Kyle Schwarber's Perfect Throw, Voodoo Hit (VIDEOS)

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Kyle Schwarber’s Perfect Throw, Voodoo Hit (VIDEOS)

Chicago Cubs

Although Kyle Schwarber’s outfield defense has rightly come under criticism from time to time, those reviews are almost exclusively tied to his initial jumps, route-decisions, and overall inconsistency. There’s certainly reason (and numbers!) to believe that he’s improved a great deal out there over the course of the 2018 season, but it’s not like he’s squashed all of the negativity, at least not yet.

HOWEVER, there’s one aspect of his outfield defense that doesn’t often come under blast, and that’s his arm/throws. As a former catcher, Schwarber’s not new to making quick, strong, accurate throws on a moment’s notice, and it seems that skill has translated well to the outfield:

Kyle Schwarber nailed Nicky Delmonico at the plate yesterday from left field and that was already his second outfield assist of the season, which is tied for 16th best in baseball. Peaking at the advanced stats, Schwarber’s +1 rARM rating is 25th in baseball among all qualified outfielders and tied for first among left fielders. Dude’s got a cannon.

… And a lucky horseshoe hiding somewhere, because yesterday he had just about the luckiest hit I’ve ever seen. Batting with two outs and a full count in the bottom of the fourth inning, Kyle Schwarber hit this 39-MPH dinker in the air in the infield, and somehow it managed to find the ground in front of third baseman Matt Davidson, sneak around the bag, and roll just far enough away for him to get an easy, no-throw infield hit:

With that hit, Schwarber’s actually got a relatively large 10.8% infield hit rate, which is above his 7.3% career average and well above the league average of 6.9% (nice).

But, hey, if it counts, it counts. And as of the start of play today, Schwarber is slashing .270/.376/.540 this season (146 wRC+), which makes him a top 25-hitter in all of baseball and a top 15-guy in the National League. And to really drive home just how well he’s done, I’ll point out that Kris Bryant concluded his 2017 campaign with an identical 146 wRC+ (and beat it by just two points in his 2016 NL MVP season).

Sure, some of his hits may have been lucky, but it’s been one hell of a start.



Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami