Schwarber, 22, was the 4th overall pick by the Chicago Cubs in the 2014 amateur draft. A native of Middletown, OH, he attended Indiana University-Bloomington where he honed an exceptionally solid swing to accompany his very natural power stroke.
He’s done well in the minors thus far clubbing a very solid slash line of .344/.428/.634 in 2014. He had 18 home runs, 53 RBI’s and another 20 extra base hits in 72 games. This season he’s staying right on track regardless of being boosted from Single-A ball to Double-A.
However his hitting isn’t in doubt. People are more skeptical about his catching prowess. The Cubs are hopeful that his hard work at catcher will pay off, as without him the future of the club’s backstop is still in doubt. He only had four errors last season while catching (He split his time as a catcher and a left fielder.) Left field isn’t a bad choice for him either as not much is known about their future plans either for that particular position.
Currently on roster for the Cubs at catcher is Miguel Montero, David Ross and Welington Castillo. Castillo has been on the trade block since they signed Ross to be Jon Lester‘s personal backstop and Montero isn’t a spring chicken anymore either. He should be serviceable for a number of years (more so than Ross) but in the end a younger back up will be needed sooner than later and it looks like they’ll be passing on Castillo’s long term services. To Schwarber’s benefit Ross’ contract is up in two years, Montero’s in three.
I think the Cubs’ brass is trying to get what they can for Castillo while his values high and at the same time make room for Schwarber to eventually come up when Ross leaves, as well as take over as the starting catcher when Montero’s contract has run it’s course (or possibly even sooner?)
Cubs fan may not see Schwarber with the big club anytime soon but if the development of his catching skills stays on track it won’t be long at all. He’s got the talent, determination and can-do attitude to get him there.
Catch you soon Kyle.