Originally posted on Fantasy Baseball 365  |  Last updated 6/26/12

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

Osweiler: Film from last two years proves I should be starter

Daughter of Bucks owner burns Bill Simmons on Twitter

Tiger Woods tells golf world to try and kick this football he’s holding

Tyronn Lue: Gameplanning to defend Celtics harder than Warriors

How the Senators can upset the Penguins in Game 7

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Paxton Lynch cutting out early while other QBs stay late

Michael Jordan unique 1984 Converse shoes could fetch up to $100K at auction

Joe Girardi has interesting reason why no medical scans for Masahiro Tanaka

Ezekiel Elliott’s mom fires back after son criticized for being in car accident

Browns make Ryan Grigson senior personnel executive

Potential No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz looks positively jacked in recent photo

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

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

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker