The Cubs are 13 games out of first place and in the cellar of the NL Central but that's not stopping Cub fans from flocking to the friendly confines and away ball parks to see Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo was called up after launching 23 bombs in Iowa and posting a batting average well above .300. Since arriving in Chicago, Rizzo has yet to disappoint.
Out of his first six hits three of them were home runs. With another round-tripper last night Rizzo would be on pace to hit nearly 65 homers in a 162 game season. Rizzo has played in 10 games and already has 15 hits and 7 of them are of the extra base hit variety. It's just 10 games but Rizzo will be a star, no question about it, right? Well, let us temper those expectations just a little.
This left handed power hitter appears to have repaired the holes in his swing and seems destined for super-stardom, trips to the Home Run Derby and dare I say hoisting a World Series trophy. (Okay, I get it too far.) However, if there is one thing this game of failure has taught us in its many years of existence is that pulling from this small sample size of data that says Rizzo is the best hitter in baseball, is gives us no indication of how a career will unfold. This is common sense I know but there is more to it than just hot and cold streaks.
How often have we seen a player get pulled up from Triple-A and go on a tear right out of the box. Being a Cub fan I can think of a few off the top of my head, Bobby Scales, Jake Fox, Sam Fuld. All of which showed up in Chicago in 2009. These three started off hot but then cooled down and never got back to hitting consistently. Why is this? Scouts and pitchers figured them out. They found the holes in their swing, they noticed tendencies. Major League scouts are real good at what they do, if you have a flaw as a hitter, they'll find it.
Bryan LaHair lead the Iowa Cubs in homers last year. He started the year in Chicago and was on fire in April. He hit 10 home runs within the first two months. But then his 4-baggers started to become few and far between. They had figured him out.
Rizzo may be end up being a star but let's allow this season to finish and accept the Cubs 5th place finish in the NL Central and see where the 23 year old's stats end up being. Until then let's enjoy this flavor of the month it's all you have to hold onto when you're 20 games below .500.