Despite a rough start to the 2018 season, Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo once again eclipsed 100 RBI – marking his fourth-straight season doing so.
Despite what could be considered a down year for Anthony Rizzo, the Chicago Cubs slugger still managed to drive in 101 runs in 2018. It’s the fourth season in a row that the first baseman has surpassed the century mark.
By doing that, Rizzo became the first left-handed hitter in Cubs history to have four 100-RBI seasons. Former Cub and Hall of Famer, Billy Williams previously held the record with three such campaigns.
Rizzo reached the 100-RBI mark against the St. Louis Cardinals in the Cubs’ 162nd game of the season. In the game he went 4-for-4 at the plate with two doubles, one walk and one RBI. Following a walk from Javier Baez, Rizzo laced one of his doubles into the right-center field gap, driving in Baez and collecting his 100th RBI.
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Reaching the 100-RBI mark was quite an accomplishment for Rizzo considering the way his year started. At the end of April, Rizzo was hitting a dismal .149 with one home run and just nine RBI in his first 18 games.
Rizzo quickly turned it around at the plate and he put together his best month of the season in May. For the month, he batted .303 while recording seven home runs and 28 RBI, five of which came in one game against the Miami Marlins.
A solid season, but certainly not his best
On the season, Rizzo finished with a .283 batting average, .13 points higher than his career average. While he was hitting the ball at a solid clip, he was not hitting for power as we have seen him do in the past.
He finished 2018 with 25 long balls and a slugging percentage of .470. Those are the lowest marks since 2013 when he hit 23 home runs and posted a .419 slugging percentage.
Not only did his power numbers take a dive this season but Rizzo failed to reach base as often. On the year he only walked 70 times compared to 94 just a season ago. Due to that, his on-base percentage was the lowest its been since 2013.
So while Rizzo did not have a career-year in 2018 it’s still positive to see that even in a down year the slugger can still drive in 100 or more runs. Only Baez had more runs batted in, with 111. Rizzo remains the backbone of this Cubs offense and should have an even better year in 2019.