The Cubs’ first round pick in the 2014 draft has had an incredible first full year in professional baseball. And Friday, MLB Pipeline named Kyle Schwarber its Position Player Prospect of the Year. Schwarber is the second Cubs’ prospect in as many seasons to receive the honor. Kris Bryant was MLB Pipeline’s top position player prospect last year.
Kyle Schwarber started the season with Double-A Tennessee. After spending six games in the majors in June, Schwarber was optioned to Iowa and during the All-Star break he earned the MVP award in the SiriusXM Futures Game. Schwarber returned to the big leagues after the break due to the injury to Miguel Montero and has surpassed any and all expectations for this season.
In 58 games with Double-A Tennessee, Schwarber batted .320/.438/.579 with 10 doubles, a triple and 13 home runs for a 1.017 OPS. Schwarber walked 42 times with 49 strikeouts in 243 plate appearances. Schwarber was named a Southern League All-Star before his call-up in June. Schwarber was replaced in the starting lineup for the All-Star Game by Willson Contreras.
Schwarber was 8-for-22 with a triple and a home run in his six-game pit stop in the majors. After reporting to Iowa, Schwarber hit .333/.403/.633 in 17 games with seven doubles, a triple and three home runs for a 1.036 OPS.
Since returning to the Cubs, Schwarber has hit .253/.358/.567 in 45 games with five doubles, 14 home runs and a .925 OPS. And the Cubs are 32-19 with Schwarber in the lineup.
Kyle Schwarber has hit .267/.362/.570 in 51 big league games with five doubles, a triple and 15 home runs for a .932 OPS. And he recorded the third multi-homer game of his big league career on Friday night.
The Cubs still view Kyle Schwarber as a catcher and he made enormous strides defensively over the last calendar year. Joe Maddon needed to keep Schwarber’s bat in the lineup and shifted him to the outfield when Miguel Montero returned from the DL. Schwarber will spend a month just working with Montero on his defense before pitchers and catchers report to Mesa after the first of the year.
MLB Pipeline’s 2015 Prospect Team of the Year for 2015
- C – Kyle Schwarber (Cubs)
- 1B – A.J. Reed (Astros)
- 2B – Yoan Moncada (Red Sox)
- 3B – Ryan McMahon (Rockies)
- SS – Corey Seager (Dodgers)
- OF – Lewis Brinson (Rangers)
- OF – Max Kepler (Twins)
- OF – Domingo Santana (Brewers)
- LHP – Blake Snell (Rays)
- RHP – Jose Berrios (Twins)