Perhaps you hardly noticed when the calendar flipped from May to June last week, but Philadelphia Phillies OF Kyle Schwarber probably did. Schwarber claims it is mere coincidence that he was the best hitter in the National League in each of the past two Junes, earning NL Player of the Month honors both times by slugging a combined 28 home runs. Including his work this weekend, Schwarber has 30 home runs the past three Junes, 10 more than anyone else. Is this coincidence or reason to believe Schwarber is going to have another remarkable month? Fantasy managers -- heck, baseball fans -- will believe just about anything.
The facts are these: Schwarber was a sixth-round pick in ESPN average live drafts this season, coming off a career-high 46 home runs in 2022, and he was one of the bigger disappointments through two months, though still surprisingly rostered in roughly 90% of leagues. We graciously recall last season when Schwarber mashed 12 home runs and slugged .680 in June. Hmm, it seemed familiar since he hit 16 home runs and slugged .760 for the Washington Nationals in June 2021. He hit only seven home runs the rest of that season for the Boston Red Sox.
Baseball people are notoriously superstitious creatures of habit, so Phillies manager Rob Thomson moved a struggling Schwarber back into the leadoff spot last week, aiming to mirror last season's success in the role and perhaps capitalize on the calendar change.