Anthony Rizzo is entering his first full season as the Chicago Cubs starting first baseman. The young slugger had an impressive showing after he was called up midway through the 2012 season, ending the campaign with 15 home runs and 48 runs batted in while hitting for a .285 average.
So how will that translate into a full season? Well, if he can avoid the long cold streaks that Cubs players have become famous for over the last three seasons, there’s no reason why Rizzo can’t be an All-Star, or even one of the best first basemen in the National League. Over the course of 162 games, with half of those coming at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field, the left-hander shouldn’t have any problems hitting a slew of homers.
He should be able to maintain his .285 average, or at least come close to it. Don’t expect him to be over .300, but .275 sounds like a reasonable number for Rizzo over a full season. In terms of power numbers, a healthy Rizzo could be good for 30 home runs and 100 runs batted in, if he can get some help from his teammates, that is. He could help the Cubs win some games if runners are on base for him, but if not, then we’ll see his RBI numbers struggle.
The thing he needs to work on is his strikeout problems. He had 62 in just half of a season, so he would be on pace for about 120 in a full slate of games. In the best case scenario, we will see him at about 100 strikeouts, he’s not going to be able to get below that in just one season.
Regardless, Rizzo will be a key instrument in the rebuilding of the Cubs. If he can get off to a hot start, he can get the numbers to make him an All-Star and sell some jerseys, since the Cubs are lacking the star power that they had when Sammy Sosa and Kerry Wood were leading the charge. Don’t expect greatness right away, but in his first full season, Rizzo is going to be good.
Korey Beckett is a Baseball Writer with RantSports and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or comments.