MLB Network is ranking each position based on results from ‘The Shredder’ and Anthony Rizzo checked in as the fourth best first baseman in the game.
Anthony Rizzo finished fourth in the voting for National League MVP and was fourth on Buster Olney’s list when he broke down the positions in November. So it’s only fitting Rizzo would be ranked fourth by MLB Network’s program.
“The Shredder” ranked Rizzo as the seventh best first baseman a year ago prior to Spring Training.
MLB.com explained, “The Shredder” is an algorithm “based on player performance that accounts for both offense and defense.” And it “uses an objective methodology to rank players at each position based on their past track records as well as their future projection. It weighs the offensive and defensive statistics for a player in both one- and two-year increments and places more emphasis on defense at positions that are on the right of the defensive spectrum. It also takes into account a player’s durability as well as the offensive environment of his home park.”
MLB Network’s Top 10 first basemen: Paul Goldschmidt (Diamondbacks), Joey Votto (Reds), Miguel Cabrera (Tigers), Anthony Rizzo (Cubs), Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays), Jose Abreu (White Sox), Adrian Gonzalez (Dodgers), Freddie Freeman (Braves), Chris Davis (Orioles) and Brandon Belt (Giants).
Anthony Rizzo had a tremendous season and a first half that was MVP worthy. Rizzo followed up his All-Star season of 2014 with another trip to the Mid-Summer Classic and similar numbers after a sensational start to the year.
Rizzo batted .278/.387/.512 with 38 doubles, three triples and 31 home runs for a .899 OPS. Rizzo drove in a career-high 101 runs and smacked a career-best 31 homers. Rizzo also set career marks in walks (78), runs scored (94), hits (163), doubles (38), triples (2), HBP (30) and OBP (.387).
Before the break, Rizzo put together a .298/.413/.542 line with 24 doubles, two triples and 16 home runs for a .955 OPS. Rizzo walked 45 times with 46 strikeouts in his first 380 plate appearances of the season.
For the second straight year, Rizzo excelled against left-handed pitching. Rizzo batted .294/.409/.472 with 11 doubles, six home runs and a .881 OPS.
Anthony Rizzo played in all but two of the Cubs games in the regular season, a career-high for games played.
Joe Maddon is expected to give Rizzo more time off throughout the season this year. Rizzo ran out of gas and should benefit from four or five well-timed days off this season.
Steamer is projecting another MVP-caliber season for the Cubs’ first baseman. If Rizzo can match the .279/.374/.519 line with 33 doubles, two triples, 32 home runs, 92 runs scored and .893 OPS the projection system is calling for, Anthony Rizzo will be a finalist for the NL MVP while leading the Cubs to another trip to the post-season tournament.