Phillies who will make-or-break another World Series run: Kyle Schwarber
At the plate, Kyle Schwarber is having himself one of the weirdest seasons in recent memory. The 30-year-old is once again having a power surge, tying his career high in home runs with 46 and boasting a career-high 101 RBI in 157 games played, also a personal best.
However, he also leads the majors in strikeouts (again) with 212 and somehow has a batting average below .200 but an OPS+ of 121. He is having a season reminiscent of Joey Gallo, Mark Reynolds or Adam Dunn in that he strikes out in what feels like every single at-bat but remains a positive run-producer.
That is exactly why he's capable of making or breaking the Phillies' playoff run. The guy is an absolute machine who is capable of hitting a baseball to the next city over, but he provides value in just one way: hitting home runs. There is no defense to speak of, he can't run the bases well, isn't a singles hitter and doesn't hit the ball in the gaps very much. The Phillies are going to have to cross their fingers that they just so happen to get him on a hot streak entering the postseason or he is going to represent a virtual black hole in their starting lineup.
If there's a saving grace for Schwarber and the Phillies, it's the fact that he has a ton of playoff experience, including the major role he played in 2022's run. In the Wild Card and Division Series last year, he did next to nothing, going just 1-for-20 in the process. It wasn't until the Championship Series and eventually the World Series that his bat took off.
In the NLCS against the Padres, Schwarber went 6-for-15 with six runs scored, three home runs and six walks against just three strikeouts. Then, in the World Series against the Astros, he went 5-for-20 with five runs scored, three more home runs and six more walks. Suddenly, he was an on-base machine that was capable of doing great things for the club. This version of Schwarber is precisely what the Phillies need.