Schwarber, Schwarber Never Changes

Breaking down the best hitting performances from yesterday's games.

Kyle Schwarber (PHI): 2-3, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB.

The Phillies signed Kyle Schwarber to their Big Bats Little Defense campaign alongside Nick Castellanos and others. Schwarber was coming off a .266/.374/.554 season with 32 homers in only 471 plate appearances. He was one of the better hitters in the 2021 season. The Phillies got a ball crusher and he’s continued to do that in 2022.

Last night Schwarber launched a 412-foot and a 431-foot bomb to help the Phillies beat the Nationals 11-0, finishing 2-3 with two homers, three runs scored, two RBI, and a walk. These two dingers were 24 and 25 on the season, solidifying his position as the NL home run leader and tying him in second in the Majors alongside Yordan Alvarez and behind Aaron Judge.

Over half of these home runs came after June began. And he’s been quite a different hitter as well. Since June 1st, he is slashing .269/.374/.672 with 14 homers and a 181 wRC+. He’s still walking at a 14% clip and has cut his strikeout rate to 25.9%. Before June, he slashed .185/.311/.410 with 11 dingers and a 100 wRC+ while striking out over 30% of the time. Fewer balls on the ground, more liners, and a 61.4% hard hit rate will do the trick. He’s absolutely smoking the ball while also making a good amount of contact. He’s been a patient hitter too, swinging at only 37% of pitches.

He’s become one of the most dangerous hitters around and leading off for the Phillies will give him plenty of plate appearances for some big numbers.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Tuesday:

Sam Haggerty (SEA): 3-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB.

Known for his speed in the minors, Haggerty has played little in the majors to show off what that could mean for a full season. His season-high plate appearances came last year with 94 and he swiped five bags. This year he started in Triple-A and stole 15 bases in 39 games. He’s been up and down a bit this year but has 35 plate appearances many off the bench. Last night was huge with a home run and a steal. You won’t see many more homers but if he keeps playing, those steals could stack up.

Eric Haase (DET): 2-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Haase is so hot right now. He has two dingers in two games plus two more last week. He smacked two hits yesterday, both over 100 MPH and both traveling over 350, but only one went out. Since the start of June, he is slashing .300/.338/.650 in 65 plate appearances. Interestingly, during this June surge, he’s struck out much more than the rest of the year, at over 30%. He’s swinging more and making less contact than earlier in the season but seeing solid results with a much improved hard hit and barrel rate.

Jack Suwinski (PIT): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Speaking of turning it on since the start of June, Jack Suwinski keeps on rolling with his fantastic season with the Pirates. Since June started, he is slashing .268/.372/.608 with nine home runs, including that three-homer game. He’s striking out more and walking more while hitting the ball a bit harder than earlier in the year. His hard hit rate isn’t that exciting and his profile looks a tad like Patrick Wisdom’s, but he’s still only 23.

Bobby Witt Jr. (KC): 2-5, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Witt has been on a bit of a cold stretch, dating back to the end of May. He did have a solid five-game stretch in mid-June but that hasn’t helped his overall line much at all. Since the end of May he is slashing .216/.286/.392 with five dingers and five steals. At least he’s racked up some counting stats. He’s still been hitting the ball as well as the rest of the year during this stretch too. Hopefully, last night is a sign of change as he crushed a ball 428 feet.

Alex Kirilloff (MIN): 3-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI.

Kiriloff had a couple of stints in the majors earlier this season for five games in April and five games in May, but he made it up more permanently it seems on June 17th. Since that recall, he is slashing .306/.328/.548 with three dingers and 17 RBI in 67 plate appearances. Two of those home runs came in yesterday’s game against the White Sox, one a 417-foot blast, the other only 389. He added another hard-hit single earlier in the game as well. His hard hit rate is over 50% so far this year so that power will come.

Max Muncy (LAD): 2-2, 2B, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, SB.

Muncy has been one of those BABIP enigmas this year alongside others like Christian Walker. He’s slashing .171/.326/.327 with a .193 BABIP. His season-to-season BABIP has been pretty wild though; .218 to .299, then .283 to .203 and back to .257 and now .193. Despite this, he’s still walking an absurd amount (18.4%) so his OBP is somehow over .300 and somehow nearly above his slugging. I know his year is wild but you should still play him. He’s getting on base in the middle of the Dodgers lineup and he has always been a good hitter. Something’s gotta give.

Cedric Mullins (BAL): 3-4, 2 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB.

After a somewhat quiet but solid season so far (at least compared to last year), Mullins has turned it up to 11 the last two weeks. I know he was mentioned in yesterday’s Batter’s Box with his home run but I want to specifically mention he is slashing .391/.453/.587 since June 23rd. This season has been pretty close to last year except for one thing and that is the power. His hard hit rate is still there but his barrels aren’t and HR/FB has been cut down to 6%. That may increase as the season goes on but I doubt we see him back to 2021’s power again.

Nathaniel Lowe (TEX): 2-3, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB.

Move over hot June, Lowe has been hot since the middle of May. From May 17th on, Lowe’s slash line is .318/.371/.580 for a 170 wRC+ with 11 homers in 170 plate appearances. There are only six players with a better wRC+ in that span and none of them are Aaron Judge. In that time, his hard hit rate is a solid 43.6% but what really shines is his 25% line drive rate. That line drive rate won’t be sustainable so I would expect his BABIP and average to drop a bit.

Ryan McKenna (BAL): 2-4, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB, SB.

McKenna has been coming off the bench pretty much all season for the Orioles, but got the start yesterday and took full advantage. He clocked his first home run of the season and third of his career with a go-ahead homer over that deep wall in left field. Fantasy wise there is not much else to say. He strikes out nearly 40% of the time and is a bat off the bench. He had a stellar game and may have a few more but not enough to add him to the squad.

 

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Jim Chatterton

Jim has written for Razzball and now is a part of the Pitcher List staff. He is a Villanova alum and an eternally optimistic Mets fan. He once struck out Rick Porcello in Little League.

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