Dan Hayes of the North County Times has confirmed the speculation about Anthony Rizzo’s impending arrival, citing a team source who says the stud first base prospect will be in the Padres’ lineup for tomorrow’s game against the Nationals.
Rizzo was already in San Diego to have his injured thumb examined, but the Padres have been coy about whether he’d stick around and moving Brad Hawpe from first base to right field was some pretty obvious writing on the wall.
Rizzo, who was acquired from the Red Sox in the Adrian Gonzalez trade this offseason, forced the earlier-than-expected call-up by hitting .365 with 16 homers, 20 doubles, and a ridiculous 1.159 OPS in 52 games at Triple-A as a 21-year-old.
That production is well beyond anything he’s done in the past, as Rizzo entered the season with an .850 career OPS, but Baseball America ranked him as a top-75 prospect even before this year’s explosion and he’s definitely the Padres’ long-term replacement for Gonzalez at first base and in the middle of the lineup.
Between his arrival and Nick Hundley’s return from the disabled list San Diego’s pitiful lineup is getting a whole lot stronger after scoring an MLB-worst 3.4 runs per game through 62 games.