Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo enters his first full season with the team with expectations as big as his 6-3, 240-pound frame that could earn a trip to the All-Star game.
Rizzo started the 2012 season with the AAA team in Iowa and put up ridiculous stats that had fans clamoring for his promotion. After struggling as a rookie with the San Diego Padres, the Cubs front executives comprising of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were smart to be patient and delay his arrival until he corrected some flaws in his swing.
On Jun. 26 he showed the fans what they had been waiting to see for months when he made his highly-anticipated debut and collected two hits and the game-winning RBI. Rizzo displayed power and excellent defense at first base during his first season with the Cubs amassing 15 home runs and 48 RBI in 87 games.
Projecting those numbers over a 162-game schedule and Rizzo would have 28 home runs and 89 RBI. That should be the baseline for Rizzo in his first full season and barring injury could wind up on the All-Star team.
With Starlin Castro hitting in front of him and Alfonso Soriano providing protection behind him in the lineup—barring him being traded—the sky is the limit for how good Rizzo can be as a member of the Cubs.
The trading away of oft-injured Andrew Cashner to San Diego for Rizzo is looking like an absolute steal.