“You’ve scored another 100 runs like last year, and you’re about to get 100 RBIs. He’s got over 200 strikeouts, I don’t think his batting average is going to be under 2. He’s got 120 walks.”
Those were the words of New York Mets manager Buck Showalter as he glanced at a player’s stats before the team’s game against the Miami Marlins on April 20 (ET). “I’ve never seen anything like it in the history of baseball,” he said, pausing for a moment to marvel, “What we’ve done in this day and age is we’ve taken the shame out of striking out.”
He was referring to Kyle Schwarber, 30, the Philadelphia Phillies’ left-handed slugger who is on pace to become the first 40-homer, one-run hitter in Major League Baseball history.
The Mets begin a four-game series against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on April 22. In a preview of the season performance of the Phillies’ hitters, I was surprised by Kyle’s numbers.
Schwarber started in left field against the Atlanta Braves on April 21 and went 1-for-3 with one run scored, two walks and one strikeout. He had a four-game hitting streak going into the day, and was looking to break the double-digit mark, but went hitless, dropping his average back to .197 (109-for-554). He has 45 home runs, 99 RBI, 103 runs scored, 122 walks, 204 strikeouts, and an OPS of .820.
Schwarber’s batting average was in the low teens before he had five multi-hit games this month, raising his average to .201, but his recent string of no-hit games has pushed it back into the single digits.
However, Schwarber has been at the top of his game in terms of home runs and walks. His home runs are tied for second in both leagues behind Atlanta left fielder Matt Olson (52) and tied for third with the Mets’ Pete Alonso, while his walks are second only to the San Diego Padres’ Juan Soto (126).
Schwarber is the only player with more walks than hits among the 377 hitters with at least 34 hits to date. He also has 46 singles, just one more than his home runs. It’s not uncommon to see a hitter with a lot of strikeouts and home runs, but it’s rare to see a player with a batting average in the single digits.
The lowest batting average in Major League Baseball history among players who hit 40 or more home runs is Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox in 2012. He hit 41 homers that year and had a .204 batting average. No player has ever hit 40 homers and 1 HR. Despite his 1-for-1 batting average, Schwarber has a .345 on-base percentage. His batting average is dead last among 136 players with at least one plate appearance, but his slugging percentage is 44th. He’s tied for seventh in the NL in RBI, seventh in runs scored, and 22nd in OPS.온라인바카라
Schwarber’s numbers – not just home runs and batting average, but also runs scored, RBIs, walks, and strikeouts – are rare, even in the eyes of Showalter, who has 22 seasons in the big leagues.
Philadelphia ace Zack Wheeler said, “Schwarber is a guy who consistently hits for power. These aren’t just light, short home runs. These are home runs that go a long way. I saw one hit off the roof of the Chop House over there. Those are big hits.”
Schwarber played in 155 games last year and has missed just one game this season. He’s healthy. The Phillies signed him to a four-year, $79 million free agent contract last March. He hit .218 with 46 homers, 94 RBIs, 100 runs scored, and an OPS of .827 last year. He was the NL home run leader. He’s on pace for the most strikeouts this season after last year (200), but that’s a badge of honor for him.