This ridiculous Kyle Schwarber stat will irritate Cubs fans

The power-hitting outfielder continues to pile up the home runs in Philadelphia.
Los Angeles Angels v Philadelphia Phillies
Los Angeles Angels v Philadelphia Phillies / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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Kyle Schwarber has always been a prolific power presence, dating back to his early days with the Chicago Cubs. Decades from now, we'll all still be talking about his towering blast in the 2015 postseason that landed atop Wrigley Field's right field video board.

Since his departure, Chicago has struggled to find consistent left-handed power - and this statistic will undoubtedly irritate a few Cubs fans for that very reason.

Since joining the Phillies in free agency prior to the 2022 season via a four-year, $79 million deal, Schwarber singlehandedly has more home runs than every left-handed hitter the Cubs have sent to the plate. That's a pretty wild feat - and one that lays bare the team's struggles in the power department the last few years.

To this point in the 2023 season, the Cubs are as middle of the pack as it gets, ranking 15th in baseball in terms of slugging percentage. Last year, they finished the season 19th, with a .387 mark as a club. Schwarber, meanwhile, has slugged .489 during this stretch.

Cubs: Kyle Schwarber offers power, but with glaring holes in his game

This year, Schwarber has more home runs than singles - while leading the league in strikeouts and carrying a sub-.200 average. He's still bringing the power and a strong on-base percentage, but the dramatic drop-off in his average is problematic, to be sure.

Chicago's version of Schwarber on the roster can be found in Patrick Wisdom, who has played a smaller and smaller role as the season's gone on. But that's a loose comparison, at best, given Wisdom's strikeout rate is about 10% higher than Schwarber's and he walks at a 9.7% clip, compared to the Phillies outfielder's 17.8% rate.

According to Fangraphs, Schwarber's big picture contributions work out to a 1.0 fWAR, while Wisdom (playing on an MLB minimum salary deal) has been worth 0.5 fWAR. While Schwarber has been a major source of power from the left side, there's no way you can look me in the eye and say Phillies ownership feels super warm and fuzzy doling out $20 million to a strikeout-prone, defensive liability.

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