Anthony Rizzo
Anthony Rizzo
30-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Chicago Cubs
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Heading into last draft season, conventional wisdom suggested Rizzo's strong health and bankable power made him one of the safer early-round building blocks, but that narrative won't be quite as prevalent anymore. Rizzo wasn't a bust, but his 25 homers were disappointing after he hit 31 or 32 between 2014 and 2017. His 74 runs -- aided by a month-long stay in the leadoff spot -- were also 15 fewer than he recorded in any of the prior four years. Rizzo's nadir came in April, during which the Cubs played a schedule littered with rainouts and poor-weather games. As the weather heated up, so did Rizzo's bat, as he slashed .329/.420/.550 and supplied 13 of his homers after the break. Inclement early-season weather remains a potential issue, but Rizzo actually owns a higher career wRC+ in the first half (134) than the second (126). That offers hope that last year's early slump was anomalous. Read Past Outlooks
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$The Cubs agreed to a seven-year, $41 million contract extension with Rizzo in May of 2013. The deal includes two additional years of club options that could it a nine-year, $73 deal.
Goes deep twice in win
1BChicago Cubs
August 20, 2019
Rizzo went 3-for-3 with a walk, two solo home runs and three runs scored in Tuesday's 5-3 win over the Giants.
Rizzo hit his 24th home run of the season in the first inning off of San Francisco starter Tyler Beede, then launched No. 25 against Beede again two innings later. The 30-year-old first baseman has now reached the 25-home-run plateau in each of the last six seasons as he continues to produce at an elite level for the Cubs.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
Since 2017vs Left .776 472 56 19 82 5 .246 .345 .431
Since 2017vs Right .926 1402 194 63 207 16 .292 .403 .523
2019vs Left .755 128 15 5 20 1 .224 .344 .411
2019vs Right .984 390 62 20 59 4 .309 .418 .566
2018vs Left .684 165 14 4 27 1 .248 .315 .369
2018vs Right .902 500 60 21 74 5 .295 .396 .506
2017vs Left .881 179 27 10 35 3 .260 .374 .507
2017vs Right .906 512 72 22 74 7 .277 .398 .507
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
Since 2017Home .986 913 133 39 160 13 .324 .430 .556
Since 2017Away .796 961 117 43 129 8 .240 .349 .447
2019Home .989 251 44 11 45 4 .332 .434 .555
2019Away .869 267 33 14 34 1 .247 .367 .502
2018Home .961 318 37 13 58 3 .323 .421 .540
2018Away .744 347 37 12 43 3 .248 .334 .409
2017Home 1.007 344 52 15 57 6 .319 .436 .571
2017Away .794 347 47 17 52 4 .228 .349 .445
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Stat Review
How does Anthony Rizzo compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against this season's data (min 200 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB Rate
K Rate
Exit Velocity
89.3 mph
Hard Hit Rate
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Rizzo has been remarkably consistent over the past three seasons, but don't let the carbon-copy counting stats fool you into thinking he's completely plateaued as a player; there was some skill growth in 2017. He improved his strikeout and walk rates roughly three percentage points each way, lifting his BB/K to 1.01 -- his previous career high was 0.74 -- which was the fifth-best mark in baseball. Rizzo's .397 xwOBA, up from .368 in 2016, ranked 12th among 301 players with at least 250 at-bats. He added almost 50 points to his OPS against lefties and Rizzo hit for power at Wrigley Field (15 homers). There's no need to overthink this one; Rizzo is a rock solid second-round pick, and a case can be made that he should sneak inside the first.
Coming off consecutive 30-home-run seasons, Rizzo entered the year with lofty expectations and met them. He tied his career high of 32 big flies and set new career highs in RBI and batting average. While he was unable to replicate the 17 steals he put up in 2015, it now seems like a crazy anomaly considering he only has 19 steals over his five major league seasons excluding that season. Rizzo is clearly one of the league's better power hitters, finishing in the top 20 in slugging percentage each of the last three seasons. He's also a consistently disciplined hitter, taking at least 73 walks each of the last four seasons. At 27 years old, Rizzo is entering his prime and figures to be hitting in the middle of a potent lineup for years to come considering the plethora of young hitting talent the Cubs have. While he won't be the first fantasy pick, Rizzo won't last long on draft boards in 2017.
What do you want from your fantasy first baseman? How about 30 home runs, 90 runs, 90 RBI and 10 stolen bases? Or a slash line of .282/.387/.519? That's more or less what Rizzo has averaged the last two seasons, and he's just 26 and in the heart of a strong lineup. He's walked at least 70 times three years in a row, and his career-high 17 stolen bases last year was a pleasant surprise. Sure, Paul Goldschmidt does everything a bit better than Rizzo, but Goldschmidt does everything better than everybody. Rizzo might be the second first baseman off the board in fantasy drafts this year, and he should have his first 100-run/100-RBI season as long as he stays healthy.
Though the Cubs have a lot of young offensive talent, many of them with prodigious power, most struggle to get on base. Not so with Rizzo, who drew 73 walks last year and finished with a team-high .386 on-base percentage. Oh, and he also led the team in home runs, RBI, runs, slugging percentage, and OPS. Despite all the young players coming up at the ranks at seemingly every position, the Cubs don't have a can't-miss prospect at first base (the closest thing to it is Dan Vogelbach), meaning Rizzo's job is safe. Once those other young hitters start getting on base, expect the 25-year-old Rizzo to start racking up 100-RBI seasons.
On a team without many offensive bright spots, Rizzo has to qualify as such. Now just 24, Rizzo already has 39 home runs under his belt as he set career highs in pretty much every counting category in 2013. Unfortunately, with the increase in playing time came a serious decrease in his slash line: .233/.323/.419 is just not going to cut it for the offensive leader of any team, but the numbers are even more glaring at a position like first base. His 76:127 BB:K ratio isn't bad for a slugger, but the .259 BABIP just crushed him last year. Expect his numbers to bounce back as the BABIP normalizes and he continues his growth. Otherwise, it could be another long season at Wrigley.
After annihilating Triple-A for a couple months, Rizzo got the call to the bigs and posted a .900-plus OPS in June and July. An August slump was mitigated by a solid September, and it looks like Rizzo could be the team's first baseman for the next half-decade or more. Rizzo could stand to take a few more walks, but his contact rate was good for a 22-year-old home-run hitter in the majors, and there's little doubt about his power. It's likely a question of when not if with this future star, and he should be locked into the No. 3 spot in the Cubs' lineup after settling in there upon arrival and delivering a .820 OPS last season.
Rizzo was the biggest chip coming back to the Padres in the Adrian Gonzalez deal and was considered to be the team's first baseman of the future. He possess tremendous raw power, great bat speed, and exhibits quality patience at the plate. After hitting .331/.404/.652 with 26 home runs at Triple-A over just 413 plate appearances, the Padres brought him up to the majors. To say that his cup of coffee with the team was anything but cold and bitter would be an understatement. Over 153 plate appearances in the show, Rizzo hit just one home run and posted a woeful .281 OBP despite a solid 13.7 percent walk rate. His 70 percent contact rate was brutal, and it had many experts wondering how much of his minor league totals were inflated by the hitter-friendly parks in the PCL, not to mention how Petco stifling left-handed power would translate to his overall production. However, Rizzo caught a break this winter as he was dealt to the Cubs, a far better hitting environment in which to operate. Rizzo will likely begin the season at Triple-A, as the Cubs give veteran minor league Bryan LaHair a shot. But a strong showing from Rizzo there could see him up in the majors at any point this season, especially if LaHair struggles.
Rizzo emerged over the past two seasons as Boston's top power prospect, a view that was cemented with 25-homer season between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland in 2010. He became the first 20-year-old to hit 20 homers in the Double-A Eastern League since 1998. His development since overcoming Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2008 is remarkable and made him a valuable prospect, eventually landing him in Boston's deal with San Diego for Adrian Gonzalez. He has a good approach at the plate, though he could work deeper counts, and is ready as a defender at first base. He's viewed as a high-character guy and good teammate, and appears headed to become the Padres' everyday first baseman in 2012.
More Fantasy News
Goes deep in victory
1BChicago Cubs
August 18, 2019
Rizzo went 1-for-2 with a two-run homer and three walks in a win over Pittsburgh on Sunday.
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Smacks 22nd homer
1BChicago Cubs
August 15, 2019
Rizzo went 2-for-5 with a solo home run and two RBI on Thursday against the Phillies.
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Hitting leadoff
1BChicago Cubs
August 15, 2019
Rizzo is starting at first base and hitting leadoff Thursday against the Phillies.
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Collects four hits
1BChicago Cubs
August 4, 2019
Rizzo went 4-for-5 with four singles in Sunday's 7-2 win over Milwaukee.
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Ejected Wednesday
1BChicago Cubs
July 24, 2019
Rizzo was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in Wednesday's 4-1 win over the Giants, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. He finished 1-for-3.
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