Could Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo Have A Breakout Year In 2014?

By Juan Pablo Aravena
Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs’ slugger Anthony Rizzo has had polarizing stints at the MLB level, and his first full season clearly didn’t have the results he expected.

Rizzo batted in the No. 3 hole for the majority of the 2013 campaign, and even though he was able to lead the team in categories like home runs, RBI and doubles, the truth is that Rizzo dropped down in almost every statistical measure when compared to 2012.

The former San Diego Padres prospect didn’t have very good batting numbers. His average was a mere .233 and he was below the Mendoza line with RISP, posting a dreadful .191 average. It’s true that the Cubs need more protection to allow Rizzo to delegate some of the offensive responsibility, but even knowing that he won’t have that in the upcoming season, the slugger could be primed for a much better year.

Most people forget 2013 was Rizzo’s first year in The Show, and it was also the first time he played a full 162-game schedule. There are mental effects – like the team losing or the pressure from the media – that can definitely affect his performance, and if he can build from that experience he should have much better results.

The talent is there and the hitting ability hasn’t gone anywhere. If he can come back to be the type of player he was in 2012 when he batted around the .280 mark then the Cubs should be in a much better position offensively with Rizzo slotted as one of the team’s main hitters for years to come.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google

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