Kyle Schwarber is good at hitting spheres of cowhide

The Cubs are 25-10 in games in which rookie catcher Kyle Schwarber starts. Caylor Arnold/USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs rookie Kyle Schwarber is tied for the National League lead with nine home runs in August, ranks first in RBIs and ranks ninth in OPS. For the season, he's hitting .275/.373/.570 with 12 home runs in 42 games and the Cubs are 25-10 when he starts.

Since he has temporarily displaced fellow rookie Kris Bryant in the headlines, let's look at his 12 home runs to see the pitches he's doing damage on. (Distances from the ESPN Home Run Tracker.)

1. June 8: 3-2, 96 mph fastball off Danny Salazar, 381 feet to left-center.

2. July 21: 3-2, 94 mph fastball off J.J. Hoover, 385 feet to right field.

3. July 21: 2-2, 87 mph slider off Nathan Adcock, 397 feet to right field.

4. Aug. 1: 3-2, 93 mph fastball off Michael Blazek, 400 feet to center field.

5. Aug. 5: 1-1, 78 mph curveball off Jeff Locke, 402 feet to center field.

6. Aug. 6: 1-0, 89 mph sinker off Chris Heston, 413 feet to right-center.

7. Aug. 13: 2-2, 91 mph fastball off Tyler Cravy, 432 feet to center field.

8. Aug. 13: 1-0, 86 mph cutter off Neal Cotts, 414 feet to left field.

9. Aug. 18: 2-1, 95 mph fastball off Buck Farmer, 419 feet to right-center.

10. Aug. 19: 0-0, 93 mph fastball off Drew VerHagen, 416 feet to center field.

11. Aug. 23: 2-2, 94 mph fastball off Matt Wisler, 368 feet to left field.

12. Aug. 25: 0-1, 86 mph slider off Matt Cain, 398 feet to right-center.

As you can see, Schwarber likes to work his at-bats into fastball counts. He has the raw strength to cover the plate and hit the ball to center field or left field -- none of his home runs have come on pitchers on the inner third of the plate:

One thing worth noting: According to the Home Run Tracker, six of Schwarber's 12 home runs are labeled "just enough." For comparison, J.D. Martinez leads the majors with 15 "just-enoughs" out of 33 home runs. Nelson Cruz has 10 just-enoughs out of 38 home runs. Mike Trout has 13 out of 33. So Schwarber has perhaps been a little lucky; on the other hand, his average distance of 402 feet edges out Kris Bryant's 401 for best on the Cubs and some of the just-enoughs are because he's spraying the ball around instead of pulling everything.

Check out his splits based on zone location, and then his swing and swing-and-miss rates:

Inner third: .273/.469/.318

Middle third: .250/.280/.646

Outer third: .292/.393/.597

Inner third: 44.3 percent swing rate, 23.5 percent miss rate

Middle third: 62.2 percent swing rate, 36.4 percent miss rate

Outer third: 38.4 percent swing rate, 39.4 percent miss rate

Now, this is all small-sample size data, as Schwarber has just 166 career plate appearances, so don't necessarily read this as the definitive answer to Schwarber's approach. The book might already read "pitch him inside," but you can see the issues that presents: Schwarber draws a lot of walks on inside pitches, with an OBP well over .400. It's not easy to throw strikes that paint that inside corner. That does seem to be the place you want to try to attack him, however.

Just don't make a mistake.