Can Kyle Schwarber Become “Scary Good”?

Kyle Schwarber has been a critical talking point when it comes to the Cubs lately. The argument is that he would be better suited on an American League team as a Designated Hitter. This argument has many fans requesting that the Cubs should try and trade him. According to Brad Berreman on FanSided, Schwarber is the number one player the Cubs need to sell off this offseason. Frankly, other writers also think this is what the Cubs should do. However, the Cubs should keep Schwarber, and here’s why.

Kyle Schwarber hitting his 100th home run setting a team record on the fastest player in cubs history to hit 100 HRs (Courtesy WGN Sports)

The Eye Test

Now, this part of the argument is justified and unjustified at the same time. The eye test is simply a variable when trying to judge a player. However, when watching Schwarber, he gives the Cubs quality at-bats more than anyone on the roster. Need Proof? According to baseball-reference, Kyle Schwarber had 126 ABs where he got himself into a full count. That’s 50 more ABs then Rizzo, Heyward, Baez, and Castellanos on the year. The only one on the Cubs roster with anything close was Bryant with 103 ABs. Not only does this show Schwarber’s ability to get into long counts, but it also adds to some truth that the Cubs lacked players that can work up the opponent’s pitch count. I made a post on the Overtime Heroics Forums that asked who was the second most consistent player for the Cubs after Castellanos and I answered Schwarber. Even after the season, he is still my answer looking back. Having the power he has, the ability to get himself into high counts, something that Zobrist excelled at but was absent due to personal reasons.

Courtesy SB Nation

The Numbers Back-Up Kyle Schwarber’s Potential

Schwarber’s ability to get into deep counts is on par with Schwarber’s ability to jump on the ball early on. On 1-0, 2-0, 1-1 counts as well as on the first pitch, Schwarber is batting a combined .395 BA/ .394 OBP/ .892 SLG/ 1.285 OPS. This isn’t including the 22 HRs and 50 RBIs. Schwarber is great ahead of the count. The only issue with Schwarber is when he gets behind in the count. Schwarber stats plummeted tremendously when it comes to being behind the count. According to the official MLB site, behind the count, Schwarber bats .191 BA/ .200 OBP/ .284 SLG/ .484 OPS. This is where the questioning begins. If his hitting can be good, is he worth keeping at Leftfield, and can he develop to be a crucial piece in a postseason run?

The simple answer is yes. Schwarber can develop to be apart of postseason runs for years to come. Trading Schwarber isn’t the answer with the Cubs, especially with Kris Bryant potentially on the way out. Schwarber has improved in the outfield since first joining the team. While others are arguing that the Cubs need to trade him, that would be a mistake.

Schwarber will be “scary good,” and he will leap into a successful 2020 season. He showed this past season that he has the potential to take this leap not only in hitting but in fielding as well.


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