It would be easy to point to Kyle Schwarber's new six-pack as the main reason why he's off to a solid start at the plate.
But Schwarber's offensive prowess is more related to the work he's done inside his own head, not on being in the Best Shape of His Life.
He's out to prove he's more than just a three true outcomes guy.
In the Cubs' 8-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday, Schwarber flashed a different part of his game with a pair of groundball RBI singles that helped stake his team to an early lead.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon also pointed to Schwarber's lineout up the middle in the eighth inning as his favorite at-bat, even above the run-scoring hits.
"That's as good as I've seen him in a while," Maddon said.
Schwarber is hitting the ball with authority up the middle and the other way, shortening up his swing with two strikes and finding ways to beat the shift by just sticking his bat out and directing the ball to the left side of second base, where teams only have one defender.
Schwarber is still largely a three true outcomes guy, on pace for 30 homers, 101 walks and 172 strikeouts.
But he no longer looks so stressed/anxious with runners in scoring position. He's been working toward relaxing with guys on base and instead of trying to put every ball out onto Sheffield Ave., he's doing what he can to just put the ball in play.
He insists his thought process with runners in scoring position hasn't changed since last year, but he is definitely getting better results now.
After starting the year 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, Schwarber went 3-for-6 in such situations on the Cubs' recent homestand. Even more impressive: All three hits have come with two outs and went to center or left field.
"I'm not trying to go out there and put a lot of pressure on myself because that's when negative things are gonna happen," Schwarber said. "You just gotta be able to have that same approach you have when there's no one on base."
Since the start of the 2017 season, here are Schwarber's numbers based on runners:
Bases empty: .220 AVG, .831 OPS
Runners on: .206 AVG, .730 OPS
The Cubs are trying to get him back to his 2015 form when he exploded onto the major-league scene to hit .270 with a .914 OPS with runners on base.
There is reason for optimism and the numbers back up Schwarber's progress.
In 2017, 83 percent of his season RBI came on home runs — he only had 10 RBI that didn't come from longballs.
This year, he already has 5 RBI on non-homers and there is still roughly 90 percent of the season remaining. Only 44 percent of his 2018 RBI have come on dingers.
As impressive as anything, Schwarber ranks 17th in baseball in walk percentage (16.9 percent) while also reducing his strikeout percentage slightly from last year's struggles
Schwarber has spent a lot of time working with new hitting coach Chili Davis, but he won't allow himself to ride the daily roller coaster based off recent success, even if it is helping his confidence.
"Yeah, I've been feeling good," Schwarber said. "There's been some tough at-bats here and there, but still taking the walks and also trying to get those guys in when they're on and go from there.
"Not gonna get too high, not gonna get too low when things are going bad. Just stay right in the middle."
When Schwarber is producing like this and Javy Baez is ascending to star status, this Cubs offense won't be struggling to find consistency for long.
"If these two guys keep on doing [this], wow," Maddon said. "Sky's the limit."