Chicago Cubs: Kyle Schwarber’s discipline, leather helping resurgence

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Discipline drives success

For Kyle Schwarber, one aspect of his game which has been driving early season success has been his plate discipline.

So far this season, Schwarber is swinging at fewer pitches outside of the strike zone, more pitches inside the strike zone and is seeing his overall contact numbers increase because of it.

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According to Fangraphs, Schwarber, so far this season, has swung at 24.6 percent of pitches outside the zone. It is down from 28.2 percent in 2017. That being said, his contact rate for pitches outside the zone has increased from last season. What does this mean? Schwarber is decidedly smarter about what pitches he attacks outside the zone.

Overall, his contact rate has risen from 72.4 percent in 2017 to 75.1 percent this year. Schwarber is making contact with three-quarters of all pitches he sees.

Continuing the trend, Schwarber’s strikeout rate has dropped like a rock. Last year, he struck out roughly one of every three at-bats (31 percent). This year, he’s down nearly seven percent – to 23.3 percent. His walk rate? Yep, that’s up, too. He’s walking in 13.6 percent of his trips to the plate – up from 12.1 percent a year ago.

To add to how high his discipline has been so far this season, Schwarber has decreased his swings and misses from 12.2 percent to just over 10 percent. Understandably, it is a month into the season. However Kyle Schwarber continues to be smart at the plate, and it continues to reap the rewards.