Chicago Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo has been a prospect on the fantasy baseball radar of many owners for a few years. After finally showing some potential at the end of the 2012 season, he wasted no time showing what he’s capable of in 2013 with a home run in his first at bat of the season.
In his first taste of the big leagues back in 2011 with the Padres, he struggled to make contact and hit .141 with a 69-percent contact rate. After getting shipped to Chicago and spending some time with their AAA club, Rizzo again got the call mid-season and this time did not disappoint. He improved his contact rate to a much more respectable 80.9-percent and thus, was able to rake 15 bombs while hitting .285 with a very good on-base percentage (OBP) of .342.
After the solid end to the season, Rizzo went into 2013 fantasy drafts with some hype, but he was valued outside of the top 10 by most at a deep position. There is plenty of power out there at the first base position, but finding value is key. Sure, you can spend a large portion of your auction budget or a high draft pick on somebody like Albert Pujols or Joey Votto. You can also use that money or high draft picks to grab a stud at a weaker position like second base or shortstop and then nab an up-and-coming hitter with loads of potential like Rizzo for cheap.
In a full season, there’s no reason to believe Rizzo won’t be a 30-plus homer guy with solid peripherals…and he’s well on his way after hitting a two-run bomb on opening day. The Cubs may not have a deep lineup, but Rizzo is sitting in a comfy spot behind Starlin Castro, who will be on base often this season and can always use his speed to get into scoring position. He also has decent protection behind him in Alfonso Soriano. If Monday was any indication, those who grabbed Rizzo will be enjoying great value all season.