Kyle Schwarber

Kyle Schwarber (Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports / USA TODAY Sports / June 9, 2013)

Kyle Schwarber is living noted '80s teen poet Ferris Bueller's most famous quote right now.

Life does move pretty fast after all, and there's nobody for whom it's moving faster than Schwarber. Barely a month into his professional career, the Cubs' 2014 first-round pick is already on his third minor league team, earning a promotion to High-A Daytona after just 23 games in Kane County.

His rise has been meteoric, especially for someone who is adjusting to the grind of professional baseball, but Schwarber says he hasn't let it go to his head.

"You can't be too big for the game," the native of Middletown, Ohio, told RedEye before a recent Cougars game. "You've gotta be humble."

You see, the latest star prospect for the star-crossed franchise isn't like most 21-year-old millionaires. And for Cubs fans, that's likely a good thing. For one thing, he hasn't spent a dime of his $3.125 million signing bonus.

"I haven't even gotten to touch it yet," he said. "I haven't even seen it. That's probably a good thing. Keep it away."

The Cubs' catcher of the future didn't have his own place while playing in the shadows of Wrigley Field, bunking instead with a host family during his brief stay in Kane County. It's that part of the minor league experience that Schwarber really enjoyed.

"They take you in like their own," he said. "It gives you another source for comfort. It's good being able to have them there and talk to [them] at the end of the day when you don't have your own family."

If things keep going the way they have, he will have many more of those seven-figure checks to cash in the not-so-distant future.

Saying Schwarber's been hot since entering the Cubs farm system would be like saying the Cubs have had a lousy go of things over the past century. Through just 33 games as a pro he's hit .398 with nine home runs and 29 runs batted in.

Those gaudy numbers have many Cubs fans dreaming big about his future at the Friendly Confines. But again: head down, eyes open, mouth shut.

"That's the thing where I go back to being levelheaded and knowing where you came from mostly," he said. "I didn't come from a big town, not a lot of attention. You worked for everything you've got and that's the way I approach it."

Schwarber, who was drafted out of Indiana University, said college baseball helped his development immensely.

"I wouldn't change it for anything," he said. "It was awesome. Being able to get that experience of getting some good college arms and facing some top-round picks, it's been a great transition over to here."

His brief stay in Kane County also provided him with an education that his manager says is going to prepare him if and when he makes the big-league club. Kane County consistently ranks among the highest-drawing clubs in Class-A, averaging nearly 5,300 fans per game while playing in the nation's third largest media market.

"First stop, first full season and they're playing in front of these big crowds and they have the media attention that you don't even get in Triple-A for the most part," Cougars manager and former White Sox catcher Mark Johnson said. "It's just a great development tool that's something else besides playing in front of the crowds for these guys to experience early in their career."

So what exactly is there to do in Geneva off the field for the guy who is going to take his spot on the Kane County roster?

Schwarber smiles at the question before providing an answer familiar to many who grew up in the suburbs.

"That's what Chicago's for," he said, laughing.

Matt Lindner is a RedEye special contributor.

 

Here's the bar

Not to put too much pressure on Kyle Schwarber -- there's no guarantee he'll make it in the majors -- but he's got a fairly low bar to clear to be the Cubs' starting catcher. Since 2000, the Cubs have had five starters behind the plate, and their overall stats with the team make you go "meh."