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Frank (Schwindel) talk about the Tank

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The new Cub has captured the hearts of fans with his hitting... and fun faces!

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma have written a good article about Frank the Tank, which is also linked in Tuesday’s Cub Tracks, but as I was planning a player profile of Frank Schwindel this week anyway, and not everyone subscribes to the Athletic {$}, I thought I would just refer to that here.

Frank J. Schwindel was born in Livingston, New Jersey, June 29, 1992, and first came to notice at Livingston High School. He played college ball at St. John’s University, and during college, he also played for the Riverhead Tomcats of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League in 2011, and the Keene Swamp Bats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League in 2012.

He was a 2012 18th-round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals and didn’t play at all badly, His line for the Idaho Falls Chukars in 2013 was .300/.336/.431 with six home runs and 42 RBI in 64 games. Frank is a classic case of a player being blocked, as he was the next in line behind Eric Hosmer, Miguel Cabrera, and Matt Olson/Mitch Moreland. He has even played in the Triple-A All-Star game (2018). Frank didn’t play at all in 2020.

He’s also right-handed, which the off-hand for modern professional first sackers, but his splits aren’t radical. His tremendous 2021 line, compiled since his July 30 callup to the Chicago Cubs, is probably unsustainable at that level, but his bat is no joke. Frank makes consistent hard contact and is very likely to be in the Cubs’ 2022 plans at first base and DH.

Frank is a charismatic player, with a great variety of unusual facial expressions, and he very clearly in enjoying every moment of his big-league career. He was the NL Rookie of the Month for August 2021, and has injected himself into the Rookie of the Year conversation, along with teammate Patrick Wisdom (soon to be profiled here), though the Reds’ Jonathan India has probably lapped the field.

Frank and his high-school sweetheart Katherine had a child, in January 2021, and Frank Jr likely gives him even more reason to succeed, if he needs more. But he’s very down-to-earth:

“I’m not letting this go to my head,” Schwindel said. “Baseball is the craziest game. You can have three good games in a row, then you have an 0-for-4 for no reason. It’s a very humbling game, so you can’t get too high. You can’t taste yourself too much. I try to stay as even-keeled as possible. It’s easier said than done. The emotions take over sometimes. But you just have to try and keep the same mentality every day.” — The Athletic {$}.

Scout Keith Connolly in that article is quoted as feeling that Schwindel is an old-school player, with his ability make make regular hard contact not the most-desired trait in today’s game.

Schwindel isn’t looking to replace anyone, but to be his own man, with his own singular appeal. I’d say he’s well on his way. 50 games or so is a reasonably big sample size for evaluation.

“Schwindel, a guy who always hit in the minors, is story that makes you wonder how many other guys who *could* play in the big leagues just never get a shot.” — Brett Taylor.

Hurricane Hazle got nothin’ on Frank.