2/18 Riz on kids: Don’t rush them

Anthony Rizzo knows all about the great expectations people place on young players. He went through that when he was first called up to the Padres in 2011. Now, the Cubs’ top prospects, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Albert Almora and others, are dealing with the hype. Rizzo will try to ease some of the pressure.

“[The media] is going to crown them the next Babe Ruth,” Rizzo said Tuesday. “People did for me, and it’s part of the game, and they’re going to have to deal with that so-called pressure of coming up. They’re going to have fun, and we’ll make sure we have fun.”

Did all the attention affect the Cubs’ first baseman?

“I put my own expectations for what I do on myself,” Rizzo said. “What other people say doesn’t effect me.”

The Cubs have been adamant that Baez, the No. 1 prospect, will open at Triple-A Iowa. Fans are giddy at seeing the young potential impact players now.

“You say you don’t want to rush them too fast and make sure they can get the right amount of at-bats but they’ve shown they can handle every level,” Rizzo said. “The biggest learning process is up here [in the Major Leagues] — that’s where you learn the most. Adding that third deck of the stadium is huge. You can’t prepare for that.”

Rizzo’s transition wasn’t smooth. He was promoted to the Padres in June 2011, and batted .143 in his first 35 games, and was sent back to Triple-A. Called up again in September that year, he hit .133 in 14 games.

– Carrie Muskat

9 Comments

Batting vs. southpaws could not have been fun for Anthony thus far in his brief big league career. Has he done anything in the off season to improve his success rate in that area? If not, this is a conundrum. Could he possibly see platooning in his future?
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My crystal ball is seeing Vogelbach as the Cubs future first baseman……I know people will say that Vogelbach has a weak glove….I rather have a weak glove then a weak bat…….so far we survived with Castro’s weak glove………we cannot have “Barney” Bats at all of our infield positions……….and if BJax bat comes alive, we might have a Bjax, Almora, Soler in the OF and put Bryant at first………..we should just see how 2014 comes about………..and what about Junior Lake you ask?……..Lake is like a Billy Hatcher type of player…….exciting at times, but not an everyday player….but who knows, maybe Lake can change Renteria & Theo’s view of him.

You say that Lake is like a Billy Hatcher, not an everyday player. Then you say Lake may change renterias and Theo’s view of him?
Whose view are you talking about, yours or theirs?

Also, do you think if Sveum would have rested Rizzo against the top 5 LH pitchers when facing them, put a RH bat at 1st, it not only would have helped Rizzo’s confidence, but also given the Cubs a better chance to win that day? Also, giving Rizzo a rest?

Ow

The day Bryant was drafted in June, Larry Bowa of the MLB network observed that he projected Bryant as a better fit at first base, rather than third. Keep that option in mind, Cubs Talk.

jhosk, in my opinion thats part of Theo’s and Managements vision. Bryant, in a year or so can be penciled in for 3B, 1B or OF. Baez, 3B, SS, 2B or even 1B. Soler, any OF position and he plays the OF very well. Grimm, starter or BP. Vizcaino, starter or BP.
Is Castro a lock to stay? Not if Baez cuts down on errors. Is Rizzo a lock to stay? Not if Olt holds on to 3rd and Bryant is ready. Then the best defensive 3rd Baseman of all, will be at AAA this year, Villanueva.
By todays standards both contracts to Rizzo and Castro are reasonable, if Management decides to move them, should be fairly easy.
With Bonifacio, Watkins, Valbuena, Barney better bring his game to ST. With Watkins a LH hitter, Valbuena better bring his game.
The whole Organization is being put together with options. Its great to watch.

Actually, I’ve heard more people project Bryant as an OF (haven’t heard 1B comments). For now, he’s a 3B in the Cubs system

Understood Carrie, however if the Cubs needed a 1st Baseman when Bryant is ready and Bryant being a 3rd Baseman: A little coaching & work around 1st base would be an easy transition.
There are so many variables, bet you had not heard Baez at 1st either? lol

Yes, I see what you mean, Jasper. There are many options with players who are versatile.

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