Last night was Anthony Rizzo‘s 2012 MLB debut and he started it off with a bang. He went 2-4 with a double and an RBI. He got the call up after hitting 0.342 with 23 HRs in AAA. While he has dominated AAA, here is a look at what kind of production can be expected from him in the majors this season.
Rizzo may seem to be 3 true outcome player with most of his minor league plate appearances ending in a strikeout (20.3%), walk (9.5%) or home run (4.6%). Of all his minor league PAs, 34.3% ended with one of those 3 events. Here are 4 major league players with similar types of numbers so far in 2012:
These comparisons are fairly decent. They each are putting up an OK amount of Ks, BBs and HRs, but not to the Carlos Pena level in each category.
Another way to see how he is expect to hit is to average the triple slash lines for the 6 projection systems available for him at Fangraphs (0.247/0.330/0.443). The average value can then be compared to find other similar players. Here are 5 players putting up similar triple slash lines in 2012:
Not a great group of players, but they are each above average.
The projection values are based off of his 2011 and prior stats. He has shown some improvement in AAA this season compared to last season. I would bump his numbers up just a bit. Since Alex Rodriguez name comes up in both lists, I would put Arod’s rate stats as the bench mark for Rizzo this season.
As with any rookie there is going to be a ton of hype surrounding him, especially after last night. I would use this hype to my advantage. In a keeper league, I would ask for the world for him. Some owner will definitely over pay to have him on their team, but move quickly. His value is probably at the highest it will be in years. It can go down quickly if he puts up numbers like he did last year in the majors (0.141/0.281/0.242). In a re-draft league, I would sell him immediately to the highest bidder. The person will probably offer more than the 2012 version of Alex Rodriguez. Arod’s production is on average what Rizzo is most likely to produce.
Anthony Rizzo has had a great minor league season and had a nice game last night. Temper the expectations for him and see if some owner over values him. It is a perfect time to sell high, especially in re-draft leagues.
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