Chicago Cubs: Kyle Schwarber, streaky as ever, went off in June
Man, when Kyle Schwarber gets hot, he is hot.
The former Cubs first-rounder put on a prodigious power-hitting display last month, smacking 16 home runs – the second-most ever in big league history for a single month. The only guy to ever hit more? Another former Cub in Sammy Sosa, who belted 20 during his 1998 NL MVP campaign en route to 66 long-balls on the year.
As I’m sitting here on Saturday morning with my coffee writing this before Fourth of July festivities kick off, we’re awaiting an update on Schwarber, who suffered a hamstring injury in the Nationals’ loss on Friday night. But that shouldn’t take away from what he’s done at the dish.
The NL June Player of the Month boasts a .909 OPS and 153 OPS+ on the year, due largely in part to his 25 home runs and subsequent .570 slugging percentage – the fifth-highest mark in the Senior Circuit. (For what it’s worth, Castellanos ranks second in that category, so that’s fun).
Hoyer decided to move on from Schwarber after he put up some truly awful numbers during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. When funds were made available later in the offseason, the Cubs brought in longtime Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson to replace Schwarber and while he’s held his own, he’s certainly fell well short of impacting the team in the same way Schwarber has made his presence felt in Washington, D.C.