Yankees’ veteran infielder showing signs of a bounce-back

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Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo is back to being himself this spring. The former All-Star slugger appears to have no traces of debilitation from a concussion that hampered his 2023 campaign.

Rizzo is excelling at the plate through four Spring Training games. So much so that Shanti Sepe-Chepuru of MLB.com named him as one of the 10 best performers thus far, saying this about his prowess after recovery:

“Coming into camp, the extent to which that was going to affect him going forward was something of a mystery, but early on, there appears to be no cause for concern — after struggling to see the ball down the stretch in 2023, he’s hitting .467 thus far this spring,” Sepe-Chepuru said.

Yankees’ Anthony Rizzo looks ready to have his best season in New York in 2024

His batting average is far above the mean for great players, and his counting stats are right along with it. Rizzo has smacked home two bombs into the stands, as well as two doubles.

Known for being an efficient hitter, the 34-year-old infielder is resembling the same Rizzo that hit 32 home runs in 2022.

Can Rizzo replicate the hot streak he was on prior to his concussion in 2023?

As ESM’s Alexander Wilson noted back in December, “Before the injury, Rizzo hit an incredible .305/.378/.513 with a 149 wRC+ and 11 homers.”

The Yankees will need every bit of production he can muster up in 2024. The hope is that he can mirror his pre-injury output when batting in the cleanup spot.

DJ LeMahieu, Juan Soto, and Aaron Judge can be relied on to get on base as well as any player in the majors, especially in the case of the latter two. Should Rizzo be able to put baseballs in the center of the field, he can drive in a great many RBIs and keep innings alive for the Yankees.

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