By my calculations, Anthony Rizzo is the top rookie 1st baseman heading into the 2012 fantasy baseball season. (For all of you screaming Paul Goldschmidt, he has too many ABs to be considered a rookie and too many Christmas presents to be considered a Jew. Sorry to all you, Zimmermaniacs. Though since we’re talking about Goy-schmidt, I like his home park better so he gets the edge over Rizzo if rookie eligibility doesn’t matter, which, in the big picture, it shouldn’t.) Rizzo put up big numbers in Triple-A last year with 26 homers and a .331 average. Unfortunately, those numbers were in the PCL which is like hitting with an aluminum bat on the moon. He also contributed 7 steals, which again reminds me of Goldschmidt or Au-shit as his name translates to in German. It’s nice when a big man can knock the cover off the ball and chuck in some steals. Reminds me of a young Adam Dunn. Rizzo, I will call you Donkey Kong Jr. So what can we expect of Anthony Rizzo for 2012 fantasy baseball?
His eye isn’t terrible, but his strikeouts aren’t pretty. If he hits .250 or lower, it wouldn’t surprise me at all. The power is there, definitely. If anyone can hit 25 homers in Petco, it’s Rizzo, but that’s taking his ceiling and knocking a hole through it to make a sunlight. It just seems absurd to give anyone a 25 homer prediction in Petco until they’ve actually done it once. So let’s say 20 homers. Then you look at his surrounding offense and you figure no runs or RBIs. Finally, he may not have the first base job, which would severely cramp his production. Funny thing happened on the way to Rizzo’s rookie year, some has-been prospect who wasn’t supposed to do anything, Jesus Guzman, did something. I think Guzman will fizzle and Rizzo will get the job, but it’s no guarantee. For 2012, let’s say Rizzo’s line is 60/20/75/.255/5 in 500 ABs. It’s not bad because of the potential upside, but at first base you want a guy you can rely on in mixed leagues. In NL-Only leagues, you take the gamble. No relation to Rudy or Oscar.