Cubs fans, take heart. The front office DID select someone of note in the first round. As you all know by now, Kyle Schwarber from Indiana University, has been selected with the fourth overall pick. I am sure this came as a surprise for most of you, but this selection was great and here’s why.
Schwarber just destroys baseballs. He is considered to be the best college hitter, in this year’s draft and this is significant. Ever since the NCAA changed the bats, in 2011, the numbers of college players have adjusted to more “wood bat” like numbers. This for example is why Kris Bryant’s monster college numbers were something to really behold (31 home runs in 62 games). Schwarber’s numbers are pretty darn good and even give hints to his total potential. He has some speed to go with his larger frame. In his short college career he had 41 doubles and 12 triples. He is also projected to hit for average and power in the majors. He could develop his catching ability, but will very likely end up in the outfield.
Another thing to consider is the fact that he is a left handed hitter. The Cubs have been so heavily right handed, for so many years, he could help balance out the lineup. I’ll let you all consider what sort of hitting power the Cubs might have in a few years. Schwarber, again, is a college pick and will likely be fast tracked to the majors. He just has less to work on, at least offensively. He has patience at the plate and a pretty good swing. The swing can be improved though. He maybe attempts to hit harder thus causing a strange follow through. He still gets results though and this oddity isn’t often. Most of the time his hands are through the zone and fast.
The last positive is that he has many of the intangibles. By all accounts he is a great clubhouse guy and is someone that will rally the team. If you don’t believe the hype there, just look at what he did in the 2013 College World Series. It was the first appearance for the Hoosiers and the first Big Ten team to make it since 1984. A ton of that had to do with Schwarber killing the baseball, backing some good pitching.
Now for the so-so part.
He isn’t Brady Aiken, Alex Jackson, Nick Gordon, etc etc. I am sure there are Cub fans that are confused or even mad about the pick. I personally would of loved to have either Aiken or Jackson, but there are two more things to consider. The first is that Aiken was never going to fall to the fourth pick, leaving the Cubs with the options they had. The other is that the front office is going to sign Schwarber in an underslot deal. The money saved WILL translate to the Cubs taking chances at guys that are very good and just needed some “convincing”.
I’ll leave you all with a video of Schwarber from his freshman year, just ignore the Reds comment.
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