Cubs prospect Anthony Rizzo hit a pair of homers for Triple-A Iowa on Sunday, his 19th and 20th of the season. Rizzo's first blast was basically your standard-issue center-field moonshot, clearing the fence just to the left of the 400-foot marker. Impressive enough, but not the sort of homer that deserves a celebratory blog post.
But Rizzo's second bomb ... well, wow. That one should probably get its own Toby Keith song.
View the clip above, please, if you haven't already done so. Our camera operator clearly doesn't have much experience tracking scoreboard-denting home runs, but at least the fan in the yellow shirt was kind enough to point toward the ball's landing spot.
You'll find a few additional details on Rizzo's shot right here, via the Des Moines Register's Randy Peterson:
His 20th homer was a line drive that was still going when it hit at least 40 feet high against the scoreboard.
"I hit that one well," said the usually unimpressed Rizzo, who had his fifth two-homer game of the season. "I don't know if I've hit many balls harder than that one."
I'm not sure anyone has hit a ball harder than that without the benefit of veterinary-grade drugs. Goodness.
Rizzo now leads the Pacific Coast League in home runs, slugging percentage (.721) and OPS (1.143), while ranking second in RBIs (53) and fourth in batting average (.363). Yes, the PCL is a notoriously hitter-friendly circuit, but you have to respect the fact that Rizzo is a category leader. The 22-year-old is crushing both left-handers and righties — 1.002 OPS vs. LHPs, 1.195 vs. RHPs — and he's worked to close the holes in his swing that were exploited by major-league pitchers in 2011.
When the Cubs eventually call him up, you can expect Rizzo 2.0 to be much better than the version we saw last season with the Padres. He's been a one-man murderer's row at Iowa. We apparently won't see Rizzo in Chicago during interleague play — Alfonso Soriano will take DH duties against the White Sox — but he's mastered the highest level of minor-league competition, so it's reasonable to expect a call-up in the near future. If you've stashed Rizzo in a fantasy league, don't lose hope now.
For the record, no batted ball has ever hit the Wrigley Field scoreboard (although Roberto Clemente famously came close back in '59). Rizzo's shot on Sunday was the wrong shape, but he just might have had the distance. That thing was destroyed.
- Sports & Recreation