Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo On The Verge Of Breakout Thanks To Plate Discipline

By Chad Quates
Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

First baseman Anthony Rizzo seems to be on the verge of breaking out as a legitimate star this season with the Chicago Cubs. A critical part of his evolution as a player has been an improved eye at the plate, something that has manifested itself in the form of an impressive BB/K ratio for the young infielder.

After 29 games this season, including Sunday night against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field, Rizzo has walked 21 times while striking out on 19 occasions. Recently, the 24-year old has been drawing base-on balls on a regular basis, with walks in five consecutive games. This stretch includes a four-walk game against the Cincinnati Reds in which Rizzo managed to get on base all five times he came to the plate. In addition to the four walks, Rizzo also blasted a two-run homer in a 9-4 Cubs win.

Last season was something of a disappointment for Rizzo, though despite a low batting average of .233, the talented first baseman did produce some impressive numbers, including 40 doubles to go along with 23 homers. In addition, Rizzo drew 76 walks while striking out 127 times in 606 at-bats. The walks total was impressive and his approach at the plate was sound, but the batting average was disturbingly low.

However, while it is still quite early, Rizzo appears even more confident and in control at the plate this season.

Rizzo doesn’t seem to be wasting any at-bats this season, displaying good selection and taking pitches the opposite way. Simply put, he is fast evolving into a professional hitter and potential star, and it is beginning to look like the Cubs’ first baseman may be primed for a breakthrough season in 2014.

Chad Quates is a Chicago Cubs writer for Follow him on Twitter @chadquates or add him to your network on Google.

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