Kyle Schwarber is currently enjoying the best season of his career.
It’s also the first year that he has spent with a team other than the Chicago Cubs, as the 28-year-old is in his first season with the Washington Nationals.
With Schwarber excelling in a new city, many Cubs fans are regretting the team’s decision to let him go in free agency this past offseason.
Does that sentiment make sense or is it too soon to judge the decision?
We Shouldn’t Overreact To A 70-Game Sample Size
The Cubs were able to evaluate Schwarber based on his six years with the team.
That’s a pretty big sample size.
Therefore, it would be silly to act like we can accurately come to new conclusions on Schwarber after just a 70-game sample size with the Nationals.
Yes, he has been very good.
He is slashing .249/.336/.556 on the season and has homered 25 times.
He has been even better lately, as he batted .280 with a 1.122 OPS in the month of June.
Yep. Kyle Schwarber did it again 🤯
He's the second player in MLB history to hit 12 HRs in a 10-game span. Unreal.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) June 29, 2021
But it’s a long season.
There are no guarantees that Schwarber’s overall numbers now will have any resemblance to his numbers at the end of the year.
During his six years with the Cubs, Schwarber was a pretty inconsistent hitter.
Excluding the 2016 regular season (a year in which he barely played until the playoffs), he finished with an above-average OPS+ in three of his seasons with the team and a below-average OPS+ in two of them.
Some years he was great, no doubt, but other years, he was not a net positive.
Let’s wait and see if Schwarber can sustain his current success before we jump to any conclusions.
Even If Schwarber Sustains His Recent Success, That Doesn’t Mean It Would Have Happened In Chicago
If Schwarber does continue his torrid pace, a good number of Cubs fans will likely regret losing him.
But the truth is that there’s no telling how Schwarber would have performed if he had stayed with Chicago.
Sometimes a change of scenery is necessary for a player to level up.
All the time, we see players who simply aren’t good fits in certain situations.
If that was the case with Schwarber in Chicago, then maybe he needed to start fresh elsewhere in order to reach his full potential.
After All, The Cubs Won A Title With Him, So It’s Hard To Be Too Upset
While Schwarber was hardly a factor in the 2016 regular season, he came up big for the Cubs in the 2016 NLCS.
Over five games, he batted .412, reached base at a wild .500 clip, and slugged .471.
Chicago, of course, won its first World Series title in 108 years that season.
— MLB (@MLB) March 27, 2020
Any contribution is a key contribution when a season ends in a title, so the Cubs likely look at their time with Schwarber as a win.
For the time being, it’s perfectly fine to be a little frustrated that Schwarber is killing it for a different team, but fans should be patient with the Cubs’ decision to let him walk.
It’s very possible that he will come back to Earth in the near future.
On another note, MLB fans should be on the lookout for a potential Schwarber trade at the upcoming deadline.
He is only signed through the 2021 season, so if the Nationals fall off over the next month, they could become sellers at the deadline.