Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo looking to quiet critics

Last season was the first full season at the Major League level for Anthony Rizzo. It was a tough season for the team, as well as Rizzo. But even with his struggles he never got down on himself. While others in baseball may be questioning his potential, he is not as he said in a spring training interview.

I believe I can be one of the greats. It’s about going out and putting in the work and staying consistent. And that’s what I’m trying to do.

Many of the issues that left people wondering just what happened in 2013 was his inability to hit left-handed pitching. While the season is still young, Rizzo seems to be reaping the dividends of his confidence.

Through nine games, he is hitting for a slash of .389/.389/.444 against lefties. Manager Rick Renteria has had confidence in him since this spring to change his approach and succeed where he failed last year. Rizzo is surely keeping up his end of the bargain.

The first nine games of last season did not treat Rizzo kindly, as he was hitting .188 with three home runs, but also had 10 strikeouts. This season has been an entirely different story. To go along with his much improved numbers against lefties, overall he is off to a very hot start. The home runs aren’t there yet, but they’ll come. For now his line of .371/.463/.519 would make any manager happy.

Renteria has seen the improvement since the start of camp, but knows it can’t all be put on Rizzo this year, as he mentioned in the previously linked video.

He’s hitting to the opposite field like he had done in the past…staying back and seeing the ball longer…we’re trying not to put too much on his plate. Everyone has to carry their piece, and we hope he’s a big piece of the puzzle this year.

Rizzo is set to be one of the key components to the Cubs success in the future, and this season he is off to a good start to help his team and fans as well believe in his ability to lead this team.

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