The lone bright spot in a pathetic 101-loss season was youngster Anthony Rizzo, who the Cubs acquired in early 2012 from the San Diego Padres. The first-baseman put up solid numbers in his rookie season in the bigs—a .285 batting average, fifteen homers, forty-eight RBIs—even though he only played in eighty-seven games. (The league even named him “Rookie of the Month” in July.) Rizzo has the potential to be the Cubs’ long-term solution at first base, and if he continues to produce power numbers he could become the team’s most potent offensive weapon. Unfortunately, Rizzo has the rest of the Cubs around him, so it looks like he’ll have to wait at least five years before he has a legitimate shot at playing in a playoff game. But who are we kidding—if he continues to develop at such a rapid pace, he’ll be on the Yankees by then.
Audience choice: TIE Theo Epstein, Anthony Rizzo
Best audience comment: Are there any old Cubs left?
Best of Chicago 2012