Chicago Cubs aren’t going to trade Kyle Schwarber anytime soon
By Jake Misener
Chicago Cubs: Schwarber showed resilience in tough 2017 season
As the Cubs opened Cactus League play last spring, Joe Maddon had a plan for Kyle Schwarber. To use him as a weapon out of the leadoff spot – an intriguing idea, to say the least.
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Looking back, we know this experiment failed in every way imaginable. Schwarber put up a measly .190/.312/.381 slash-line out of the leadoff spot. As the first batter of a game, matters got even worse. He hit just .161/.278/.194 – and, just like that, things headed south. He never seemed comfortable at the dish in the first half and, to the surprise of many, the Cubs sent him to Triple-A Iowa to get his head and swing right.
With the I-Cubs, the former first-rounder seemed to figure some things out. He batted .343/.477/.714 in 11 games, earning his way back to Chicago for a second-half push. After the All-Star Break, he looked like a different hitter – though not to the level fans hoped for.
Steps in the right direction
From the first to second half, Schwarber saw his OPS climb 200 points. He hit .178 prior to the All-Star Game. After that, he hit a much more respectable .253. Granted, it’s still not what you want to see from a guy who carries such lofty expectations, but progress clearly took place.
He drove the ball more consistently, as well. Seventeen of his 30 home runs came down the stretch. The power is still there. But, heading into 2018, we may see a very different approach from the young outfielder.