Chicago Cubs: Why it should be Bryant-Rizzo-Contreras
When looking at these three players, one of them doesn’t mesh well with the numbers. That is, of course, Rizzo. While he hasn’t put up spectacular numbers in the three-spot, they aren’t horrible, either. Last season, Rizzo hit .258/.389/.446 out of the three-hole. His OPS was a robust .835, but he found his BAbip at just .269. But if you watched Rizzo for much of the season, he was a tough-luck guy if there ever was one.
But over 108 games batting from the three-spot, Rizzo hit 18 home runs and drove in 63. He also walked a total of 70 times while striking out just 66. And if there’s a sliver of sunshine in those numbers? He stole nine bases while only being caught twice. That’s likely why my co-expert thinks he should be leadoff, but I’m not sold on it.
Rizzo looks like a power hitter, and he is. But his ability to shorten up his swing and do whatever is necessary to get on base is a massive plus for him. Could doing that at the top of the lineup bode well for Bryant in the two-hole? Maybe. But setting that up for the next hitter could be the best thing for all of them.