Drew Silva looks back at Kyle Schwarber's slow start to the season and details how the slugger has managed to rebound with his trademark power stroke in recent weeks.
DREW SILVA: Philly slugger Kyle Schwarber was named the National League player of the month for June after posting a 10.65 OPS with 12 home runs, 27 RBIs, and 27 runs scored in a span of 27 games. Signed to a four-year, $79 million contract shortly after the lockout ended in March, there might have been a temptation to label Schwarber as a free agent bust as he struggled to a 1.85 batting average and 7.21 OPS through his first 206 plate appearances with Philadelphia between the first day of the regular season and the final day of May. But that is all in the rearview now, with the all-star break approaching and Schwarber suddenly ranking first overall in the National League home run leaderboard.
The advanced metrics love what he's doing, too. As of July 3rd, he's in the 96th percentile among all MLB hitters in both hard hit percentage and average exit velocity. He is 97th percentile in max exit velocity and expected slugging percentage, and 99th percentile in barrel rate. Known for his legendary power streaks, Schwarber is sure to experience ups and downs in the second half, but it's been all ups lately.