10 Aug GETTING TO KNOW NY YANKEES – ANTHONY RIZZO
Name: Anthony Vincent Rizzo
Born: August 8, 1989 (age 32) in Parkland, Florida
Drafter: By the Boston Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2007 MLB draft and became a top minor league prospect in the Red Sox organization. He was traded to the San Diego Padres after the 2010 season along with three other prospects in exchange for All-Star first baseman Adrián González
MLB Debut: June 9, 2011, for the San Diego Padres
2021 Salary: $16, 500, 000
Rizzo will wear No. 48 as a New York Yankee
Anthony Rizzo, a cancer survivor who celebrated his 32nd birthday this past Sunday, was traded from the Cubs to the Yankees on July 29, providing an almost immediate lift to the Bronx Bombers. Rizzo is a three-time All-Star (2014-16) and was batting .248 (80-for-323) with 41R, 16 doubles, 3 triples, 14HR, 40 RBI and 36 BB in 92 games this season when the Yankees acquired him. Over 11 seasons with the San Diego Padres (2011) and Chicago Cubs (2012-21), he has batted .269 (1,329-for-4,940) with 730R, 284 doubles, 21 triples, 243HR, 793RBI and 645BB in 1,357 games. Rizzo has also finished in the top four in NL MVP voting twice (fourth in 2015 and fourth in 2016) and was a member of the 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs. They have won eight of nine games since his acquisition, moving within 1 ½ games of a playoff spot, and he’s hit three home runs with a .963 OPS in nine games with the Yankees. This past weekend, Rizzo became the fourth Yankee to test positive for COVID-19 in the past week, joining Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery and Gary Sanchez.
How did it feel to go into the Yankee clubhouse for the first time?
You come in here and you can’t help but be excited and can’t wait to get out there and play.
How did it feel to leave Chicago & to have your team broken up?
It’s crazy. It’s been a lot of talk for years and for it to finally happen, you can’t script it, We had good memories and friendships that are going to last forever. We did a lot of special things in front of a fan base that did not see a World Series in 108 years. Those moments will never be taken away.
Do you consider yourself a team leader?
First, it’s just how you play the game every day. Play hard, do the right thing on the field, stand up for your teammates. In the clubhouse, you see guys do certain things, just helping them out, picking them up when they’re down. For me, just be myself and continue to have fun, make sure other guys are having fun as well.
Has the analytics and data revolution impacted how you prepare and even adjust in-game, or do you tend to stick to the same old routine and just go out and play baseball?
I definitely have taken on to it, have adjusted to it, and used it to my benefit. But for me, it’s just bits and pieces. It’s not like every single data piece I’m using. But there are definitely pieces for me that I use that are very beneficial.
Who’s your favorite player to watch and who was your favorite player growing up?
I like watching Javy Báez all the time. And my favorite player growing up would probably be Derek Jeter or Gary Sheffield.