s first full season
Kyle Schwarber has nearly completed his first full ML season. We check in on his progress, particularly since his return from Triple-A to the Chicago Cubs.
Chicago Cubs‘ slugger Kyle Schwarber has had a whirlwind season, to say the least.
Throughout the course of the season, he has been penciled in every spot, 1-through-9, on Joe Maddon‘s lineup card.
Trying to figure it out
Having debuted as the leadoff man to begin the first half of the season, Schwarber struggled and was sent to the minors before the All-Star Break.
His stay was short-lived as it didn’t take long for him to rediscover his approach at the plate.
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People and fans on social media, and anywhere with a take on Schwarber, seem split on him.
Some like him, some are ready to trade him whenever the next rumors roar.
Despite the latter not happening anyway, those trade requests should quiet down until at least the offseason — He’s still not going anywhere, by the way — now that the calendar has turned toward September.
So since he’s been back with the big-league club, what are your thoughts?
When Schwarber was sent down I wrote about how I would not be surprised if he would get on the type of second-half run he displayed in 2015 following his ML debut against the Indians.
In that season he hit so well there was no way they could force his bat out of the lineup.
For the first-half of 2017, Schwarber hit .178. His average since the All-Star Break is 60 points higher.
I’ve thought it interesting to casually compare Schwarber to Yankees sure-fire Rookie of the Year, and MVP candidate for most of the first-half, Aaron Judge.
Both are in their first full-season, but also because since the second-half, the numbers may surprise you. Since the All-Star Break:
Schwarber’s slash line .238/.333/.540/.873.
Judge’s slash line: .179/.346/.344/.690.
As both players are in their first full season, struggles are normal, and adversity was sure to catch up to Judge.
Overall, Schwarber is right around the Mendoza Line, and while that likely won’t change much the rest of the way, he would make Brad Pitt in Moneyball proud because “He gets on base!”
In the second-half of the season, Schwarber is third in walks right behind Bryant and Rizzo.
His .873 OPS for the second-half only trails Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Javier Baez. Tommy La Stella and Addison Russell are technically in that mix but each has only played roughly half the games.
Taking good with the bad
Sometimes Schwarber has an at-bat, a game, even a week that makes you wonder if he has figured it out.
He struck out in eight-consecutive plate appearances during an August stint only to follow that up with eight-consecutive AB’s in which he wound up on base.
He might look awkward on one swing only to homer twice later in the same game.
Schwarber might feel like an all or nothing hitter at times, but the numbers bear out more than that once you dig in a little bit.
Looking back, maybe him leading off threw him off his game. Maybe struggles were destined to find a player with just 236 career regular season AB before the season and just four all of last year.
Next: Addison Russell scratched from Triple-A rehab start
You knew teams were going to make adjustments after the way he jumped into the World Series action and hit .412. They say that doesn’t just typically happen.
This game of baseball is hard after all.