Perhaps overshadowed during the Chicago Cubs Opening Day victory on Monday was the bomb that Anthony Rizzo hit on the first pitch he saw during the season. Almost every Cubs fan is clamoring over how good Jeff Samardzija was, and can be this season. All of the others are already scratching their heads over the struggles of Carlos Marmol.
However, it was Rizzo that produced two of the three runs for Chicago, coming on a home run that went past all of the seats at PNC Park and almost into the water behind the stadium. If this is a sign of things to come for the 23-year old first baseman, then sign me up, because it’s going to be a fun ride just watching him this season.
He didn’t have a hit throughout the rest of the game, but with consistent power, he doesn’t have to have an Earth-shattering batting average. Some will joke that he’s on pace for 162 home runs (that gets tired quickly), but it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think that he can hit 40.
He’s still a raw talent at this point because he’s so young, but he’s at about the perfect age to really break through to top power hitter status. It’s just one game, so there’s no need to overreact, but we haven’t seen a Cub slam a baseball that deep since Sammy Sosa was doing it regularly.
The Cubs have a fairly long history with good first basemen, and it looks like Rizzo is well on his way to joining that list, so you might want to grab his jersey from the souvenir stand now before it’s “cool”.
Korey Beckett is a Baseball Writer for RantSports.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or comments.