Maddon Preaches Patience as Schwarber Continues to Make Mechanical Changes

Joe Maddon spoke in detail about Kyle Schwarber‘s development during his media availability at the Winter Meetings last week. The Cubs manager was jubilant about his outfielder’s potential for 2019 and he believes we should all exercise more patience as Schwarber continues to develop.

“We need to nurture methods, thought process at the plate,” Maddon emphasized.

One of those thought processes could be Schwarber’s approach when behind in the count. We highlighted the way pitchers changed their pitch sequencing in the second half by throwing more pitches away to Schwarber. Combine that with a barking back and it’s no wonder the slugger struggled as 2018 wound down.

Despite those issues, Schwarber still finished with a .343 wOBA and had a 118 DRC+ that surpassed that of MVP candidate Javy Baez (115). Maddon still believes the best is to come for Schwarber and that more at-bats will make a dramatic difference.

“[Schwarber] missed an entire year [in 2016], and he’s still playing catch-up regarding at-bats,” Maddon explained

The mental side of the game will factor, but Maddon believes Schwarber’s ongoing mechanical changes will yield greater value. In fact, the Cubs manager thinks Schwarber’s issues — like his abysmal clutch performance — are “mostly mechanical.” Maddon finished his comments by reiterating that “[Schwarber’s] got all the ability in the world.”

While it’s not surprising that the Cubs are publicly hailing Schwarber as a developing slugger with astronomical potential, Maddon makes fair points. Consider that Schwarber has a career wOBA above .340 in nearly 1500 plate appearances. And it should be clear to anyone who’s watched him that he can be so much better.


Brendan Miller

Brendan Miller is part of the Cubs Related Podcast duo with Corey Freedman. Brendan, who has twice as many Twitter followers as Corey, often writes about baseball analytics and scouting for Cubs Insider.

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    1. Apparently, you didn’t watch him last year, especially in the first half when the back was OK. I think he was leading the league in assists and played league average or better in LF.

  1. Schwarber is a platoon player with some pop. Not much more. But I’ll always love him to death for the huge role he played in bringing the Cubs a title.

  2. I seem to remember a similar preaching of patience a few years ago in regard to Javy Baez. I agree with Joe…be careful about trading Schwarber too soon.

  3. Stop preaching patience. Light a fire under these guys. We want to see the potential fulfilled now. No more wasted seasons. The youngest of our guys are entering their third full season. Time to produce.

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