Anthony Rizzo had already cemented his legacy as the Greatest Leadoff Hitter of All Time, and now he’s achieved Greatest Relief Pitcher of All Time status. We have the Statcast data to back it up, too.
You might think his pitching was a joke, but Rizzo has a 0.00 career ERA and has never allowed a hit. Don’t be fooled by his 58 mph average velocity because those pitches might not even be fastballs. Statcast classified Rizzo’s two pitches as sliders.
Not only was Rizzo able to keep A.J. Pollock off balance by throwing sharp-breaking sliders under 63 mph, he was locating the pitches on the outside portion of the plate, much like Andrew Miller.
Look, I’m not saying Big Tony is the next coming of the Indians’ lefty reliever, but Miller’s average exit velocity against is 89 mph compared to Rizzo’s 92. In other words, there’s basically no difference.