Billy Williams, Bill Nicholson, Rick Monday, Henry Rodriguez, Rick Wilkins and Fred McGriff all have something in common: They are the only left-handed hitting Chicago Cubs that have blasted 30 or more home runs in a single season. Add to that list Anthony Rizzo. Number 44 crushed his 30th homer to right center in the first inning of tonight’s game against the Cincinnati Reds. Rizzo was not only battling a bulwark of the Reds pitching staff, he was also fighting through a downpour.
Rizzo is expected to be a mainstay in the heart of the Cubs lineup for years to come. With that, he will also be the left-handed power hitting threat the organization has lacked since Billy Williams. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have always had their eye on Rizzo. He was drafted in 2007 by the Red Sox and Hoyer brought him to San Diego as part of the Adrian Gonzalez trade. Theo and Jed then traded for Rizzo again as part of the Andrew Cashner trade that brought him to the Cubs.
Honestly, you don’t get a guy three times if you don’t really see franchise caliber potential in him. The Cubs are hopeful that this will be the first of many 30+ home run seasons for Rizzo.