“Submitted for your approval” a short [6-foot tall], stocky [230 lbs] former catcher, who once only threw out only 15.5% of base stealers, named Schwarber, who is the perfect fit for Ben Cherington’s “Next Great Red Sox Team”– at First base.
Imagine Matt Stairs returns, only this time he becomes the everyday starting First baseman on a homegrown Red Sox team that dominates baseball for a decade.
Kyle Schwarber fits right into the right side of the infield with Pedroia [5’8” 165] and he and Kyle become the “Dos Dirt Dogs,”—the “Pugnacious Pit Bulls,” the “Boston Terriers,”– the scrappy, blue collar gym rats with the dirtiest uniforms on the team, who “make the play” and “find a way” to win.
Both “clutch” hitters—guys who seem to nearly always get the hit, or make the dive and throw, when it really matters—when the game is on the line.
While attending Arizona State, renowned for its baseball program, in the summer of 2003,
“Dustin got the nod as the starting shortstop for Team USA. He batted .294 and helped the Americans go 27–2, although they lost to Cuba in the Pan Am Games. Among his teammates were future pro hurlers Huston Street, Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver and Micah Owings. His roommate was Kyle Bakker of Georgia Tech, who stood 6–9. They made quite a pair walking through hotel lobbies together.” http://www.jockbio.com/Bios/Pedroia/Pedroia_bio.html
Ten years later…
July 20, 2013, 2:15 AM ET
OMAHA, Neb. — The Americans are working overtime against Cuba, and succeeding.
Kyle Schwarber’s sacrifice fly scored Taylor Sparks in the top of the 10th inning, and the United States beat the Cuban national team 3-2 on Friday night.
Along with the RBI in the 10th, Schwarber went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
He said he was looking to get a pitch up in the zone and hit it far enough to get the go-ahead run home, but that wasn’t the pitch he got from Cuba reliever Diosdani Castillo.
Still, he was able to drive it about 360 feet to center field.
“He threw a fastball down, and I had to drop the head on it. I just missed it, but it got out there far enough,” Schwarber said. http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9494337/kyle-schwarber-us-national-team-beat-cuba
Both football starts, Dustin and Kyle had quiet starts to their baseball careers in High School.
As a freshman at Woodland High School in 2001, Dustin won a starting job on the freshman team—the football team, he was the quarterback. But, perhaps fortunately, his football career suddenly ended when future NFL star Lance Briggs broke Pedroia’s ankle with a tackle.
Dustin recovered just in time to try out for the Woodland High baseball team—the varsity team. The scrappy, hatd-nose kid became a favorite of Coach Rob Rinaldi.
“As a sophomore, Dustin earned his first of three All-Delta League honors. As a senior, Dustin batted .455 and was named the top player in the league. Normally, these credentials would have generated some interest among college and pro talent evaluators. Dustin, however, was still a wisp of a boy.
Because of his diminutive size—he was 5–2 and 140 pounds as a senior—Dustin was ignored by most scouts.” http://www.jockbio.com/Bios/Pedroia/Pedroia_bio.html
Flash forward to Middletown, Ohio, 2009, where a 6-foot tall Freshman at the High School, the son of Greg and Donna Schwarber, is glad to see his name mentioned in MaxPreps—“America’s source for high school sports.”
Kyle has been added to the Middletown baseball roster.
Posted Wed, Jun 03 2009 @ 03:31 AM
Congratulations Kyle for making your first varsity baseball team.
— MaxPreps Staff
Kyle also played football for the Middletown H.S. “Middles” and was a Second Team All-Ohio linebacker selection.
The freshman outfielder was soon reassigned to a new defensive position and started all 40 games — 39 of them behind the plate. He led the Greater Miami Conference with a .474 batting average, 8 HRs, a .643 OBP, 28 RBI, 11 stolen bases and was named his league’s Co-Player-of-the-Year as a Senior and was a four-time team MVP.
But this stocky, left-handed slugging catcher was overlooked by most college programs and–like Pedroia– “ignored by most scouts.”
Then came “a simple twist of fate.”* Tracy Smith was the Baseball Coach at Miami of Ohio for 8 years before arriving at Indiana, but he kept a few friends back in southwestern Ohio, which included Middletown–the same town where his wife, Jaime, grew up.
“It’s still amazing when I think back to recruiting him,” Smith said. “It wasn’t like we had to beat out a bunch of people to get him. He was a relatively unknown player, thank goodness.” http://www.indystar.com/article/20130618/SPORTS0601/306180081/Indiana-catcher-Kyle-Schwarber-emerges-one-nation-s-best
Schwarber’s baseball career changed because of sickness—“homesickness.”
IU’s Head Baseball Coach, Tracy Smith lost catcher Wes Wilson to graduation after the 2011 season, but he had a replacement, Ty Downing, to step right into the starting catcher s role in the 2012 season. But, by semester break, Downing, a Bowling Green, Ky., native, was overcome with a case of homesickness and decided to transfer.
In desperation, Coach Smith looked down the bench at his freshman outfielder from Middletown, Ohio, who had just 39 starts as a High School catcher.
“If Kyle can go, we’ll go with Kyle,” Smith said.
“Smith said the tools were there. In the first game Smith went to see Schwarber play, Schwarber hit three home runs against one of the best lefties in Cincinnati.
“It was at that point I knew that we liked him,” Smith said. “I’d heard good things about him. He was facing quality pitching and knocked three balls out. He possesses all the qualities you look for in a good catcher.”
Schwarber said the coaches wanted him to be an offensive force.
“(It was) kind of a weird recruiting process for me,” Schwarber said. “We had a good catcher in Ty Downing, so they were going to want me to try somewhere in the outfield. So I got myself ready in the outfield. Then Ty transferred. That’s how I ended up behind the dish.”
As a catcher, he adapted. He said he began preparing for catching duties in the fall.
“I was preparing for the outfield in the summer when I was back at home,” he said. “They had me working (on) catcher stuff during the fall season. In the fall, we had Downing. He was injured, so they were still working me behind the dish.
“I was working hard, trying to get better being a catcher and being an outfielder.”
Then Downing transferred. Schwarber said he felt mixed emotions when he learned of Downing’s decision.
“To be successful as a catcher, one needs to have a good rapport with the pitching staff.” Schwarber said.
“As a freshman, you’re coming in, and you don’t know any of the guys,” Schwarber said. “You have to try to build a personal relationship with all the guys. (At) practice, you just talk to them, ‘Hey, what would you do in this situation? What would you do in that situation?’”
Offensively, Schwarber lead the team in home runs and slugging percentage, and he was third on the team in batting average and on-base percentage. He was able to maintain that delicate balance due to his preparation, he said.
“You’ve got to have good pitch selection,” he said. “When you’re going in there, you don’t want to swing out of your butt. You’ve got to have a good eye, know what you’re looking for. You’ve got to look at the guy’s tendency, look at the scouting report, see he’s more of a fastball kind of guy, or this guy, his out pitch is a slider.”
Schwarber is listed at 6 feet tall and 230 pounds, but once he gets on base, which he does at a .391 clip, he is capable of wreaking havoc: He said that, despite his looks, he finds himself “a little bit speedy, too.”
He led the team in triples and said he loves when opponents underestimate his speed.
“The other teams, when you don’t get a good scouting report, they’re going to be ‘There’s kind of a big guy, you know? He’s going to be a slow runner.’ Once I hit a ball in the gap, I’m on three. It’s really fun to look at their reactions after and say, ‘Damn, you’re fast, you know?’”
In a Big Ten series’ game he was abruptly slowed down; Michigan State starter Tony Bucciferro nailed him with a low pitch on a toe.
“It’s sore,” Schwarber said “The nail’s split. We don’t know if it’s broken. There’s nothing you can do about it. It’s going to hurt, but there’s nothing you can do…
I’m just going to have to play through it.”
As Kyle lay in the batter’s box, writhing in agony, an unsympathetic Coach Smith—with Danny Sader, another freshman as his #2 catcher, told Schwarber, perhaps with a sense of desperation:
‘Get up…You’re not allowed to be hurt.’
He’s a tough kid. He’s banged up, playing through some things. But I was like, ‘Get up!’
Smith said Schwarber’s toughness has helped him carry a large role.
“We’re on him, not only the physical part of being tough… When things aren’t going well, who’s going to bear the brunt of that from me? He responds very well. He doesn’t make excuses.”
Team mate, sophomore pitcher Joey DeNato, wasn’t worried when Kyle went down at the plate: “He’s a bulldog. I knew he’d brush it off.” When the starting catcher suddenly transferred, DeNato realized that:
“Schwarber was going to have to step up big time…” and noted that “Schwarber’s been doing a great job of taking over the role.” http://www.idsnews.com/news/story.aspx?id=86990
Kyle was given some pointers from IU alum Josh Phegley, currently the starting catcher with the White Sox.
“I worked my butt off to try to start…It’s just a little bit of a change — a little bit better pitching. But there’s not a big change there. It’s just being more competitive.” http://www.idsnews.com/news/story.aspx?id=86990
While learning to improve his defensive skills at catching, the freshman had an extraordinary year aside of the plate:
Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.
Unanimous selection to the Big Ten All-Freshman squad.
Ranked in the conference’s top-10 in seven offensive categories: five triples (2nd), 51 runs (t-4th), 47 RBI (t-5th), 118 total bases (t-5th), 15 doubles (t-6th), eight homeruns (t-7th) and a .513 slugging percentage (9th).
And this “work-in-progress” catcher threw out 27 attempted base stealers, second-most in the Big Ten. Against Big Ten teams he hit .376, SLG .624, OBP.464.
The gritty grinder started all 60 games, 54 behind the plate and 6 in the corner outfield.
He batted .364 (24 of 66) with runners in scoring position, drove in 4 runs three 3, including a grand slam, scored 1 or more runs in 12 consecutive games, scored at least once in 35 of 60 games and had 21 multi-hit and 13 multi-RBI games.
Echoes of Dustin Pedroia? Tek?
But, wait: that was only in his Freshman year.
This season , Sophomore Schwarber was:
Selected as the best catcher in the country by Perfect Game and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, earning First Team All-America honors.
Named a Louisville Slugger Second Team All-American.
The NCBWA’s District V Player of the Year.
First Team on the ABCA/Rawlings All-Mideast Region team.
First Team All-Big Ten.
Selected for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team.
Led the Big Ten with 18 homeruns (3rd nationally) with .366 BA, SLG .647,.456 OBP, 54 RBI and 42 walks
Earned an Academic All-Big Ten selection.
Between the 2012 and 2013 Indiana U. seasons, Kyle was invited to play in the prestigious Cape Cod League in the summer of 2012.
A knack for winning?
CAPE COD LEAGUE
“… Wareham catcher Kyle Schwarber (Indiana) propelled the Gatemen to a league championship at Red Wilson Field against Yarmouth-Dennis. In that ballgame, Schwarber blasted a ninth-inning solo home run and a three-run blast in the 10th inning to complete the Wareham comeback.”
|CCBL Playoffs 2012||Wareham Gatemen||7||29||10||8||3||0||2||5||3||10||3||.276|
|CCBL 2012||Wareham Gatemen||44||172||30||59||10||2||8||38||24||30||4||.343|
Then, back to school…
“Indiana’s high-powered, SEC-like offense is led by slugging catcher Kyle Schwarber (already projected as a top-10 overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft).
Schwarber launched another tape-measure shot this weekend, which landed far beyond the 30-foot high right field fence and into the parking lot of Dick Howser Stadium. For the season Schwarber’s 18 home runs exceeded the entire team totals of six Big Ten squads.” http://www.midwestsportsfans.com/2013/06/indiana-hoosiers-historic-cws-berth-deserves-more-publicity/
He has a knack for playing, and leading, teams to championships.
“Q: Who’s the biggest character on the team, the guy who’s going to keep the players loose on such a big stage?
A: Kyle Schwarber is hilarious. The kid will literally say anything.”
“It will be good for us offensively, but damn, I’m going to have to play second, first and right,” “I’ve got small legs. That’s a lot of ground to cover.”
Indiana Wins 2013 Big Ten Baseball Tournament
Indiana won in walk-off fashion, 4-3, over Nebraska for NCAA automatic berth.
“Will Nolden led off the bottom of the ninth with a double to right center while Nebraska intentionally walked Kyle Schwarber as well as walking Sam Travis to load the bases with no outs. Indiana’s Scott Donley provided a single to left center to score the walk-off, game-winning hit.”
June 15, 2013
“One of the catalysts for Indiana’s success in 2013 has been catcher Kyle Schwarber. In addition to being the leader in the field, he’s gotten it done all season in the batter’s box.”
“Kyle Schwarber is a big reason why Indiana is going to its first College World Series in school history.”
He’s batting .376 with 18 home runs and 54 RBI.
“Catcher Kyle Schwarber had Indiana’s first-ever CWS hit and scored the first run in the first inning.”
|College World Series preview|
CWS PREVIEW: BRACKET ONE
CWS APPEARANCES: First
KEY PLAYERS: The Hoosiers enter the College World Series with an extremely potent offensive lineup, hitting .305 on the season. For the Hoosiers, everything seems to start with hard-hitting catcher Kyle Schwarber, who’s hitting an impressive .376. [http://nebraska.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?fid=284&tid=164975978&mid=164975978&sid=928&style=2]
USA Baseball Collegiate National Team
Team USA needs extras; takes 2-0 series lead
Schwarber drives in winning run in 10th
July 20, 2013
OMAHA, Neb. – In yet another tightly contested game, the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team took a 2-0 series lead with a 3-2 10th inning win over Cuba Friday night. Indiana’s Kyle Schwarber drove in the eventual game-winner with a sacrifice fly.
Playing with the international tiebreaker rules, Team USA struck first in the top of the 10th. Trea Turner (NC State) worked a walk to load the bases. With one out, Schwarber drove the ball into the outfield and Sparks raced home with the go-ahead run.
“I was looking just to get a pitch up in the zone to get the ball in the air,” said Schwarber. “He threw a fastball down and I just missed it, but it got out there far enough for a sacrifice fly. It’s a huge win for us. Playing in these extra-inning games isn’t easy, especially with the international rules. It’s nice to have the crowds out here cheering for the USA and it’s an honor to wear this jersey.”
CAPE COD LEAGUE: 2013
Schwarber played his final game with Indiana on June 19 at the College World Series and then he was off to Cary, N.C., to play for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in the Tournament of Champions [sponsored by MLB] and then immeidately on the road for the rest of the team’s his 23-game summer tour, where he led the squad with 7 doubles and ranked second with 16 RBI and batted .301, helping the team run up a 20-3 record.
On July 23rd USA squad completed its season with a 5-3 win over Cuba at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in North Carolina. The game ended at 9:51 EST on Tuesday night.
Then he was immediately on the road to Wareham, Mass. to rejoin his Cape Cod League team, the Gatemen. Within 48 hours of the final Team USA game, Schwarber suited up for the Wareham game that Thursday night.
True to form, he led his semi-pro team to the league championship with his bat.
“On a cold and windy Thursday night against the Red Sox at Red Wilson Field, Schwarber returned to the Cape for his first game of the 2013 summer and launched a two-run home run in the ninth inning to tie the game at 2-2. The game eventually ended in a tie after the game was called due to darkness.” http://www.gatemen.org/07_25_13.htm
Before the game, Yarmouth-Dennis manager Scott Pickler asked the Wareham manager Cooper Ferris:
Ferris replied: “Yeah…”
Pickler groaned: “I’ve had nightmares about him for a year.”
“So I guess he’ll have another night-full of that,” Wareham manager Cooper Farris forecast before the first pitch.
“It’s kind of just real funny that it happens to be the same spot,” Schwarber added. “It feels good to have a Wareham jersey back on and to help out the team.”
Schwarber’s game-tying shot to right field was part of a perfect 4-for-4 night.
“In the top of the ninth, Wareham second baseman Brett Pirtle (Mississippi State) reached on an error to set the table for Schwarber, who proceeded to launch a home run into the wind and over the fence in right-center field.
“I was just looking for a pitch that was going to be elevated and I don’t know if it was a changeup or a fastball but I saw elevation and I knew that was a good chance that I could get some good head on it and fortunately enough, I didn’t know if it was going to get out with the new balls and the wind blowing but I got enough backspin on it and height and it went out,” Schwarber said.” http://www.gatemen.org/07_25_13.htm
SOX FAN FOOTNOTE: Wareham Gatemen alumni include a number of former and current Red Sox such as Carlos Pena, Mo Vaughn, Justin Masterson, and Daniel Bard, as well as MLB players Chuck Knobloch, Ben Sheets, Lance Berkman, Barry Zito, Jeremy Sowers, Ike Davis and Aaron Hill.
WHAT THE SCOUTING REPORTS SAY:
6-10-13 - Kyle Schwarber, C, Indiana – Kyle Schwarber is one of the top power bats in the country. He has plus power with lift in his swing and should be able to hit home runs anywhere. He also shows a good approach at the plate. Schwarber is likely headed to first base, but his bat will play anywhere. http://bigleaguefutures.net/1/2013/06/10/2014-mlb-draft-early-college-names-to-know/
While he may not have enough to stick behind the plate, the 6’-0”, 230 pound left-handed hitter does have a strong arm and makes for a big target. His footwork needs work, however, and most think he will eventually end up at first base. That shouldn’t hurt his stock that much because the kid can flat out destroy a baseball. http://beforeitsnews.com/sports/2013/06/2014-mlb-mock-draft-1-0-no-time-like-the-present-2513748.html?currentSplittedPage=2
Just a few days before the 2013 MLB Draft, Matt Garrioch @mattgarrioch at Minor League Ball posted his GAPPER Report: June Top Prospect Report with a few ranked lists and Kyle Schwarber made the Top 25 for the 2013 MLB Draft..
Top 40 College Hitters
|Kris Bryant||San Diego State|
|DJ Peterson||New Mexico|
|Colin Moran||North Carolina|
|Tyler Marincov||North Florida|
|Alex Bregman||Louisiana State|
|Forrestt Allday||Central Arkansas|
|Tyler White||Western Carolina|
|Michael Bass||North Carolina Wilmington|
|Luke Tendler||North Carolina A&T|
|Mitch Garver||New Mexico|
|Aaron Attaway||Western Carolina|
|Andrew Green||East Tennessee State|
|Trey Mancini||Notre Dame|
Since about half of the prospects listed were drafted, Schwarber will likely be in the Top 20, maybe even the Top 15, but, unless he develops “helium” in the next 10 months, not the “Top Ten.”
One of the nation’s very best hitters in 2013, Schwarber was the star of a strong Indiana club that made a deep run in the postseason. A former high school linebacker who has deceptive athleticism despite his stocky build, Schwarber has played catcher and first base for the Hoosiers but is more likely to play the latter position in the pros.
Either way, it is his bat that will be his meal ticket. Schwarber raked to the tune of a .376/.468/.674 slash line for IU in 2013 and added 18 home runs while walking more than he struck out.
He has a great power hitter’s build and has a swing that maximizes his pop. He shows power to all fields and can be an all-star quality middle of the order hitter at the next level. http://www.crawfishboxes.com/2013/6/28/4450674/the-way-too-early-2014-tcb-astros-draft-board
“One of the reasons he’s projected to move is because he’s struggled to throw out runners. Schwarber allowed 82.5 percent of runners to safely steal a base.
Still, his bat is the real deal.”
Asked to name the Top Five offensive catchers and top 5 defensive catchers, Baseball America’s Aaron Fitt answered:
From a defensive point of view, I think those two and Ty Ross are the cream of the crop. Offensively, I’ll go with Indiana’s Kyle Schwarber and New Mexico’s Mitch Garver along with Turner. Turner is the best all-around catcher, the way I see it.
UPDATE: Baseball America 2nd team Indiana Soph. C Kyle Schwarber
One of the best wOBA’s (#13) in all of Division I at .479. The sophomore already has a strong approach and power stroke (17 HRs). Not entirely sure he sticks at catcher, though. http://www.minorleaguerundown.com/2013/06/09/2014-mlb-draft-top-30-prospects/
[His} above average bat and power stand out, while his sophomore year numbers aren’t bad either: .381/.469/.670, 33 BB, 25 K, 13 HRs.
|Aug 21, 2013“Quick Take: Strong lefty makes the most of modest catching tools but his 70 grade raw power reminds some of Travis Hafner.” [Kiley McDaniel, National Baseball Analyst]|
The infamous Bagwell Trade is on the “Boston Boner, Wishing for a Do-Over” Top Ten list with the trade of The Bam-bino and the rejection of a prospect who had a clandestine tryout at Fenway: Jackie Robinson.
Fate has a “No Do-Over” rule [1.1.1, pg.1], but…what if…
What if Ben Cherington has one more miracle move up his sleeve?
What if he could use his #26 slot in the 2014 MLB Draft to have a Bagwell “do-over”?
What if he uses that pick to select another Bagwell for First base—this time one who bats lefty?
“Submitted for your approval” a short [6-foot tall], stocky [230 lbs] former catcher, who once only threw out only 15.5% of base stealers, named Schwarber, who is the perfect fit for Ben Cherington’s “Next Great Red Sox Team”– at First base.
It was first covered by Joan Baez on Diamonds & Rust (1975), and has been reinterpreted by several artists since: by the Jerry Garcia Band on their 2-disc live album Jerry Garcia Band (1991) and Run for the Roses (1982), by Concrete Blonde on their Still in Hollywood (1994) collection, by Sean Costello on his self-titled album (2005), by The Format on Listen to Bob Dylan: A Tribute (2005), by Bryan Ferry on Dylanesque (2007), by Jeff Tweedy (with altered lyrics taken from a live Dylan performance) on the soundtrack for the film I’m Not There (2007), and by Stephen Fretwell on Man On the Roof (2007) as a bonus track. Diana Krall covered it on the 2012 charity tribute to Dylan, Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.
- ^ Heylin, Clinton, Bob Dylan: The Recording Sessions, 1960-1994, Macmillan, 1997. Cf. p.xiv and various.
As the evening sky grew dark,
She looked at him and he felt a spark tingle to his bones.
‘Twas then he felt alone and wished that he’d gone straight
And watched out for a simple twist of fate.They walked along by the old canal
A little confused, I remember well
And stopped into a strange hotel with a neon burnin’ bright.
He felt the heat of the night hit him like a freight train
Moving with a simple twist of fate.
A saxophone someplace far off played
As she was walkin’ by the arcade.
As the light bust through a beat-up shade where he was wakin’ up,
She dropped a coin into the cup of a blind man at the gate
And forgot about a simple twist of fate.
He woke up, the room was bare
He didn’t see her anywhere.
He told himself he didn’t care, pushed the window open wide,
Felt an emptiness inside to which he just could not relate
Brought on by a simple twist of fate.
He hears the ticking of the clocks
And walks along with a parrot that talks,
Hunts her down by the waterfront docks where the sailers all come in.
Maybe she’ll pick him out again, how long must he wait
Once more for a simple twist of fate.
People tell me it’s a sin
To know and feel too much within.
I still believe she was my twin, but I lost the ring.
She was born in spring, but I was born too late
Blame it on a simple twist of fate.
SLO-MO hitting @ 1:54
American Baseball Coach Association All-Region teams
1st team C. Kyle Schwarber
American Baseball Coaches Association 2nd team- Indiana Soph. C Kyle Schwarber
Baseball America 2nd team Indiana Soph. C Kyle Schwarber
Collegiate Baseball 2nd team- Indiana Soph. C Kyle Schwarber
National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association 1st team- Indiana Soph. C Kyle Schwarber,
Perfect Game 1st team- Indiana Soph. C Kyle Schwarber