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Schwarber proves his bat is MLB ready

Cubs prospect triples for first career hit, finishes 4-for-5 with two RBIs

CLEVELAND -- Kyle Schwarber was born and raised in Middletown, Ohio. It couldn't have worked out any better that his first MLB start came at Progressive Field against the Indians.

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Around 40 of Schwarber's family and friends -- including mom, dad, all three sisters, two brother-in-laws, a new niece, aunts, uncles and many more -- were in attendance during the Cubs' 17-0 win, hoping to see Schwarber maybe get a hit.

Everyone got their wish when Schwarber's first Major League hit came on an RBI triple off Shaun Marcum in the second inning.

"I didn't see that one coming," Schwarber said with a smile of the triple. "At least I go the first one out of the way."

Video: [email protected]: Schwarber triples for his first MLB hit

Everyone's wish came true again when Schwarber drove in another run, this time on an RBI single in the third. Then again with another single in the seventh inning, and once more for good measure in the ninth.

In all, Schwarber went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored during the most lopsided shutout in Interleague history. And his closest loved ones went home proud and smiling.

"It's awesome to have them here and be able to watch my first start," Schwarber said. "It was a great feeling. I know that they were really happy for me and I was just really pumped that they were able to make it."

Schwarber was selected fourth overall in the 2014 Draft. He fast-tracked his way to the big leagues after crushing Minor League pitching. For Schwarber, ranked by as the Cubs' No. 2 prospect, to be able to call himself a big leaguer just a year after being drafted is surreal.

"It's crazy," Schwarber said. "It's something that you dream about when you grow up. That's what I've always told people, that I wanted to be a baseball player. Now that I'm here and it's actually happening, it's awesome."

The stay might not be for long, however. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein has said that Schwarber will only stay with the team to serve as a designated hitter through this brief five-game Interleague portion of the schedule before he's sent to Triple-A to work on his defense behind the plate.

The bat is Major League ready. Scouts have said it, Epstein knows it and Schwarber knows it. Were he to play another position, perhaps he would be a Major League regular already. But Schwarber has caught his whole life, and he doesn't plan to stop now.

"It's something that I want to do, personally," Schwarber said. "If it takes more time, it takes more time. I've always done it, and I have a true passion for it."

For now, Schwarber is simply basking in the opportunity. He's 22 years old and just got four hits in his first big league start. For now, that's good enough for him.

"Some people never make it to the big leagues," Schwarber said. "I'm in the big leagues right now, so I've got to take advantage of it."

August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for
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