Can Anthony Rizzo repeat his 2014 campaign?


The Chicago Cubs didn’t have many positives going for them in 2014 but the play of 1B Anthony Rizzo was certainly one of them. The infielder made the first All-Star Team of his career and anchored the middle of the lineup as he finished the campaign with a .286/.386/.527 slash line to go along with 32 HRs and 78 RBIs in 140 games.

Rizzo certainly has the potential to anchor a team’s middle of the lineup for the foreseeable future. With that being said, does he have what it takes to produce these kinds of numbers on a steady basis?

While Rizzo took a while to adjust to the MLB game – he was brought up in 2011 and struggled mightily so he started the 2012 year with AAA Iowa – his 2012 call up midway into the season saw a dominant player with a good eye at the plate and very good defense. His triple slash line of .285/.342/.463 got him some consideration to be considered as the NL Rookie of the Year so many thought Rizzo would take the next step in 2013. Instead, he looked lost at the plate and he wasn’t able to repeat that performance as he finished the year with a .233/.323/.419.

Rizzo was particularly bad against lefties in 2013 (.189 avg) and once again, many doubters were questioning his capacity to produce at a higher level. Rizzo bounced back in a big way, hitting southpaws at a much better clip (.300 avg) while adding solid defense at first. With the 2015 season approaching quickly, is Rizzo set to continue improving or is he going to take a step back one more time?

Apparently, Rizzo has figured things out as he already went an adjustment process at the MLB level. 2015 will be his third full season in the Majors and since the Cubs are a very young team, Rizzo is expected to be one of the veterans of the team. He has always been a good defender and has always displayed a good eye at the plate (career .345 OBP) but based on what happened during the past season, he appears to be capable to settle as a leader on both sides of the ball thanks to his good defense and good approach at the plate.

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