It didn’t look like an obvious homer off the bat, but that wasn’t because it wasn’t clear Anthony Rizzo had crushed the ball last night. Instead, it didn’t look like an obvious homer because it was a low rocket to straightaway center field.
Usually, only Giancarlo Stanton hits lasers that go out 400+ feet to center field like this:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 18, 2017
Sure enough, that was an extremely low, rocket-shot homer:
Rizzo with a laser… pic.twitter.com/c0nWtBRGkJ
— Daren Willman (@darenw) July 18, 2017
The dinger was Rizzo’s 23rd on the season, and his third straight game with a homer.
Remember that slump Rizzo had back in May? Well, since then, Rizzo has hit 17 of his 23 homers, and batted .294/.406/.624 in the process (162 wRC+). He’s done that despite a .255 BABIP, which, holy crap. How do you even pull that off? Well, you hit a ton of homers (check), and you never strikeout (9.4%, check).
Guys who bomb the ball as much as Rizzo does are not supposed to be able to sport a strikeout rate under 10%. Sometimes I think we forget just how special Rizzo is.
Overall this year, only seven players in baseball have a lower strikeout rate than Rizzo’s 11.4%. And of those seven, only one player tops Rizzo’s .263 isolated slugging. If you think about it, I bet you can guess who it is, given that he has essentially become the model for Rizzo’s game.
It’s Joey Votto.