Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber finishes as NL home runs leader

Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Phillies OF Kyle Schwarber ranks atop the NL home runs leaderboard for 2022.

The Philadelphia Phillies finished the regular season on Wednesday with a 3-2 loss to the Houston Astros. The club is far from done, however, as it will take on the St. Louis Cardinals starting Friday afternoon in the National League Wild Card Series.

Making the postseason for the first time in 11 years was the ultimate goal for the organization and fans alike. It is a bonus when individual players — such as Kyle Schwarber — have impressive accomplishments. Schwarber became the first Phillies player to lead the National League in home runs since eventual World Series champion Ryan Howard (48) in 2008.

Schwarber finished the 2022 regular season with 46 home runs — six more than the runner-up, New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (40).

When the Phillies signed Schwarber to a four-year, $79 million deal in March, this was the type of production that they hoped to see. The club’s front office knew that Schwarber had power. He has hit more than 40 home runs in four seasons since becoming a full-time player in 2017.

The beginning of Schwarber’s 2022 campaign wasn’t without some struggles. The left-handed slugger hit just .169 and .196 in April and May respectively — with just 11 home runs through the first two months.

As the weather got warmer, so did Schwarber. In June, he hit .272 with a 1.065 OPS and 12 home runs. He continued to help lead the Phillies in the absence of Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos when they landed on the injured list.

The Phillies signed Schwarber to hit for power and be a clubhouse leader. Interim manager Rob Thomson recently shared high praise for his leadership — saying the former Chicago Cubs champion is the best clubhouse presence he has been around.

The Phils will continue to look to their slugger for leadership and power as they begin the postseason on Friday.

More. Phillies-Cardinals Wild Card Series: Dates, times, TV channels, rotation. light