Originally written on Fantasy Baseball 365  |  Last updated 11/9/14

Last season, Anthony Rizzo, then in the Padres organization, absolutely bombarded Pacific Coast League pitching to the tune of .331/.404/.632 with 26 long balls in 413 plate appearances. However, once he reached the big leagues, the mammoth production halted. In 153 plate appearances for the Friars, Rizzo hit .141/.281/.242 with only one home run and a 30-percent strikeout rate. That poor debut may have caused some to wonder whether his Triple-A numbers were merely a product of playing home games in the homer friendly environment of Tuscon Arizona. So much for that theory. All Rizzo has done this season is continue to rake Triple-A pitching as a member of the Iowa Cubs. His .342/.405/.696 line is massive enough, but then tack on 23 home runs in only 284 plate appearances and you've got one of the most impressive lines you’ll ever see from a 22-year-old in Triple-A.

Rizzo’s production at Triple-A over the last two seasons clearly suggests that he’s ready to get a full-time shot in The Show and this time around he’ll be doing so in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field as opposed to playing home games at PETCOPark, a notorious pitcher’s park. Despite Rizzo’s impressive numbers, there is at least some concern as to how his offensive game will translate in the big leagues. His 153 plate appearances with the Padres last season is way too small of a sample size to examine, but some were quick to label him as a quad-A guy. It’s not like he struggled mightily against lefties and not righties, he just struggled overall. At least he showed that he wasn’t afraid to draw a walk (21 unintentional walks).

As with any young lefty, Rizzo could face some major adjustments against big league southpaws, as the difference in talent level between most minor league lefties and the guys in the big leagues is significant, especially in terms of LOOGYs. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his numbers wane against lefties for this season, but long-term it shouldn’t be a situation that calls for a platoon partner.

Of course, being a first baseman means that fantasy owners are expecting power. Well, Rizzo has plenty of that and you need look no further than his stats for the evidence. He only struck out in about 18 percent of his plate appearances while with Iowa, so that’s another feather in his cap, though he’ll probably see a higher K-rate in the big leagues this season.

We still don’t know exactly what type of hitter Rizzo will be. He’s still only 22 and has plenty of development left. He’s an immediate add in all formats due to his power upside, but there is risk with any young player, so the best case scenario would be to use him at UT/CI or have a good backup plan at 1B. His perceived value is so high right now that he could be a tremendous trade piece in a keeper league should you be willing to forgo a bit of the future for a chance to win now.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Wizards apologize for odd Black History Month tribute

Report: McCoy may want more money from Bills

Andre Johnson laughed upon hearing he wouldn't start

Brad Stevens: LeBron 'looks like the MVP to me'

Le'Veon Bell tees off on Mel Kiper Jr. over Twitter

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Eagles ship LeSean McCoy to Bills for Kiko Alonso

Murray would reportedly give Cowboys hometown discount

Report: Giants ‘considering a run’ at Ndamukong Suh

Darnell Dockett reportedly visiting 49ers on Tuesday

David West on Brian Shaw being fired: ‘That’s bulls–t'

Hamels trade talk motivating Red Sox pitching staff

Columbus Zoo names newborn penguin after Ezekiel Elliott

Matt Barnes blasts NBA over James Harden suspension

Joe Rogan: Ronda Rousey could beat half the men

Bills tell C.J. Spiller he won't be re-signed

Ohio State self-reported funny NCAA violation

Lupul, Phaneuf, Cuthbert threaten lawsuit against TSN

Report: Adrian Peterson has trade list of five preferred teams

Murphy disagrees with Billy Bean’s homosexual 'lifestyle'

Trent Cole has ‘no respect’ for Eagles after release from team

Ronda Rousey lands free ticket to Pacquiao-Mayweather bout

Report: Celtics to pursue Love, Monroe and Gasol this summer

Trying to solve the Alex Guerrero problem

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Stevens: LeBron looks like the MVP

Spiller: EJ Manuel learned not to be 'buddy buddy' with everyone

Ten most underrated NFL free agents

Five potential landing spots for Andre Johnson

Texas-Baylor fight leads to 7 ejections

Mark Cuban will be Prez in 'Sharknado 3'

Report: Redskins interested in Suh

Report: Revis likely to hit free agency

Steve Spurrier joins Twitter

MJ makes Forbes billionaire list

Nick Young fires back at Robert Flores

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.