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Interested in your thoughts on how Schwarber stacks up offensively against other corner OF starters.
Thanks. Answers my question. So, maybe we need to give him more time and that there arent a lot of better alternatives O and D combined.So, looking at the data of Schwarber in 2019 here's a summary. His power is down a little but I think that's mostly weather related. Typically he hits better in the warm months as you'd expect. In terms of his batted ball profile, most of that looks normal though he's hitting more ground balls this year. In terms of his spray profile, he's taken 5% from each of pull and center and pushed it into his opposite field which is very interesting. His splits are also really interesting because he's essentially reversed his splits in 2019. Typically he's been terrible vs LHP and like 120 wRC+ vs RHP. This year he's 169 wRC+ vs LHP and 77 wRC+ vs RHP. Long story short, I think he's in the process of making some adjustments and he's not fully comfortable with them. With that being said, for as much as they shift on him being able to go oppo 35%+ is gonna be a big deal if it continues. Additionally, hitting LHP is always going to be a big deal for him. I don't buy that he is bad vs RHP. He had like 1100 PAs vs RHP and has shown he's pretty good there.
Now your initial question was Schwarber vs other presumably LFers offensively. There's kind of two takes I have on that. That is to say what he is now vs what I think he can be. I'll start with what I think he can be because I mean it's entirely opinion based and I can't really show facts. I think he can be a better hitter though probably not better player than Bryant. Schwarber hit .334/.432/.619 in the minors. Bryant hit .325/.424/.661 in the minors. So you're talking higher average and OBP but slightly less power although having seen them in the majors it feels like Schwarber gets to his power more than Bryant. And I realize saying this may seem silly because Bryant was basically Bryant day one where as Schwarber I'm still talking about adjustments being made. But consider this... Schwarber has 1390 PAs(not counting today and age 22 to 25 though with the year missing) and is a career .229/.339/.464(112 wRC+ hitter). Rizzo's first 3 major league seasons(age 21-23) he had 1211 PAs and hit .238/.324/.412(103 wRC+). So, be careful on giving up on a guy like Schwarber's potential because it's not uncommon for LH power hitters to take awhile to develop.
As for where he is vs your typical LFer... If you look at 2018 fWAR he was 5th in LF if you exclude guys who primarily played other positions or at least split time in another position. Simply put, LF is kind of weird. It's a position where teams are like we don't know what to do with you so we're sticking you here. What I mean by that is you effectively have 2-3 "types" of hitters. There's the big guy LF like Schwarber, the CF type who can't play CF like Brett Gardner and there's usually a utility guy type like Zobrist who's good enough to be in the line up but you don't have any where else for him. The other two groups compared to Schwarber doesn't really make sense IMO because you're expecting different things out of the position namely lead off type hitters.
As for Schwarber vs the more hitting focused LF types, I think he compares pretty favorably. I mean if we're talking Rhys Hoskins Juan Soto, Ozuna, David Peralta, Braun, Kemp and say Alex Gordon in this group there are maybe one or two guy's I'd consider over Schwarber based on where his bat is today but he's definitely in the top half of the group. Most of these guys aren't good defenders. Gordon is great. Braun is average for a LF as are Ozuna and Peralta. Soto was pretty below average. Hoskins is a fucking train wreck. Kemp is also pretty bad. Schwarber in terms of UZR was right behind Gordon mainly because of his arm and the fact he rarely misplays balls he gets to. Schwarber's problem is his range which is average. I'd make the case that Schwarber isn't as good as UZR thinks but that he's some where between average and good and probably put him in the Braun/Ozuna/Peralta grouping defensively.
In terms of his bat, Soto killed it obviously but his defensive range is quite a bit worse than Schwarber and he has a worse arm. If all you want is the bat then sure I'd take Soto even with the possible potential Schwarber has that I mentioned. But for me defense matters. Peralta also killed it hitting .293/.352/.516(130 wRC+) last year. Hoskins hit .246/.354/.496(129), Kemp hit well last year but cincy already cut him so I'm not gonna bother talking about him. Schwarber hit .238/.356/.467(115). Ozuna hit .280/.325/.433(108). Braun hit .254/.313/.469(105). And Gordon hit .245/.324/.370(89). So of this group if we exclude Soto, I really only see the argument for like 2 guys and that's Peralta and Hoskins from a bat perspective. But to start with Hoskins is the butcher people think Schwarber is defensively. Like he's BAD bad. Peralta I'd also knock down a little for playing in AZ. He's a .273/.332/.439(106 wRC+) hitter on the road and a .314/.363/.528(131) hitter in AZ.
Long story short, even if you're just talking the bat vs similar use case players to Schwarber I think he's pretty compelling if you can live with him hitting .238. He got on base more than anyone but Soto so to me the average doesn't matter *that* much. And in terms of power, Hoskins has more but he's a terrible defender. As such I'd argue Schwarber is actually underrated by fans. And obviously I think there's a lot more meat on the bone so to say for him from a development stand point. The way I see it, he's pretty damn good vs similar LF's in terms of 2018 numbers. So, any bit he improves just pushes him farther away from the pack.
For my money the only LF i'm taking over Schwarber are Yelich(if you consider him a LF), maybe Soto, and maybe Beintendi. Rest like Gordon and Peralta I think are basically in the same tier as Schwarber.
for non pitchers as the cubs teamOn a side note I have noticed that all the Cubs are going opposite field well and powerfully. Think this could be the new hitting coach?
Yeah I mean I think people just naturally think that LF is the LF of the early 2000's where you're finding tons of MVP bats like Bonds, Sheffield, David Justice, Luis Gonzalez...ect. When you actually look at the guys who play LF these days for me anyways it's just kind meh. If you exclude Soto and Yelich are we really saying Schwarber can't be better than Peralta who seems to be the #3 hitter pure hitter after those 2? Rest of the group seem to be mostly defense and decent but not great offense combos.Thanks. Answers my question. So, maybe we need to give him more time and that there arent a lot of better alternatives O and D combined.