Originally written January 20, 2013 on Baseball Professor:
On more than one occasion I’ve been asked the following question: “Would you rather keep Eric Hosmer or Anthony Rizzo?” Well, Rizzo appears first in our countdown for 2013, so if this season is your primary concern, then I’d say Hosmer. But to be perfectly honest, I like Rizzo a lot more than I thought I would just one year ago. In 2011, Rizzo stepped to the plate 153 times and registered 128 at-bats, 46 of which ended with him walking directly from the batter’s box to the dugout in disgust. His 30.1 K% that year was abysmal, and the fact that it was right-handed pitching that was giving the left-handed Rizzo the most trouble (.131 BA, 37.3 K%) was concerning. Somehow last year Rizzo became a whole new hitter, though. His 16.8% strikeout rate was better than what he’d consistently put up in the minors, but not only was he making contact, he was making solid contact (24.4% line drive rate). I didn’t think Rizzo had what it took to be a .285 hitter at this stage of his career, but he ...
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