Anthony Rizzo Scouting Report (2009)
Entering the 2009 season, Anthony Rizzo was arguably the biggest wild card in the Boston Red Sox organization. A former 6th round pick, only cancer has kept baseballs safe from the slugging first baseman whose minor league career triple slash line of .314/.376/.476 is on par with many of the best prospects in baseball. The only question with Rizzo is how much room for improvement is left? At only 19, it seems like a silly question, but Rizzo’s size leaves little room for further projection
Physique – A man among men? Rizzo was more linebacker than baseball player and looked every bit of his listed 6 foot 3 inches and 220 pounds. Had he been an international free agent, I would definitely be asking for a birth certificate as he looked older than his listed age. He moved well for his size, but at nineteen, he should. As the years pass, it’s going to be difficult for him to keep his athleticism.
Offense – Already a polished product, Rizzo has an athletic stance and stands tall in the batters box. With a classic left handed sweeping swing, it looked a bit long at times as he fought to catch up to 90 mph fastballs. His movements are fluid and works to keep his elbow tucked. He’s also very comfortable working deep counts. During one at bat, he fouled off at least half a dozen pitches before hitting a hard single back up the middle. Strikeouts are a concern at this point which might be explained by his being caught off balance on breaking balls. one drawback is his polish and size which leads me to believe his power ceiling may ultimately be limited. At a corner infield position, this may weigh heavily on his prospect status going forward.
Defense – Rizzo only manned first base for one of the three Greenville games I attended and seemed about average for the position. His size could limit his lateral movement and range in the future, but it’s fine for now. His arm was also above average for the position.
Speed – Rizzo’s speed was good for a player with his physique, average to a tick below when compared to all minor leaguers. While not a base clogger, he will never be a player who chips in double digit steals or can score from first on a double in the gap.
I mentioned signing Rizzo to my minor league system in a dynasty league I play in after dealing Freddie Freeman. Both players have a great deal in common and Rizzo being available definitely lessened the blow of losing one of the games best first base prospects. The primary difference between the two players is Rizzo’s polish offensively leaving Freeman with a slightly higher ceiling considering his success even though he has load issues to hammer out. Rizzo also strikes out a bit much at this point and needs to be more aggressive early in counts as he is susceptible to breaking balls.
In 2010, Rizzo will likely be a borderline top 100 prospect and firmly entrenched in the Boston Red Sox top ten. He profiles as a solid all-around first baseman who does everything well, but lacks a standout tool.
24 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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