Anthony Rizzo hit two home runs in his latest game for the Chicago Cubs. The red-hot first baseman led his red-hot team to yet another blowout win, and Anthony Rizzo hasn’t hit his stride yet. That should be a concern for the rest of the National League, who have watched Rizzo blast eight home runs already this April, despite carrying a batting average that just barely tops the Mendoza line.
While Rizzo isn’t a.300-type hitter, he hits well enough to be in the.270 to.280 range, and that’s why rather than Cubs fans being worried about his current.203 average, many are wondering where exactly Rizzo’s ceiling is this season. The bottom line is those fans who study advanced statistics are probably paying very little attention to his low batting average. They’re more interested in the fact that he’s walked more times than he’s struck out (14 walks to 12 Ks) while slugging.580. If the season ended today, that number would be the best slugging percentage Anthony Rizzo has put up in his still-young career. He’s also OPSing at a career high.940, despite what would be his lowest on-base percentage in a full season since he came to the Chicago Cubs.
The Bleacher Report points out that Rizzo has now hit five home runs in his last five games, thanks to two in Sunday’s contest, a 9-0 rout of the Cincinnati Reds. Even more impressive is he could have another one as he had one blast robbed at the fence during the Cubs’ recent series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Even with that robbery, Anthony Rizzo is currently sitting in second place in all of baseball in home runs, just one behind Washington Nationals’ outfielder Bryce Harper, who is also the reigning NL MVP.
Anthony Rizzo is the first Cubs player with 8 HR through 19 games since Billy Williams in 1970 pic.twitter.com/oiVTo3JmiA— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 24, 2016
Despite his powerful start, Anthony Rizzo certainly understands it’s far too early to get comfortable, despite numbers that look like he might put up a season to remember.
“This game is always going to keep me insane. You can’t get too high, can’t get too low.”
Rizzo told the above to the Chicago Tribune. The same thing could be said about the rather exciting sales numbers for Rizzo’s very own brand of cereal. Dubbed RizzO’s, the cereal looks an awful lot like any other generic honey oat breakfast cereal that is in the shape of an “O.” It’s a safe bet that if someone poured you a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios and a bowl of RizzO’s right next to it, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference by sight.
Despite the lack of imagination in the food’s appearance, Anthony Rizzo’s dedicated cereal has had rather impressive sales at its exclusive vendor, Jewel-Osco stores. According to CSN Chicago, the makers of the product have sold more than 80,000 boxes to Jewel stores. It’s a safe bet those sales wouldn’t be getting made if boxes weren’t flying off the shelf at a rate that is comparable to that of the balls that are flying out of stadiums thanks to Anthony Rizzo’s sweet swing.
The best news of all to Chicago Cubs fans is they don’t need to worry about losing their starting first baseman anytime soon. Rizzo agreed to a seven-year deal back in 2013, just as his already-impressive career was getting started. That contract will take the slugger through the bulk of what are known in baseball circles as his “prime” years. After hitting 32 and 31 home runs the last two years, he’s well ahead of that number so far this year. The questions now seem to be whether or not Anthony Rizzo can keep this start going, and just how good a season he and the Cubs are going to have?
[Photo by Jeff Roberson/AP Images]