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Cubs position-by-position analysis: First Base

Cubs position-by-position analysis: First Base

A little late today and we'll continue this series on the 26th.  After all the pitching additions, the focus on the team and possible improvements has turned to the position players.   We focused on catching yesterday, which could be set for years if Welington Castillo continues to make progress.  Today it's the first baseman, and the Cubs look even more set at that position.

First Base

Offensive Outlook (Bill James projections)

  • Anthony Rizzo: .283/.346/.517 with 33 HRs, .234 ISO, and 8.3% walk rate.

Do we really need another name here?  Rizzo will play over 150 games if healthy.  We'll look at other 1Bs in the depth section. James' projections for Rizzo are eye-popping and the Cubs would be thrilled with that kind of production from their 23 year old first baseman.  The power numbers are particularly impressive, though James predicts an uptick in walks as well, which puts the OBP near a very respectable .350.

Defensive Outlook

Rizzo was a plus defender last year (10.9 UZR/150) and figures to keep improving after working hard on his footwork and lateral movement around the bag.  He's always had soft-hands and a surprisingly strong arm for a first baseman.  Rizzo profiles as a gold glove type 1B defensively.

Overall

Barring something unforeseen, the Cubs have their 1B for the next decade in Rizzo.  He figures to be an asset offensively and defensively.  He has the excellent mental makeup and leadership skills to be a cornerstone of the franchise.

Depth/Outside help?

The Cubs don't need outside help here so we'll focus on the depth.  Short term depth includes free agent acquisition Nate Schierholtz, who is capable of playing 1B, though we haven't seen it yet in the majors.  Ian Stewart may be an option as well if Rizzo needs an occasional day off.  3rd catcher Steve Clevenger has some experience at 1B.  Needless to say, don't expect any of them to get much playing time at 1B unless there is an injury.  If Rizzo is out long term, the Cubs may call up the recently signed 29 year-old Brad Nelson to be the emergency 1B.  That would allow the Cubs to keep the rest of their lineup in tact.  Nelson is essentially the Cubs replacement for the NPB bound Bryan LaHair in that he is an older prospect who has put up tremendous numbers at the AAA level.  Like LaHair before 2012, he's had a couple of cups of coffee earlier in his career but has since been relegated to an organizational depth player.  Nelson hit .279/.364/.488 for the Texas Rangers' AAA affiliate last season.  He hit 24 HRs, put up a .209 ISO, and walked in just under 13% of his plate appearances.  Josh Vitters could also be part of the mix should Rizzo go down for an extended period of time.

Prospects

Most MLB ready:  Other than Nelson, the Cubs closest prospect to the majors is Justin Bour, 24, who was one of the organization's most productive players last season.  He has a good eye and a knack for driving in runs.  He's a big kid (6'4", 250 lbs) and must be mindful of that to keep himself mobile around the bag.  Despite the great size, he doesn't have the kind of HR power you like at 1B, hitting 17 at AA Tennessee while slugging .455 (.172 ISO).

Top Prospect: Dan Vogelbach may have more pure power than Rizzo but his game isn't as well-rounded. He's an excellent hitter with 80 (top of the scale) power potential to go with a plus hitting tool.  He generates great bat speed with an efficient swing and supplements that with a rapidly improving feel for the strike zone.  He's not as agile around the bag though he does have soft hands.  Neither Vogelbach or Rizzo are capable of handling another position full-time, so the Cubs will have to pray for the DH to come to the NL or make a decision down the road.  Vogelbach will be at Kane County next season as their is no reason to rush the just turned 20 year old.

Others worth watching:  Both Rock Shoulders, 21, and Jacob Rogers, 23, have great power potential to go with good plate discipline.  Each has a chance to be a solid defender.  Their biggest obstacle is being stuck between Rizzo and Vogelbach, so they'll have to put up some big years to draw attention next season.

Comments

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  • I remember one Cubs 1B prospect we had one time in Andy Thornton......we gave him up for Steve Renko and Larry Biittner....

    Buckner was a "real" ballplayer.....
    Durham was over-rated......
    Grace was a "Pretty Boy" who got his ring in Arizona...
    McGriff was a "Stiff".....
    Lee was never the same after hurting his wrist in that collusion....

    If Selig gives the N.L. the DH option, than Vogelbach will be a nice addition as DH in the lineup....reminds me of Greg Luzinski.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I remember Thornton and I was upset when they traded him. He didn't have a long career but put up a few good seasons.

    I disagree with you on Durham. At his peak he was underrated and Buckner, as much as I liked him, was overrated. OBP/power numbers low for what you want out of 1B. Defense no great shakes either. That said, he was an excellent contact hitter and has done a great job as Cubs hitting coach at Boise.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    Oh yea.... A pretty boy who was a .300 hitter and a stiff who nearly hit 500 homeruns over their careers.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Views can differ quite a bit for the same players.

    I would love it if Rizzo has as good a career as Leon Durham did up until he destroyed his career with drugs. Just about every year he had a higher OPS plus than rizzo had last year.

    Mark Grace may well have been a pretty boy, but he also was an excellent baseball player. The fact that he got no ring with the Cubs was hardly his fault.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    "Lee was never the same after hurting his wrist in that collusion...."
    What, Derrek Lee was in collusion? Was he an owner too?

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    It doesn't matter to me how good Vogelbach might eventually be. I do not want the DH in the NL under any circumstances. I would like to see it removed from the game altogether.

  • I see Rizzo, not Castro, as the cornerstone of this franchise. I look forward to seeing Vogelbach, and maybe Shoulders, play at Kane County, Beloit, and Clinton next year. Vogelbach has to find somewhere else to play. You just don't trade "light tower power."

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    In reply to historyrat:

    "Vogelbach has to find somewhere else to play."

    Have you seen him? First base is the only place on the field he has a prayer. DH is far more likely.

  • In reply to historyrat:

    I agree you can't put that tag on Castro now, but it's too early to say he won't ever be. He's just not as mature mentally or physically as Rizzo is yet. At worst he's an above average all-around SS (which he is already) -- which is a tremendous asset to build around. At best, he's something much more than that.

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    In reply to historyrat:

    I see no reason why both can't be franchise players. Castro at 22 is already a top 10 SS and locked down long term.

    As for Vogelbach. If his "light tower power" will net you a premium package that includes areas of need(like pitching) then you have to do it. Rizzo is a keeper.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    "Rizzo is a keeper."

    I'm not sure about this. I think it's a "wait and see" thing, where we see how both develop and then, only when/if Vogelbach is pushing Rizzo for playing time, do you make the decision. It might be that, for the money both are going to cost, Vogelbach gives you far more value than Rizzo and Rizzo could bring back significant pieces to restock the minors in trade. A ton of variables are in play here.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I don't think Vogelbach will ever even be an average defender, while Rizzo could be a top 3 defender at first base. I do think we need to take a step back before we put in stone that Rizzo will be a cornerstone. Castro has been in the league almost three full years now and has proven he can hit against the big boys. Rizzo has only been up, what, half a year?

    Now don't get me wrong, I think Rizzo absolutely will be a great player as will Castro, however I don't want to jump the gun on that just yet. This is going to be a huge year for not only the minor league system, but Castro and Rizzo as well.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I agree with your point on variables and wait and see approach. But something you said to keep in mind is if Vogelbach even gets a chance to push Rizzo that would mean Rizzo has been a mainstay for 3 or 4 years by then and still JUST entering his prime. If Rizzo is still the starter by the time Vogelbach is ready that means he should be producing. Not sure I'd trade a then proven, just entering his prime Rizzo to get an unproven Vogelbomb in the lineup. I'd rather trade Vogelbach for a nice package. Less risk, even if the package is a bit less.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    They'd be two different packages, though, which is part of the equation.

    As you say, at that point Rizzo is a sold major league regular entering his prime. You could get a ton of prospects for him -- think about the trade proposals for Justin Upton this off-season. Guys like that simply aren't on the market very often. Since (hopefully) the Cubs will be improving by then, draft money and positioning will be drying up, and as a result so will talent flow into the system. Trading Rizzo could fix that in one fell swoop.

    A team looking to rebuild, on the other hand, would be willing to give up a top major league player in exchange for Vogelbachj (who by then could be a top prospect).

    So, part of it depends on Cubs needs at the time, too.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    If the Cubs are competing (which they should by the time Vogelbach is ready), they won't trade Rizzo for a still unproven guy who has had success at AAA.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree. When Rizzo is entering his prime, the Cubs should be in in their "sustained success" period. I would not want them to trade Rizzo for prospects and hope Vogelbach can do what Rizzo. If I am competing for a championship, I want the best players I can get. At that time, it will/would most likely be Rizzo.

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    An elite hitting prospect, even one without a position, can still get you a top young arm -- as the Yankees/Mariners deal last season showed, though Pineda immediately got hurt.

    If the Cubs are contending by the time Vogs reaches AAA, it would put Rizzo squarely in his prime years. Would be hard for a big market team to justify trading him at that point to replace him with an unknown.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed.....the Vogelbach talk is not only premature, it's just extremely unlikely they drafted Rizzo and traded for him twice, only to let him get away. The only way I see that happening is if Rizzo flops and I'm feeling very optimistic that isn't going to happen.

    Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all. May it be blessed and safe, and find the Cubs continuing to head in the right direction.

  • In reply to WSorBust:

    Merry Christmas WSorBust!

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    People,People,People. Lets not even begin to think about trading Rizzo. What are you even thinking. Rizzo WILL be our first baseman for hopefully years to come. Please put it out of your minds. That thought shouldn't even cross your mind. John I enjoy your thoughts and your perspective but this one is crazy.

  • In reply to RClax3:

    I don't want to trade Rizzo. Did say the Cubs will have a decision to make, but barring the unexpected, that is almost certainly going to be a decision regarding Vogelbach.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Here's why I disagree: just this year the Red Sox, who were still competitive at the time (5 1/2 out at the end of June), moved Kevin Youkilis to clear room for Will Middlebrooks. It does happen, even among contenders. Now, there are all sorts of differences there, but if Vogelbach is ready and gets time on the big league squad as a pinch hitter and fill-in for Rizzo, it might change the equation.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Youkilis well past his prime, has chronic back issues, and Red Sox more out of contention than 5 1/2 games would indicate at time of trade. Midddlebrooks also proved his worth at MLB level. Huge differences that can't be glossed over.

    And if Cubs were 5 games out with a legit shot and traded an established star for prospects, It'd be disappointed. Can't keep selling off the present forever.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    It also has a lot to do with everything going on around them. Is Baez up and going crazy? Has Castro developed more power at that point? Where's the pitching staff stand? If the lineup is in really good shape otherwise, trading a known commodity - even one just entering his peak years - for a younger player who's shown a lot of promise could happen. I think there's a balance there between How the two players in question are looking and what's going on with the rest of the team.

    It also might not be as simple a question. Maybe Rizzo tweaks a hamstring and Vogelbach gets the opportunity to play for a month or so and lights it up. In that case, the risk level changes and so might the final decision. Which is just one more reason not to trade a high-ceiling player until they're closer to the majors, even if they appear to be blocked.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I'm not thinking about dumping him solely to refill the minors though. Imagine this scenario: going into the 2017 season, Rizzo is an established first baseman, and Vogelbach has just put up unreal numbers in the minors. Since the Cubs are contenders, the payroll is right near the limit. Suddenly, Strasburg becomes available. The Cubs want him, but they have to free up 10-15 million to sign him. Well, they have Rizzo at first making $10 milliion a year, and Vogelbach ready -- who will make $500,000 a year. It's entirely possible at that point that trading away Rizzo -- and his salary -- for Vogelbach in order to add Strasburg will be beneficial for the team. In the process, you use Rizzo to re-stock the farm system in order to extend the run. So it isn't about stripping talent -- it's about maximizing return for the payroll.

    Under most circumstances, i expect Rizzo to be the starter -- I'm just saying that we need to let both of them develop and see where the team goes before locking in the lineup 3 years from now.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Mr. Moody, speculating as to who the Cubs or any other team will or will not be interested in five years from now is, to be fair, a waste of time. Obviously, any pro-active front office will have a penciled-in five year plan, but to rely on any specific and ultimately circumstantial moves based on players that may or may not be available from another club or from the Cubs minor leagues is operating in the realm of what we should refer to as mere fantasy. Let's keep the conversation topical, eh?

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    That was obviously a theoretical example and not a specific proposal. Since these articles are about prospects who may or may not be available in 3 years time, I'd say discussing those prospects is quite topical. Insults and speaking down to people, not as much.

  • Schierholtz play 3rd at college, and in the minors play 1 game at 1st, and that was in the rookie league. Let's scratch him off the list of being mlb ready.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    1B won't be a challenge to learn for a guy with his athleticism. If the Cubs see him as a possible backup, which they should with Stewart and Clevenger no guarantees to start the season with the team, then he could get some reps in the spring and I'd be surprised if he wasn't adequate from right around the get go.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Additionally, you'd only be prepping him for limited exposure, which he should be able to handle. If the Cubs had to replace Rizzo long term this season, they'd likely turn to Stewart or Nelson.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Come to think of it, I'd probably put Vitters in that mix.

  • This site ran a video of Vogelbach's swing a few weeks back and it was about a lot more than 'light tower power'. I am not sure how matches to major league pitchers, but he has one of the easiest and the most smooth swings that have seen at any level.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    It's the swing Tim Wilken fell in love with and that video showed us why. To me, he has an excellent chance to hit as he moves up the levels.

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    John, I have a question. We've seen the Bill James metrics for years, but I can't recall anyone every writing a follow up at the end of the year to see how accurate those pre-season predictions were. I'd be curious to see what kind of a track record his projections have. I know I've been reading his stuff/about him since he first broke onto the scene in the late 70's/early 80's and everyone in MLB dismissed him as a geek. But I've never read anything like a follow up on his numbers at the end of the year. (perhaps an idea for an article?)

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Possibly. I think his predictions would be more accurate if taken as a whole. These kind of projections tend to follow general trends and do not account for individual improvements, injuries, collapse, etc. My guess would be that the projections themselves are hit or miss but taken in a broader trend across baseball, would be very close.

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    In reply to Just Win:

    Those projections for Rizzo are surprising. I think he'll be real good - he showed to ability to make adjustments last year after a rough August - but Bill James hasn't taken into account the old Sophomore Slump, which seems to affect a lot of players.

    If he puts up those kind of #'s this year already, that's huge for the Cubs. I'm hoping that becomes a typical season for him.

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    In reply to brober34:

    oh yeah - and he'll need to improve vs. lefties. if he can get up to even a .700 OPS from the .600 OPS he posted last year, that'd be huge.

  • for the vogelbach vs. rizzo debate id like to note the possibility of extensions. rizzo was signed for 325k out of the draft and vogelbach signed for 1.6mil. guys whos sign for less than 1mil are usually a lot more willing to sign team friendly extensions that give them finiancial security for life. Castro signed for 50k and was very happy to sign a team friendly deal this past season. Rizzo will probably be willing to do something similar but im not so sure that vogelbach would be. however if we do sign rizzo to a team friendly extension and the cubs decide they want to move rizzo at some point we've created some flexibility.

    Between the 2 guys i personally like rizzo better because of his better all around game and no disrespect to vogelbach but very few players have the mental makeup and clubhouse presence that he provides. I also really like the idea of having 2 key players in rizzo and castro signed to team friendly deals to be faces of the franchise for years to come.

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    In reply to jshmoran:

    This debate to me is just kind of silly. Rizzo had a pretty good showing with the Cubs in the big leagues. Danny was good in the low minors. There is a big difference there. There is a gigantic possibility that Danny never even makes it to the bigs.

    As a side note, Rizzo's defense separates him from Danny for me. Count me in the group that thinks a defensive first baseman is very important.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    I agree. To me it's simple. If you are a good team and expect to be in contention, then you want the proven commodity, especially if he's still in his peak years. A lot can change in the next few years, o course, but the most likely scenario is that Rizzo will be the Cubs 1B.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    i agree with both of u. i think i was just trying to supply more reasons to go with rizzo over vogelbach. i also do hope that rizzo has the type of season that bill james projects him to have and that the cubs sign him to a 6-7 year team friendly extension at the end of the 2013 season or in the beginning of the offseason. my hope is that we will be paying rizzo and castro a combined 18-25 mil during their prime years instead of paying each of them that amount individually.

  • Between Buckner v Durham...I'll take Buckner any day......Durham was "not" clutch....Buckner won many games when he needed to with his bat.....

    Grace was a good hitter and glove man.....not HOF.....

    McGriff, nice career.....not HOF....

    Forgot about Palmeiro......Grace was in the Mitch Williams trade, but a certain situation developed among teammates and Palmerio was sent out instead....which pissed off Dawson at the time.....

    Palmerio and Grace is like the situation we will have with Rizzo and Vogelbach.......

    How many of you would take Palmerio over Grace back then?...and forget about the steroid issue.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Remarkable revisionistic history.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    Just wow. Im speechless..... Grace was a tremendous first baseman, just lacked power which is required at the position. Mcgriff was a beast and a professional hitter who could field his position.

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    In reply to Rich Cap:

    What do you and StillMissKennyHubbs disagree with?

    I've never heard Grace was originally going to be in the Texas trade, don't know how accurate that is, but other than that, I agree with CubsTalk here.

    Grace and McGriff were very good players but not HoF'ers in my book.

    I think most Cubs fans wanted them to keep Palmiero at the time instead of Grace, at least I did and several friends. I wasn't happy with that trade but didn't know of the Palmiero/Sandberg situation until later.

    I loved Buckner, he was my favorite Cub of the 70's and still one of my favorites of all time. I'll always remember the fight Buckner got into with Gary Carter one day at Wrigley, trying to punch Carter through his helmet. It's a shame Durham snorted his career away, he had a TON of talent.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    My response was more toward the initial post about all the flawed Cubs' 1Bs.....Somehow he missed dissing Frank Chance, Phil Cavaretta, Ernie Banks, and Dee Fondy,

    Merry Christmas to all Cubs Den posters !

  • I just don't see how trading Rizzo 3-4yrs down the line for Vogelbach does us any good. Of course we can load up on prospects, but we'd be trading a 27yr (?) old 1B possibly going into his prime, potentially an all-star (vote early vote often), and maybe during the teams best years and possibly during a series of playoff runs (2016+) for Vogelbach. I know nobody wants to trade a potential 40-50HR 1B with light-tower power and a folk-hero's swing, but I don't see how we can trade Rizzo who can potentially add more by playing better Defense.

    I think the only way this works out in our favor is if the NL adopts the DH, but I'm sure he can bring in a pretty good package if he pans out.

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    In reply to Furiousjeff:

    I think the Vogelbach/Rizzo decision is so far off, if it ever happens, that to spend much time speculating on it right now is a waste of time.

  • Didn't Dawson say that the Cubs traded the wrong 1st baseman? Grace led the majors in hits during the 90's, beating Palmeiro by 7. Palmeiro had more power, Grace had a better hitters eye and glove. Durham had Buckner beat by 2 years with the ball between the legs routine. I liked both guys but would rather have Billy Buck. Not a fan of the DH but if Vogelbach keeps on mashing I may be praying for a rules change.

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    In reply to Larry H:

    Grace vs. Palmeiro? Simple....Grace wasn't sleeping with Ryne Sandberg's now ex-wife. Wonder why we traded Dave Martinez for Mitch Webster? Simple....Mitch wasn't sleeping with Ryne Sandberg's now ex-wife. I try not to speculate on personal issues but got this from a HOFer. Remember that more factors than quality of player go into trades.

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    In reply to Ryan Kalasz:

    LOL. I heard all of that too at the time. Dave Martinez was even traded on his wedding day, and it was a very strange trade at the time since Webster was much older/less talented and Martinez looked like he was going to be a very good player.

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    In reply to Just Win:

    Yeah.....curse of the billy goat has nothing on the curse of ryno's ex. I got hammered a few years back with Wade Boggs at a Tampa bay lightening game and he spilled the beans on a lot of "private" mlb stuff. It was a blast.

  • Sounds like everyone is just assuming that Rizzo is going to be so good in a few years that he'll be untouchable.
    That, to me, is ridiculous. You have to be an ELITE hitting 1B to be untouchable.
    If Rizzo is a 280/350/500 hitter, that is tradeable. A 1B with those numbers can be had every year in FA.

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    In reply to Norm:

    I agree, never say never to trading anyone. If it makes your team better, make the trade. That even goes for Castro, etc. I can't see a deal right now for Castro, Rizzo, Shark, etc. that would make the team better, but don't be afraid to make a deal just because you're attached to them. The worst thing a GM can do is get attached to their own players.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Babe Ruth got traded.
    Nuff said.

  • In reply to eaton53:

    Yes, Babe Ruth got traded (for $$$), and how did that work for the team that traded him?
    When the Ricketts family needs $$$ to back Broadway plays, like the Red Sox owners did, I will worry about them selling Castro, Rizzo, and our other stars.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Well, obviously it didn't work out well for the Red Sux.
    But it shows that ANYONE can be had for the right offer.

    Heck, this year's NL Cy Young winner just got traded.

  • In reply to Norm:

    That's not what is being said. The point is, you don't trade productive MLB players if you're contending and gamble on an unproven prospect. It's not whether or not Rizzo is replaceable. Of course, he is. But why sign an expensive past his prime free agent to do it?

  • I think Rizzo is the real deal. Despite that, you always listen to offers from other teams. 1B is generally a place where you have some options either from the free agent pool or blocked players in other minor league systems.

    I doubt they will shop Rizzo, but if someone blows them away, then yes.

  • Rizzo has the look of a clubhouse leader in the near future. That's another intangible you must take into account when you try to determine a player's value....and there is no super-metric to apply here thank goodness.
    Vogelbach may be the next Boog Powell or Frank Howard, or he may be the next Bob Hamlin or Justin Smoak. He's a loooonnng way from success in the bigs.

  • Look, if Rizzo is 280/350/500 and V-bomb continues to develop as most think, we will have a great problem. The most important thing in baseball to me is pitching and if one of them can get you a true #1 then do it and do't look back. San Fran, St Louis, the Diamondbacks. All had multiple #1's when they won the WS.

  • If memory serves, we picked Rock Shoulders up from the Flinstone Independent League.

    Looks like Schierholtz has only played one game at 1b in rookie league. He can probably do it, or maybe they're just banking on Clevenger.

  • I will enjoy watching both play next year, one in the majors and one in class A ball. I wont worry about who gets traded until a few years from now, if then.

  • And what are the chances that when Vogelbach's ready that Rizzo can move to 3b or LF? Seems to have good lateral movement.

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    In reply to Carne Harris:

    How many left handed 3B have you seen? Just wondering...

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Neither throw LH but there is no way either ends up at 3B.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Rizzo does throw left handed.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Good point.

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    I believe Mike Squires of the White Sox was the last left handed thrower to play 3B (and not regularly - 14 games in '83 and '84 total)

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Good lateral movement for a 1B, not for 3B and not enough speed for LF.

  • I just think we have an awfully GOOD problem with this situation. We can hope for Vogelbach to develop into what he projects to be and then we have the driver's seat as to what to do next.

  • We can not say how each career will go, and I'm not saying this is how it will be... but I see Rizzo as a possible All Star, .290 career average, possible gold glove or 2, 30 HR's and 90-100 RBI's per year and great clubhouse character. But, not necessarily HOF #'s for a 1st Baseman. Offense counts as a 1st Basement and the HOF standards for 1BM are higher that at other positions. Vogelbach could have the ability to hit .280 with HR's in the 50's and RBI's 120+ and thereby have HOF #'s. Plus, he too would be a great clubhouse character, All Star, but no gold glove. Who's to say and who's to know. Time will tell.
    Merry Christmas everyone. Be safe, be happy. Go Cubs!!

  • I hope both Rizzo and V-Bomb hit the crap out of the ball.

    Then I'd trade V-Bomb for an ace.
    It can happen. Think "Cliff Lee".

  • We are all assuming that Rizzo will be a star in years to come. He could well be. but let's step back and wait and see. Vogelbach may be a better hitter than Rizzo as he develops. But again we don't know. I fear that we trade one or the other before we know. If Vogelbach becomes a better first baseman in the defense area and a hitter that is phenomenal what's best for the cubs? What will win more games - defense or hitting? It's too soon to judge. And if V is a phenomenal hitter who the cubs trade away will they be known for what they gave up rather than who they retained? The past may be a good judge of that.

  • Merry Christmas everyone. Be safe. Be happy.

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    Thank you! Happy holidays to all!

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    Hey Hubbs16---Good to hear from you. A safe, sane, and happy Christmas to you and yours.

    And the same to all Cubs Denizens, and John, Tom, and Felzz !!

  • Happy Festivus!

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    In reply to SFToby:

    A Festivus for the rest of us!

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Is this where we do the "Airing of Grievances"??

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    Merry Christmas to John, Tom, Felzz and all of you guys here on Cubs Den.!!!! Enjoy and drink up!!!!

  • Merry Christmas, fellow denizens.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Thank you. Happy holidays!

  • Merry Christmas to all the Cubs Den family - John, Tom, & Fezz & all the fellow readers!

  • I know I'm late to the party here but I just saw this post. If Rizzo puts up the kind of offensive numbers that James projects, he'll be the National League MVP.

  • Thanks to everyone for the well wishes. Happy Holidays, Happy Festivus, Merry Christmas...

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