Spring Training: Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant already at camp


Baseball season has finally arrived. And it doesn’t get any better than baseball and springtime.

The Chicago Cubs’ pitchers and catchers officially report on Thursday and their first workout is scheduled for Friday. Then, the full squad reports next Tuesday and works out on Wednesday. The Cubs’ first 2015 spring training game will be underway on March 5. The team will have a split-squad against both the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants.

Many Cubs players have already reported to Mesa and have immediately gotten to work.

23-year-old phenom third baseman Kris Bryant and 25-year-old All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo are ready for the season to begin and were throwing under the sun on Tuesday.

In addition to Bryant and Rizzo, right-handers Justin Grimm and Edwin Jackson, as well as left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada threw side sessions, according to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat.

And according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, right-hander Neil Ramirez was also working out today.

Not only is it exciting to see both Bryant and Rizzo arriving early to spring training, but it is also very impressive and shows who they truly are as both people and players. To see these two immediately having the drive to improve and work hard shows absolute maturity – despite their age.

Bryant easily has the potential to win NL Rookie of the Year, and Rizzo has a very good chance at making a run at the National League MVP this upcoming season. In fact, Fred Lynn and Ichiro Suzuki were the last players to win both the Rookie of the Year and MVP award in the same season – but we won’t get started on that yet.

In 138 games last season combined between the Tennessee Smokies and Iowa Cubs, Bryant hit .325 with an astounding 43 home runs and 110 RBI. He also compiled an incredible .438 on-base percentage – a testament to his approach at the plate.

And after trading away third baseman Luis Valbuena earlier this winter, Bryant’s opportunity continues to grow larger.

In 140 games for Rizzo last year, he posted a .286 batting average and .386 on-base percentage, to go along with 32 home runs and 78 RBI – despite missing time due to injury.

With that in mind, look out for a multitude of souvenirs out in Wrigley Field’s bleachers from the two’s massive power bats.

It will be captivating to see these two centerpieces produce in spring training, as well as their impact in the lineup during the regular season and beyond.