He has only played in 247 games as a Chicago Cub, but Anthony Rizzo has improved in a short time with the team. Last season, Rizzo hit 23 homers and 80 RBI’s while hitting .233; his batting average plummeted in 2013 after hitting .285 in 2012. He is only 24 years old, but Rizzo has shown his potential to become one of the best home run hitters in all of baseball.
Theo Epstein and the Boston Red Sox drafted Rizzo in the sixth round of the 2007 Major League Draft. After making his way up in Boston’s organization, many thought Rizzo would be David Ortiz‘s heir after he retired. But instead, the Red Sox traded Rizzo, along with three other prospects, to the San Diego Padres for Adrian Gonzalez. After bouncing up and down between triple-A and double-A, the Padres would then trade Rizzo and other prospects to the Cubs for pitcher Andrew Cashner.
Looking back at that 2012 trade, the Cubs got a bargain. The most interesting thing about this whole process if that Epstein is currently the general manager of the Cubs. Overall, Epstein got his guy back from Boston. In the beginning of the 2013 MLB season, the Cubs extended Rizzo to seven-year, $41 million deal.
So far in Spring Training, Rizzo is 5-for-10 with two doubles in only four games. The other day against the Oakland Athletics, Rizzo picked up two hits and he even scored two runs to help them beat the Athletics. It is safe to say that Rizzo has started the 2014 MLB season with a bang.
With a ton of good prospects, the future is extremely bright for the Cubs. Players like Rizzo, Mike Olt, Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler are just a few names that have a ton of potential. It wouldn’t surprise me to the Cubs in the playoffs in 2015. Rizzo will be their clean-up hitter for the next fews, and that is a good thing for the Cubs. This year is important for Rizzo to prove that his long-term deal is no fluke.