Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber is out to prove he can be more than a designated hitter. The 24-year-old has dedicated himself to getting in better shape this offseason, and it appears the plan is working thus far.
Some pictures emerged of Schwarber on Wednesday, and it looks like he’s lost a fair amount of weight.
Just a day in the life of Blue, who is a very good dog. pic.twitter.com/abSlTVHbpA
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) December 6, 2017
“OK, but that’s just one picture,” the detractors might say. And that’s a fair complaint, we’ve seen misleading shots of other athletes in the past. Pablo Sandoval and Eddie Lacy can look great or awful depending on the shot. And who can forget the one time Derek Jeter was apparently out of shape?
We do have some more evidence that Schwarber is svelte these days. The Cubs released video of Schwarber working out on Snapchat. We can’t link to that video, but you can pull it up on the app right now.
What we can do is show you a blurry Loch Ness monster-esque photo of Schwarber in action.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) December 6, 2017
From that angle, Schwarber looks like a different guy. If someone told you that was a picture of Ben Zobrist working out, would you buy it? We think we would. Schwarber looks great there.
This is all by design. In late November, ESPN writer Jesse Rogers heard from sources that Schwarber was “on a mission this offseason to “transform” his body and get back to being a hitter — not just a slugger.”
After last year, that’s probably a good decision. Big things were expected from Schwarber after his heroic return during the team’s World Series win in 2016.
He struggled to find his footing in 2017, hitting .178 in the first half and spending some time in the minors. Schwarber rebounded to hit .253/.335/.559 in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to save his season. Ultimately, his final slash line of .211/.315/.467 was a huge disappointment.
Schwarber has always been a big player. While that typically hasn’t impacted his hitting, his defense has come into question. If his new slimmed down look helps him achieve a solid balance of both, his big breakout might come a year later than everyone expected.
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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik