Anthony Rizzo's Home Run Barrage and Early-Season Power

Social Navigation

Anthony Rizzo’s Home Run Barrage and Early-Season Power

Chicago Cubs

Anthony Rizzo is hitting .203.

You worried?

You better not be.

As we discussed last week, there are several Cubs with low batting averages right now, but it’s far from something to be concerned about, because it’s mostly been the product of some flukey stuff (how many times have we seen Cubs getting robbed on rocket shots already this year?). There is absolutely no reason to be concerned.

Although Rizzo’s not necessarily been robbed repeatedly like Addison Russell and Jason Heyward, he has been the victim of an unsustainably low .122(!) BABIP, the second lowest in all of baseball. Rizzo’s fly ball-heavy style will never lend itself to a high BABIP (he’s at .280 for his career), but we know that the .122 mark is going to come up significantly, bringing his average along with it.

But here’s the fun thing: he didn’t help his BABIP yesterday with those two homers, which don’t count as balls in play. And despite the low BABIP, Rizzo’s slashing .203/.360/.580 with a 141 wRC+, almost the same as his 145 mark last year. That’s because in every way except that BABIP-related flukiness, Rizzo is absolutely killing it this year: 16.3% walk rate, 14.0% strikeout rate, and a .377 ISO. That last one is the real LOL of the group, 5th best in baseball, and a good 160+ points above his career average.

Most of the power numbers have come in the last five games, in which Rizzo has homered five times (and had another homer robbed). The dude is crushing the ball right now. That includes his two beautiful shots yesterday:

That first homer is not a ball you typically see Rizzo yanking to the pull side out of the park, especially with two strikes, and it’s not like that was a total meatball, either. Simon missed his spot badly, but it was a 94mph fastball with good movement up and maybe even out of the zone. That’s gotta scare some pitchers that Rizzo put that one out.

The second one, on the other hand, was just a totally grooved meatball to which Rizzo said, “Thanks. I’ll take it,” and hit it over 400 feet and over 100mph.

Rizzo’s eight homers leave him tied with Trevor Story for second most in baseball, behind only Bryce Harper’s nine.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.