Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Chicago Cubs top prospect Anthony Rizzo
And now, the one you've all been waiting for, the best prospect on our list is none other than Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Let's be serious, did anyone really expect anyone else?
Rizzo is the talk of the town among many Cubs fans as he was brought over this summer in a trade that sent hard-throwing righty Andrew Cashner to the San Diego Padres.
It was just one year ago that Rizzo was the main chip in the deal that got the Boston Red Sox their All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. And want to know the thing both of those trades have in common? They were orchestrated by current Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein.
So, if one of the first things Epstein did as President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs was to get GM Jed Hoyer to acquire a kid Epstein himself traded one year earlier, that has to say something for Rizzo wouldn't you say?
Well, it should as Rizzo absolutely raked in his one season in the Padres minor league system. Rizzo hit to the tune of a .331 average, 26 home runs, 34 doubles and an astonishing 101 RBI's. Not at all a bad season.
Now I know what some of you are thinking: what about that .141 average he displayed in 128 AB's for the Padres big league team at the end of the season? Rizzo was the highest-rated Chicago prospect in the Top 100 this year coming in at No. 36 and it is with good reason. Rizzo is projected to be an above-average first baseman offensively.
The Padres were able to trade Rizzo due to the acquisition of Yonder Alonso from Cincinnati and could not turn down acquiring an arm like the one they received in Cashner.
Cubs fans should be ecstatic for the day when Rizzo bursts onto the scene in Wrigleyville. However, just like Brett Jackson fans will need to wait as the Cubs are going to ride with Bryan Lahair as their first baseman to start the season. Don't be surprised to see Rizzo make his Wrigley debut this season though, whether it be during September call-ups or before.
Rizzo represents what Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer hope will be the future direction the Cubs take. I for one think Rizzo will be a great piece on the North Side for years to come.