Despite Anthony Rizzo’s ignominious strikeout in the All-Star game, a look at BP’s leaderboards reveals he’s having a monster year—good for the 11th highest BWARP in MLB. So while Rizzo’s performance this year has been nothing short of exceptional, his breakout came a year too late, as I write in this week’s BP on Fox article.
2013 should have been Anthony Rizzo’s breakout year. But things didn’t come together that way: his average fell by 50 points, and even though his walk rates and defense improved, it wasn’t nearly enough to counteract the drop in productivity from the bat. The standard explanation which analysts pointed to was an unsustainably low batting average on balls in play (BABIP).
In retrospect, it’s easy to look at Rizzo’s low BABIP from last year and see the inevitability of regression to the mean this year. But a closer examination reveals that he made several changes to his approach which might have contributed to his now more average BABIP of .298. Read the full article to find out what modifications Rizzo made at the plate, and how they are contributing to his All-Star season.