Last season, Anthony Rizzo, then in the Padres organization, absolutely bombarded Pacific Coast League pitching to the tune of .331/.404/.632 with 26 long balls in 413 plate appearances. However, once he reached the big leagues, the mammoth production halted. In 153 plate appearances for the Friars, Rizzo hit .141/.281/.242 with only one home run and a 30-percent strikeout rate. That poor debut may have caused some to wonder whether his Triple-A numbers were merely a product of playing home games in the homer friendly environment of Tuscon
Rizzo’s production at Triple-A over the last two seasons clearly suggests that he’s ready to get a full-time shot in The Show and this time around he’ll be doing so in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field as opposed to playing home games at
As with any young lefty, Rizzo could face some major adjustments against big league southpaws, as the difference in talent level between most minor league lefties and the guys in the big leagues is significant, especially in terms of LOOGYs. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his numbers wane against lefties for this season, but long-term it shouldn’t be a situation that calls for a platoon partner.
Of course, being a first baseman means that fantasy owners are expecting power. Well, Rizzo has plenty of that and you need look no further than his stats for the evidence. He only struck out in about 18 percent of his plate appearances while with
We still don’t know exactly what type of hitter Rizzo will be. He’s still only 22 and has plenty of development left. He’s an immediate add in all formats due to his power upside, but there is risk with any young player, so the best case scenario would be to use him at UT/CI or have a good backup plan at 1B. His perceived value is so high right now that he could be a tremendous trade piece in a keeper league should you be willing to forgo a bit of the future for a chance to win now.