-Anthony Rizzo 2012: .285/.342/.463, .805 OPS.
After an underwhelming debut with San Diego in 2011 (.141, 1 HR, 9 RBI) Rizzo revamped his swing at Triple-A Iowa to become a legit hitting threat for the Cubs upon his arrival in late June.
In just over half a season (87-games) Rizzo hit 15 HR and drove in 48 RBI. In addition to his power, he also hit for average, against left-handers (4 HR, 17 RBI) and in the clutch with a sparkling .338 average with RISP. He finished second only to Soriano in game-winning RBI and held down the No.3 spot in the order from day one.
All signs indicate Rizzo will be a fixture at first base for years to come, a perennial All Star and a key figure in the Cubs’ rebuilding plans.
Perhaps the only thing more exciting than Rizzo’s improvement from Year 1 to Year 2 is how much better he could become next season.
Honorable mention: Alfonso Soriano 32 HR, career-high 108 RBI, best defensive season of his career.