Washington's Kyle Schwarber is the talk of the town Image by Getty Images
After Schwarber's first season in the majors, Schwarber declared that Kyle Schwarber was a powerhouse.
Three seasons into Schwarber's career, Kyle Schwarber is still a shrewd Cubs fan.
Kyle Schwarber must be there every day!
We must designate Kyle Schwarber as the assignment writer.
For our playoff run, we need Schwarber back.
We don't need to resign Kyle Schwarber.
We should have resigned Kyle Schwarber.
Here's a brief summary of Kyle Schwarber's six-year stint with the Chicago Cubs. It was a period filled with promise, failure, loss, hope... and all that in between. Schwarber's first season with Washington Nationals saw him start the cycle all over again, hitting just.189 with a 1.621 OPS, and three homers in his 25 first games. Schwarber's batting average has been.291 over the past 43 games, with a 1.076 OPS of 1.076 and 21 dingers. Who is this guy? He has had two careers. Forrest Gump described him as a box full of chocolates. Because you never know what you might get on any given day, or during any given game stretch, it is impossible to predict the outcome. Schwarber has had a 46-at-bat streak with just three hits and another 38-at-bat stretch without any extra base hits. In his career, he has been hitless for at most 14 at-bats five times. He also hit just 15 home runs in 17 games. This tied him with Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds for the record for most in a 17-game span. Schwarber also has nine homers in 11 of his most recent games. This is the same number as Frank Howard (1968), who had the most in that time period. This is a staggering feat that has led many baseball fans to question if Schwarber is the most inconsistent player in recent years. Let's compare his numbers with those of other notoriously inconsistent players.
First, Lucas Duda. Because of his inconsistent performance, the long-serving New York Mets firstbaseman was a constant thorn on the side of Queens baseball fans. They loved him. They hated him. They hated him. Duda's career included 78 20-game streaks that had an OPS of 1.000 and better. Schwarber has experienced 48 of these streaks. If these inconsistencies were as balanced as they appear, then they should each have almost as many streaks with the opposite effect. For example, an OPS of.580. Duda achieved 77 20-game streaks that met this criteria. This is pretty inconsistent. Schwarber... 46. They are pretty close.
What about another guy? Jay Bruce, yup, another irritating Mets player. Bruce, who retired earlier this season, was known for his incredible, borderline All Star batting performance every year... during the first half. He fell apart faster than Game of Thrones' eighth season in the second half of the season. Bruce's seven best halves in terms of home runs were the first halves for 2017, 2013, 2009, 2012 and 2016. Bruce only had three halves in which he scored more home runs in the second half than in the first: 2008 (6 in half, 15 in half), 2010 (10, 15, and 2018 (3,6). Schwarber has been more consistent over full seasons. He has recorded the most home runs in a half-season (2021), but his five best halves come after game 81. Schwarber has a point. He is more consistent than Bruce.
The creme de la crème of inconsistent ball players is Ryan Raburn. He had three seasons with an OPS+ above 120 and three with an OPS+ 75 or lower. Schwarber is inconsistent, but he has never had an OPS below 90 in a full-season. Both players have a career average of.253, but Schwarber's on-base percentage and his slugging are 20 points higher. Schwarber can be inconsistent, but he isn't as inconsistent as Ryan Raburn.
This season, Schwarber has been a joy to watch. He is as strong as ever, and he was robbed in 2018. I hope he is invited to the Home Run Derby. Schwarber may be the most inconsistent player in the league's history, but he is the hottest hitter right now. At this point, I would rather pitch to Shohei Ahtani than Schwarber. If the latter's track record is any indication, it will come crashing down anytime soon. This will be a difficult fall but it is possible to witness an amazing stretch.