2022 Fantasy Baseball Trends: The Curious Case of Kyle Schwarber

by Ryan Kirksey
2022 Fantasy Baseball Trends: The Curious Case of Kyle Schwarber

In this week’s 2022 Fantasy Baseball Trends column, we will look at one of the oddest months you will ever see from a major league power hitter. Kyle Schwarber is rightly seen as one of the premier power hitters in our fantasy game this season, but lately, he has been an extreme boom or bust player.

His bounty of home runs stand in contrast to how bad he has been at everything else at the plate.

Can the power continue even if everything else is broken? And how high should we draft Schwarber in 2023?

This piece will look at the new Philadelphia Phillies asset and what's causing the strange streak.

2022 Fantasy Baseball Trends: The Curious Case of Kyle Schwarber

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Through the first half of 2022, Kyle Schwarber was pretty much exactly what we drafted him to be, with perhaps even more power than was expected.

Doing his best Adam Dunn impression, Schwarber hit 23 home runs through the end of June with a .208/.317/.503 slash. Low average, decent on-base percentage, and elite slugging. Throw in the 50 RBI through the end of June and he was more than paying off his spring ADP of 112 in NFBC leagues.

But then something interesting happened when the calendar turned to July. Schwarber kept hitting dingers. With ten in the last 30 days, he has the most in the National League. He is now on pace for just over 52 home runs, a number that has been reached just three times by any player over the last 11 years (Pete Alonso, Giancarlo Stanton, and Chris Davis!).

Other than the home runs, however, Schwarber basically stopped hitting anything. Here are his National League ranks among 87 qualified hitters for various offensive categories over the last 30 days.

StatSchwarberNL Rank
HR101st
RBI1514th
SLG.50018th
BB%5.1%69th
Hits1580th
AVG.16384th
K%33.7%85th
OBP.20487th

The home runs propped Schwarber up into the top 20% of National League batters for RBI and slugging percentage, but basically he tanked in every other category. And we know he isn't stealing bases, so we don't have that to fall back on.

What Do the Next Two Months Look Like for Schwarber?

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Perhaps the most interesting thing for Schwarber is that not much changed in his plate discipline between the months of June and July. If we look at his splits over those two months, all of his swinging strike rate, called strike rate, zone contact rate, outside zone swing rate, and inside zone swing rate were within three percentage points of each other.

The simple fact we must realize with power hitters like Schwarber is they tend to want to continue to follow that Adam Dunn model of an all-or-nothing swing. That can often lead to huge swings in production when their flyballs aren't turning into home runs or if they aren't getting many pitches they can square up.

Schwarber is likely to reach 50 home runs now this season. But it will continue to come at the expense of batting average and any other help in rotisserie categories. Even batting leadoff hurts his RBI chances, all things being equal. Despite leading the NL in homers, Schwarber currently is just tenth in the NL in RBI.

So, as the fantasy baseball trade deadline approaches, how desperate are you for power on your squad? Maybe you find a frustrated Schwarber manager who needs help in average, steals, and runs and he is getting none of that out of the Phillies' leadoff man.

Just know that the homers are going to come with a price.


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