Kyle Schwarber was at Wrigley Field Tuesday and took batting practice prior to the game against the Reds with the front office in attendance. Schwarber will soon report to the Cubs complex in Arizona for the Fall Instructional League.
Kyle Schwarber told the beat writers he wants to catch, something Theo Epstein thinks he has a chance of doing and the Cubs are willing to give him a shot behind the plate. Schwarber said he has a passion for catching and it’s up to him to prove that he can handle the position.
Schwarber caught 20 of the 72 games he played in this year and according to the Tribune, Daytona’s skipper Dave Keller had him catch LHP Rob Zastryzny every five days. Keller credited Zastryzny’s turn around with being paired with Schwarber. Keller thinks Schwarber has the instincts to handle a pitching staff.
Kyle Schwarber received an honorable mention from Keith Law for the best debut from the 2014 draft class. Law pointed out how well Schwarber performed at the plate after his promotion, and an adjustment period, to Daytona.
In 44 games for the D-Cubs, Kyle Schwarber hit .302/.393/.560 with nine doubles, a triple, 10 home runs and a .952 OPS. And for the season (72 games), Schwarber put together a .344/.428/.634 line with 18 doubles, two triples, 18 home runs, 39 walks, 57 strikeouts and a 1.061 OPS.
To no surprise Keith Law named Kris Bryant the top prospect in baseball for the 2014 season … and pointed out that Bryant “blew away the field.”
The other players that Law included in his report as contenders for the title of the top prospect of 2014: Mookie Betts (Red Sox), Joey Gallo (Rangers), Corey Seager (Dodgers), J.P. Crawford (Phillies), Clint Coutler (Brewers), Lucas Giolito (Nationals), Nomar Mazara (Rangers), Daniel Norris (Blue Jays) and Tyler Danish (White Sox).
Bruce Levine spoke with a veteran scout from an American League team that has been very impressed with Kris Bryant. The scout told Levine he would put an eight (2-8 or 20-80 scouting scale) on Bryant and explained, “He is such an impressive young player who appears to have an insatiable desire to work. Every day I was at the ballpark early, he was there before anyone else taking groundballs. The Cubs may have a great one in Bryant.”
News and Notes
Iowa Cubs 2014 Highlights Video
Andrew Green posted the Smokies Season Review earlier this week. The Smokies were the Southern League Organization of the Year and set an attendance record while seeing many of the top prospects in the Cubs system make their way to East Tennessee. Eight Smokies were named Southern League All-Stars and several players received weekly and monthly honors from the Cubs and Minor League Baseball.