Chicago Cubs: These 10 players must have success this season

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Continued progression in the cards for Schwarber?

Kyle Schwarber‘s road so far in his big league career isn’t what we’d all envisioned when the Chicago Cubs drafted him in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft. A legendary postseason debut, a brutal injury and triumphant return and a position change – all in his first four years in the big leagues.

But he’s rolled with the punches to become a more than serviceable left fielder and a legitimate threat in the Cubs lineup. Last season, despite hitting below the .240 mark, Schwarber turned in an .823 OPS – his best since his rookie season, which was only 69 games following a midseason call-up.

He’s combined to hit 57 home runs between the last two seasons and underwent a dramatic physical transformation last winter in an effort to become a more well-rounded player. The result? By some metrics, he’s one of the strongest defensive left fielders in the league – oh, and he legged out a trio of triples in 2018, as well.

The question now is whether Schwarber can translate his eye at the dish into more base hits. His .356 on-base percentage stands as a testament to his abilities. But he’s going to need to drive the ball more often to help deepen the Cubs’ lineup beyond the likes of Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo.

If he continues to progress the way we’ve seen, expect big things from Schwarber. Because, clearly, this is a guy who has no intention of settling for mediocrity on the diamond.