Last night I started my Independence Day weekend off in grand fashion. I decided that the time had come to check out the Chicago Cubs newest prospect Kyle Schwarber. I had a few free passes which I had won at Brookfield Zoo, and I figured the time had come to cash in the first pair and took off two hours before the game was scheduled to begin. The Kane County Cougars had not released their lineup yet, so I did not even know if he would be catching or hitting as the designated hitter.
We did not get bad seats considering we got there practically at the last minute. Section 109 row Q right behind home plate. We had time to kill, so we walked around the stadium a little bit. You can easy tell that the Cougars are a minor league team of the Cubs based on the names of their restaurants.You had Clark & Addison BBQ, the Sheffield Grille, Waveland Cafe and the Wrigleyville Creamery.
They were all named with Wrigley themed titles, and they had similar food to Wrigley, but at much better prices. There were even some foods that the Cubs do not serve like sweet roasted corn, funnel cake and churros. While I love Wrigley, they could use some of these things at the ol ball park; especially the funnel cake and churros.
Walking around pregame, we got to see Ozzie, the Cougars mascot. I was a little
surprised to see that Ozzie was not wearing any pants. More surprisingly, no one seemed to care which is odd considering the outrage the Cubs fan base had when Clark was revealed, and was pants-less. The horror that must have been going through the fans minds when they discovered their beloved mascot was strutting around without a covering on his lower half. The fans loved him, and I am still baffled why people have such a hard time dealing with the fact that Clark the Cub does not wear pants. Most mascots do not wear pants.
I was happy to see Schwarber catching, because it would give me the opportunity to see if he was a good catcher or not. Granted, I am not a scout but he did look pretty good behind the plate. There was one ball which got away from him, but it stayed right in front of him. Best part of his defensive night was nailing a guy who was trying to steal second base. He looked good as a catcher, so perhaps the Cubs might be smart to keep him behind the plate for a while to see if he will be able to round out those rough edges.
As you can see he looks like a natural behind the plate. I would have gotten an action shot, but the damn umpire kept getting in the way. Complete blockage of the only player there most fans care about. No offense to the die hard Cougar fans. I am sure Shawon Dunston Jr. and the rest of the Cougars’ cast bring you great delight, but I showed up for Schwarber as he has the most potential to reach the big leagues out of everyone else who played today. Though again, I am no scout, so I could be way off. But Schwarber was the main attraction of the night, and I am glad that I got to see him catch a game while I was in attendance. He had some rough edges, but he is barely half way through his first year of professional ball, and has time to get into catching shape, despite playing catcher his whole college career.
Offensively, Schwarber did not do anything very special today, he had a single combined with a strike out and ground out. Though he did beat out a double play on another ground out. The most impressive thing he did offensively, besides working the count well, was he scored from first on a long double. He may be a catcher, but he has pretty good speed. I was not expecting him to run that fast, but I was definitely impressed.
That is my limited experience in scouting report on Kyle Schwarber. He is a good kid, who know how to play the game. If he keeps at it, and continues his hard work, he is going to be a star. I hope he is able to stick at catcher, because as much as I love Welington Castillo, Schwarber would be a heck of a lot better!