In this slow as molasses MLB offseason, any signing is worth delving into and so it goes that the Washington Nationals threw a one-year deal at slugging outfielder Kyle Schwarber on Saturday. Once a highly touted prospect with the Chicago Cubs, Schwarber drew a ton of excitement with his massive power and very good bating eye. Unfortunately, Schwarber's career-long struggles with strikeouts have really put a major hurting on his batting average and led to some very long slumps. Add in some pronounced injuries and that is why the Nats were able to get Schwarber so cheaply. So as we look towards the 2021 season, let's dig in a bit more to see where he could be headed with his numbers.
While it seems like Schwarber has been around forever, he is still just 27 and so conceivably is just entering into his prime years. Unfortunately, his 2020 season was ugly as he batted just .188 with 11 home runs in 224 at-bats. Taking the numbers a bit with a grain of salt given how crazy 2020 was, it is still clear that Schwarber will remain a good home run/poor batting average guy. While you love the continued patience (13.4 BB/9), the nasty 29.5 K/9 rate makes it tough to stomach Schwarber as an everyday fantasy baseball bat outside of deep leagues. The fact of the matter is that guys with Schwarber's hitting profile are a dime a dozen and are littered on most fantasy baseball leagues waiver wires. Feel free to add Schwarber as a late round power bat to plug in when needed but using him as anything more than that is a recipe for failure given that the impressive power is negated by the nasty batting average.
2021 PROJECTION: .229 23 HR 65 RBI 61 R 2 SB