David Ross couldn’t help but wonder what a full season in 2020 would have meant for former Cub Kyle Schwarber.
“I was just thinking," Ross said, "Up until Schwarber got hot in the last month, he was kind of the same player he was for us.
“And then he turned into this monster," Ross added. "Maybe we get that same guy last year if we get 162 [games].”
If Twitter means anything, Cubs fans are wondering the same thing for this year's team, which has lost six straight games and struggled offensively this month.
What could Schwarber's 2021 bat have meant for this club, if they didn't non-tender him last December to save money?
Coming off a career year in 2019, Schwarber had a down 2020 in the shortened 60-game season, hitting .188 with 11 home runs in 59 games.
He had similar numbers through 51 games this season — .218, nine home runs.
But Schwarber has been on a ridiculous tear in recent weeks. If you turn on a Nationals game these days, odds are you’ll see him hit a home run. Or two. Or maybe three.
The 2016 World Series champ hit 16 home runs in June, all coming in an 18-game span beginning June 12.
Washington has clawed its way back into the NL East race, going 15-4 over that span.
“I'm so happy for him. I mean, what the heck,” Ross said of Schwarber. “The guy is going off."
Schwarber not only is the hottest hitter in baseball, but he’s etched his name into the MLB record books alongside Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Schwarber tied Sosa (1998) and Bonds (2001) for most home runs in an 18-game span in MLB history.
Schwarber set the MLB record for most home runs in 75 plate appearances.
There are only nine instances where a player hit more home runs in a calendar month. Two of those belong to Ruth and Mays.
Only Sosa, with 20 in 1998, has ever hit more home runs in a single June.
Maybe most people didn't predict Schwarber would go on this type of tear. But he's always had premier power. Some people may forget he ranked first or second on the Cubs in home runs every season from 2017-20.
Think the Cubs could use that guy right now?