Cubs Roster Profiles: Anthony Rizzo
As the 2012 season approaches, Cubbies Crib is profiling each and every member of the Cubs forty man roster. Today, we are talking about Anthony Rizzo.
At long last, the Cubs have a talented and nearly ready first base prospect. Anthony Rizzo came over from San Diego in the Cashner trade as the Cubs’ first baseman of the near future, but not the immediate future. While Bryan LaHair gets the early starts in Chicago, Rizzo will join other future young Cubs Steve Clevenger, Brett Jackson, and Josh Vitters in Iowa. With his left handed power and good defense at first, Rizzo is almost certain to be a part of the Cubs plans for some time.
San Diego rushed Rizzo to the majors in 2011, and the results were not pretty. Rizzo could not make consistent contact, could not find his power, and whiffed his way to an OPS of 0.523 and a strike out rate over 30%. We have to look to his Triple A numbers to see the real Anthony Rizzo. His OPS of 1.056 should soothe any concerns raised by his major league struggles. He is still one of the 100 best prospects in baseball.
Rizzo will begin his Cub career in Iowa, and I expect he will put up some big numbers while he is there. At some point he will be called up to the majors and will take over everyday duties at first base. From that day forward, if all goes well, the Cubs will have their first baseman and a major piece of their future in place. Success will not be immediate for the young first baseman, but at the end of the day he could be the best Cub first baseman since Derrik Lee.