Cubs News: How Kyle Schwarber both excelled and fell short with Chicago

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Kyle Schwarber / Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Cubs: When it mattered most, Kyle Schwarber came through in big spots

Winning a World Series is all that any Cubs fan wanted and Schwarber was a big reason that wish came true. As previously mentioned, he returned to play in the 2016 World Series after months of rehabbing his knee which suffered torn ligaments back on April 7 of that year. Seven hits in 20 at-bats, including the leadoff single in the bottom of the 10th inning of Game 7.

I cannot fail to mention him mashing five home runs and hitting .333 in the 2015 postseason, in which the Cubs made it to the NLCS. His mammoth shot on top of the scoreboard in the NLDS clinching game is still celebrated to this day. Schwarber is a career .288/.405/.576 postseason hitter.

Schwarber displayed very solid power throughout his Cubs career. From 2017-2019 he hit 94 home runs and .829 OPS in 421, averaging 31 home runs a season. His season-high was 38 in 2019. The former first-rounder became the fastest Cub to reach 100 home runs in franchise history. He also took his walks at a rate that is considered between “great” and “excellent” by FanGraphs with a career walk rate of 13 percent. Average is considered 8 percent and “excellent” is considered 15 percent. Schwarber never walked in below 11.5 percent of his plate appearances in any given season.

In terms of making contact, he has always hit the ball hard. From 2017-2020 he averaged a 91.7 MPH exit velocity. He was fourth-highest in exit velocity in 2019 and 15th in 2020. It does not take computers and cameras for fans to see how hard he can hit the ball. He smashed the ball in college, and that is what drew Epstein to him when scouting him, and he was able to do that in the majors.