A new look: Kyle Schwarber makes surprise appearance at the MLB Winter Meetings
ORLANDO – He saw the same videos on Snapchat that almost every Cubs’ fan did over the past week. But on Tuesday, Jed Hoyer got the chance to see the start of a transformation of one of his young outfielder stars.
“I feel like ‘Best Shape of his life’ becomes like this cliché and a joke, but he actually is,” said the Cubs’ general manager of Kyle Schwarber. “He looks awesome.”
Leave it to the players who’s already build a legend with the team to come up with a new interesting twist in his Major League Baseball career narrative.
Schwarber made an unexpected visit to the MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando on Tuesday, meeting with the Cubs’ front office and a few friends along the way.
“No question,” said Hoyer when asked jokingly if Schwarber was at the meetings to show off his new look. “There has been a lot of videos out there. He’s proud of himself, he’s not hiding.”
Not that the Cubs would want him to, it’s only more encouraging to see this from their slugger who endured a streaky 2017 season. Started in the leadoff spot, Schwarber struggled so much at the plate he was sent down to Triple-A Iowa before the All-Star Break.
While his average did finally finish over .200 (.211 thanks to a .288 month of September), the outfielder hit the 30 homer plateau for the first time in his career. But the lack of consistent hitting and 150 strikeouts apparently had Schwarber wanting to make a change this offseason.
“He didn’t feel great about his season, he probably didn’t feel great about how he felt all year. Give him credit, he did something about it,” said Hoyer. “It’s so obvious when you look at him and what great shape he’s in. I love the fact that he drove over here in some ways to show it off.
“I don’t blame him, I probably would too.”
These are characteristics that Hoyer, president Theo Epstein, and other saw in Schwarber that made them snag him with the fourth overall pick of the 2014 MLB Draft out of Indiana. Not only did his look impress the front office guys in Orlando, but so did his enthusiasm for the upcoming season.
“I think Kyle in general is guy when you talk to him kinda motivates you, he’s so passionate, takes everything so seriously,” said Hoyer. “Theo and I just sat down with him for like a half an hour an it’s hard not to want to play right now listening to him.”
Or looking at him this offseason.