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Anthony Rizzo: Do the San Diego Padres Call Up the Prospect?

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Anthony Rizzo: Do the San Diego Padres Call Up the Prospect?

Update: According to the San Diego Union Tribune, the Padres will add Anthony Rizzo to the 25-man roster today and he will make his major league debut against the Washington Nationals.

Rizzo was hitting a ridiculous .365/.444/.715 with 16 HRs in just 232 plate appearances.

Original Post, 4/26/11: The San Diego Padres may have the worst offense my eyes have ever seen. They are really, really bad offensively.

As a team, the Padres have a .212/.295/.311 slash line with 12 HRs. Those numbers in each category are dead last in all of baseball by a wide margin. For the love of everything holy in this world, their cleanup hitters are hitting .126 this season!

Nothing has worked for the Padres offensively so far this season. And what really hasn’t worked have been their replacements for Adrian Gonzalez. Both Brad Hawpe and Jorge Cantu have been terrible.

Hawpe has five hits in 55 plate appearances and Cantu has a .411 OPS. Collectively, Padre first basemen in 2011 are hitting .105 with one HR in 86 ABs.

With Padre first basemen struggling, there has been a recent campaign to call up 1B Anthony Rizzo from Triple-A Tucson. Rizzo was batting .420/.487/.768 with six HRs in his first 17 games of 2011 and was one of the players the Padres acquired in the Gonzalez trade.

While it’s easy to say bring up the hot prospect to replace the jabroni veterans, calling up Rizzo would be a mistake by the Padres.

First, one player is not going to fix the Padres’ offensive mess. There are holes all over their lineup. Asking a kid to be the savior would be really unfair and put a ridiculous amount of pressure on a player who has only played 17 games at the Triple-A level.

Second, are the Padres really going to risk a year of player control just to finish in third or fourth place in 2011? The Padres are a small market team, so having a player under control for as long as possible is like gold to them. I don’t see how calling up Rizzo anytime soon would make much sense.

The Padres should let Rizzo develop and then let him compete for the first base job next spring training, and maybe by then the Padres will be ready to compete in the NL West.

Here are some other things you should know about Anthony Rizzo:

Age: 21

Bats: Left

Throws: Left

College: None. Went to Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL

Drafted: Sixth round of the 2007 MLB June Draft

Minor League Stats:

Year Tm Lev G PA H 2B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2007 Red Sox Rk 6 24 6 0 1 3 1 2 .286 .375 .429 .804
2008 Greenville A 21 87 31 6 0 11 3 15 .373 .402 .446 .848
2009 2 Teams A-A+ 119 503 132 37 12 66 50 99 .297 .368 .461 .828
2009 Greenville A 64 274 73 21 9 42 25 60 .298 .365 .494 .859
2009 Salem A+ 55 229 59 16 3 24 25 39 .295 .371 .420 .791
2010 2 Teams AA-A+ 136 602 138 42 25 100 61 132 .260 .334 .480 .814
2010 Salem A+ 29 135 29 12 5 20 16 32 .248 .333 .479 .812
2010 Portland AA 107 467 109 30 20 80 45 100 .263 .334 .481 .815
2011 Tucson AAA 17 78 29 6 6 24 8 13 .420 .487 .768 1.255
5 Seasons   299 1294 336 91 44 204 123 261 .292 .362 .487 .848
A (2 seasons) A 85 361 104 27 9 53 28 75 .317 .374 .482 .856
A+ (2 seasons) A+ 84 364 88 28 8 44 41 71 .278 .357 .442 .799
AA (1 season) AA 107 467 109 30 20 80 45 100 .263 .334 .481 .815
Rk (1 season) Rk 6 24 6 0 1 3 1 2 .286 .375 .429 .804
AAA (1 season) AAA 17 78 29 6 6 24 8 13 .420 .487 .768 1.255
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/26/2011.

Keith Law Ranking and Analysis:

Ranking: No. 38 out of 100 best prospects in baseball for 2011.

Analysis:

“Rizzo is a plus-fielding, plus-makeup, power-hitting first baseman, a potential Adrian Gonzalez Lite kind of player if he can improve his performance against left-handed pitching. Rizzo is still quite young and will play most of 2011 at age 21, but he already has handled Double-A pitching well, showing increasing power as he gets older and stronger after missing most of 2008 while fighting Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

"At the plate, Rizzo has a simple, easy stroke that generates mostly line drives, although he’s showing more ability to stay back and drive the ball out to right. His plate discipline remains borderline before you consider his age, and he’ll have to close the gap between his performances against left- and right-handed pitchers. But there’s still a lot of development time for Rizzo with the ultimate long-term ceiling of a fringe All-Star at first base.”

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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