Long-time Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was traded to the Yankees Thursday evening and has already made a big impact on his new team. Hitting cleanup in the new-look Yankees order that also includes fellow lefty-masher Joey Gallo, Rizzo walked in his first plate appearance and then sent a moonshot into the upper deck to break a scoreless tie in his second one with a prodigious, no-doubt home run:
Talk about announcing your presence with authority. That was quite a blast, clocking in at 449 feet. He really seemed to enjoy his trot to first base, too.
Rizzo is no stranger to the longball. That was his 244th career homer and five times with the Cubs he topped 30 homers in a year. He will also greatly benefit, when at his new home, from the short right field porch in Yankee Stadium. Per statcast data, Rizzo now would've had 24 homers if all his games this year had been played there. He has 15. Sure, he might be pitched a lot differently in that stadium, but it's simply an illustration of how much closer the right-field wall will now be for Rizzo at home. It's 353 down the right field line in Wrigley Field compared to 314 feet in Yankee Stadium. Obviously the 449-foot blast he just hit leaves everywhere, but he's had several warning track flies to right in Wrigley this year.
In parts of 10 years with the Cubs, Rizzo hit .272/.372/.489 (130 OPS+) with 276 doubles, 242 homers and 784 RBI. He finished in the top five of MVP voting twice and top 20 five times while winning four Gold Gloves. He's off to a roaring start to his Yankees career.