Chicago Cubs: Top five single-season performances of the last five years

Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Anthony Rizzo / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: #3 – An overlooked dominant showing from Rizzo

Given he won NL MVP in just his second big league season, it’s not hard to see why people paid far more attention to Bryant than Anthony Rizzo. The sweet-swinging first baseman has emerged as one of the most consistent performers in the league – and is the Cubs’ unofficial captain.

For me personally, what Rizzo did on the field in 2016 surpasses what his fellow corner infielder accomplished. Not only did he bring home a Gold Glove, a Platinum Glove and a Silver Slugger (not to mention a third-straight All-Star appearance), but he showed why Theo Epstein has long considered him to be a near-untouchable for this franchise.

That year, Rizzo tied a career-high with 32 home runs and 43 doubles – to go along with an accompanying .292/.385/.544 line. Over the course of 676 plate appearances, he struck out just 108 times while drawing 74 free passes – just further reinforcement of his impeccable approach and eye at the dish. 

After a dreadful offensive showing in the NLDS, Rizzo tallied an OPS north of 1.000 in both the League Championship and World Series, helping the Chicago Cubs erase more than a century of disappointment and sorrow on a rainy night in Cleveland.