Chicago Cubs: What a difference one year makes for Kyle Schwarber

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

On June 22, 2017, amidst a dreadful slump, the Chicago Cubs sent Kyle Schwarber to Iowa. One year later, he’s painting a very different picture.

During his time in Triple-A, Kyle Schwarber regrouped – mentally and physically. When he returned to the Chicago Cubs on July 6, he put up drastically improved numbers. After a dramatic offseason transformation, it’s been a completely different story for the young slugger, who’s emerged as one of the Cubs’ most dangerous hitters.

Last year, expectations were sky-high for Kyle Schwarber to start the season. He was coming off a heroic performance in the World Series and the assumption was he would pick up right where he left off.

Despite high hopes from both the team and fans, Schwarber looked lost at the plate time and time again. In his first 64 games of the season the outfielder posted a .171 batting average, striking out 75 times. While the Cubs experimented with him in the leadoff spot, his power numbers suffered, hitting just 12 long balls with 28 RBI.

The then-struggling Schwarber left the Chicago Cubs no choice. The team sent him back to Iowa to work on his mechanics and regain confidence. Fast forward a year to Schwarber right now and he’s looking quite different.

New year, a new Kyle.

At the plate in 65 games this season, Schwarber has boosted his batting average to .239. That’s quite a jump from his .171 batting average before being sent down last year.

The left-handed hitter is also seeing the ball incredibly well at the plate as he’s drawn a team-leading 43 walks this season. Let’s put that in perspective. Including his return to the Majors last year, Schwarber drew 59 total walks.

Not only has the slugger been hitting for contact this season but Schwarber has been hitting the long ball. The young outfielder leads the Cubs with 15 home runs on the year and has hit three in the last five ballgames.

Not only has Schwarber made strides at the plate this season, he has looked much better defensively. Considered a liability in the outfield, he committed five errors last season. No one was afraid to test his arm.

It’s been a different story this year. Schwarber committed only one error to this point and recorded seven outfield assists. He leads the team and is tied for second among all outfielders in that regard.

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Based on the results we’ve seen from Schwarber so far this season, it’s hard to believe that at this time last year he was headed to the minor leagues. If he continues to play like this it’s pretty safe to say he’ll never have to worry about Iowa again.