Anthony Rizzo simply had a tremendous season manning first base on a daily basis for Joe Maddon.
Considering how close their overall numbers were, it’s hard to believe that first baseman Anthony Rizzo finished just fourth in the MVP race. The first baseman cemented himself as one of baseball’s best young players earning a Silver Slugger with an impressive .292/.385/.544 batting line, 43 doubles, four triples, 32 home runs, 109 RBI and three stolen bases.
For the third straight year, Rizzo earned an All-Star nod and made his first start. Somehow Rizzo still managed to improve and ended up being more of a consistent player than the year before. He batted an astonishing .341 with RISP and netted 82 RBI. He had a monster first half slashing .299/.416/.591 with 21 home runs and 63 RBI. Compared to last year, Rizzo was much steadier in the second half, hitting .284/.347/.491. He did experience a major dip in power hitting just 11 home runs thanks to a wonky back that flared up at times.
In the field, Rizzo finally got the credit he deserved winning his first Gold Glove, the Platinum Glove, Wilson Defensive Player of the Year and the Esurance Best Defensive Play of the Year. His 5.0 UZR rating ranked fourth in the majors and his glove at first base helped the Cubs infield be the best in the majors in overall defense.
Rizzo started 151 games at first base and a combination of Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Chris Coghlan and Willson Contreras filled in for the other 11 games. In 46 at bats, the group totaled 12 hits, with one double, one triple, two home runs and four RBI with Kris Bryant earning the majority of the production. In a very limited sample size, Bryant proved to be a solid defensive first baseman and will likely be the main backup at the position going forward.
It’ll be interesting to see if in Rizzo’s fifth full-season he can continue his upward trend. If he can Bryant may have some competition at MVP next year.
Cubs 2016 Position Reviews
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