Kyle Schwarber participating in 2018 Home Run Derby

Courtesy Getty Images

CHICAGO – Following a great offseason and even better first half, Kyle Scwarber has been invited to participate in the 2018 Home Run Derby.

Kyle Schwarber confirmed with ESPN ahead of Wednesday night’s official announcement that he will be slugging in the nation’s capitol during All-Star Weekend.

In case you’re concerned it will mess up his swing, Cubs skipper Joe Maddon thinks otherwise.

“It’s an illogical dialogue. People say that just because they’ve heard someone say that. It’s almost like a wive’s tale,” Maddon told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.

The selection comes after “Skinny Schwarbs” arrived earlier in camp this season. Schwarber rededicated himself and lost over 20 pounds during the offseason. It’s paid off to the tune of .247/.374/.487 and 17 homers.

Schwarber will not be the only Cubs player represented in the derby. Teammate and MVP candidate Javy Baez will be joining him.

The Cubs have spent most of the first half trailing the Brewers for the top spot in the NL Central, but Schwaber and Baez hope the power Chicago to a third-straight division title.

Without further ado, here’s the top three best Schwarber moments ever:

3. Putting ball on top of right field scoreboard during 2015 NLDS.

For most Cubs fan, winning 97 games and getting to the NLCS in 2015 was completely unexpected. Watching the rebuild come to life before our eyes was fascinating and this man was a big part of it.

In the 2015 NLDS, the Cubs, still containing their “lovable losers” stigma, played the hated St. Louis Cardinals and came out on top in an exciting 4 game series.

Schwarber capped off the win with an unforgettable moonshot that landed directly on top of the right field scoreboard. If it didn’t hit it, an apartment across the street on Sheffield was a likely landing spot…shades of Glenallen Hill.

I didn’t regain my speech for three days after attending this game.

2. Coming back from torn ACL to single during top of 10th in Game 7.

If it wasn’t for this Schwarber single to start things off at the end of Game 7 of the World Series, the Cubs may have not come out on top.

That’s even better is that Schwarber was able to completed one of the most miraculous comebacks following a torn ACL in April. With fans thinking he’d be out all year, rumors popped of during the playoffs of him being able to take advantage of the AL’s DH rule.

He came through by busting a Bryan Shaw sinker straight through the shift and into right field. Albert Almora pinch ran for him, tagged up on the most underrated baserunning play ever and was knocked in by Ben Zobrist.

1. Moonshot into Allegheny River during 2015 Wild Card play-in game.

The shot that sent the Pirates back into mediocrity,  Kyle Schwarber’s bomb into the Allegheny River cemented the Cubs 4-0 Wild Card play-in game win over Pittsburgh in 2015.

It was the Cubs first playoff win since 2003 and was the initial coming out party in October for a group that’s been to three straight NLCS’s and counting.

The Pirates have not sniffed October since and will likely shift into a full rebuilding mode once the 2018 trade deadline passes.

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