The Chicago Cubs are enjoying their most successful stretch of games thanks to the hot-hitting of Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo has evolved into the offensive team leader for the Cubs and has put the team on his back ever since Memorial Day. During that time, the Cubs have held a five-game winning streak which was their longest since 2012, and they also spoiled the hyped debut of Gregory Polanco, the Pittsburgh Pirates‘ rookie phenom. But in the middle of the surge has been Rizzo’s bat which should garner him some All-Star considerations in the process.
In his last 13 games played since Memorial Day, Rizzo is slugging .792 which is the best in the majors during that time. He has also hit .375 with five home runs and 13 RBIs. During the Cubs’ five game winning streak, Rizzo was responsible for either scoring or driving in the winning run in four of them. That is something a team leader thrives on that may not always show up in the box score.
Another factor in Rizzo’s hot bat is his new approach and success against left-handed pitching. Last year he hit just .189 against lefties, and improving on that was a big focal point for the Cubs at the start of the season this year. Rizzo is now currently hitting .344 against left-handers this year which is a tremendous turn around for the 24-year-old centerpiece of the Cubs.
The success of Rizzo should also lead to a potential All-Star selection as well. It would be his first such selection to the Midsummer Classic in his brief four-year career. Among NL first basemen, Rizzo is first in home runs, third in slugging and fourth in batting average. Rizzo is displaying the kind of ability and results that makes Cub fans hopeful of the future with him as one of the cornerstones.
Nick Schaeflein is a Chicago Cubs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.