2014 Draft Focus: Kyle Schwarber

Ultimate Draft Book

Kyle Schwarber

Kyle Schwarber (Photo by Bill Mitchell)

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With his limitations defensively and the lack of a defined position, Indiana catcher-outfielder Kyle Schwarber was not seen as a consensus top-10 pick by most clubs in the 2014 draft. His bonus of $3.125 million, which was $1,496,200 under the slot allocated for the fourth overall pick, was also seen as both a compromise and a negative reflection of his overall ability.

But Schwarber could hit like no player in the 2014 draft and had intangibles to match. The savings in slot value on Schwarber's bonus also enabled the Chicago Cubs to be extremely aggressive in drafting players after the third round, and they signed each of their picks from the fourth to sixth round for bonuses of $1 million or more.

“He does everything that we like from an offensive standpoint in terms of controlling the strike zone, hitting for average, hitting for power," said senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod. “His makeup is off the charts."

The lefty swinging Schwarber hit .341 with 40 homers and a 116-91 walk-strikeout ratio in three years at Indiana, and his advanced hitting ability was prominently on display in a 147-game audition in the minors, where he hit .333 with 34 homers and 102 RBIs, and drew 88 walks. He also homered 16 times in 69 games as a rookie for the Cubs on their unexpected run to a post-season berth in 2015. His bat was so impressive that it didn't seem to matter than he did little to answer lingering questions where he might eventually fit in defensively.