Chicago Cubs: Who’s the best after Bryant and Rizzo?

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Kyle Schwarber – .250, 7 home runs, 17 RBI

As soon as Kyle Schwarber was called up to the majors the Cubs offense was transformed. Schwarber spent much of the 2015 season batting second in the order ahead of Bryant and Rizzo. In the 2015 season, Schwarber hit home runs that were almost immediately immortalized. One of those home run balls was encased in glass and mounted on top of the scoreboard in right field.

It seemed as if the trio of Bryant, Rizzo and Schwarber would be the core of the Cubs offense for years to come. Then Schwarber suffered the devastating knee injury that cost him nearly the entire 2016 season. But the Cubs valued him so much that they refused to trade him despite his name coming up over and over again in trade rumors.

The comeback

Then he miraculously returned from injury to DH during the World Series. Schwarber was inserted right into the heart of the batting order. He contributed to the offense in a big way despite only getting a chance to play in four games. And most importantly of all with the World Series on the line, Schwarber came out of that famous rain delay determined to start things off by getting on base to spark the comeback that would bring the Cubs their first World Series championship in 108 years. And that’s exactly what he did.

After struggling in the first half of 2017 as the Cubs leadoff hitter and being demoted to the triple-A, some Cub fans might not look at Schwarber so fondly. But in the second half of 2017 Schwarber hit much better than many fans may realize. This season Schwarber is once again one of the better hitters in baseball. It’s certainly debatable if Schwarber is currently the Cubs next best hitter. But if I had to bet, I’d put my money on him to end up being exactly that in the long term.