June 20, 2011

Former Red Sox Prospect Anthony Rizzo Hits For Cycle With First Four Hits Of Career

Anthony Rizzo was one of the four players Boston traded to San Diego in exchange for Adrian Gonzalez. The 21-year-old first baseman began the year in Tuscon (AAA), but after hitting .365/.444/.715 in 52 games, the Padres called him up.

Rizzo made his debut on June 9 against the Nationals - and tripled in his second at-bat. Two days later, he homered and doubled. Then, after an 0-for-13 skid, he singled against the Rockies last Wednesday.

Four hits in his career: triple, home run, double, single!

Even with all the data at Baseball Reference and Retrosheet, we do not know if Rizzo is the first major leaguer player to hit for the cycle with his first four hits*. But at the B-Ref blog, John Autin did answer some other questions:
Is Rizzo the only player with exactly four career hits, including one of each kind?
No. Jerry Brooks also had only four hits - and his game log is even more remarkable than Rizzo's. Batting almost exclusively as a pinch-hitter, Brooks went 2-for-9 (double and home run) with the 1993 Dodgers and then 2-for-5 with the 1996 Marlins (triple and single). ... Also, it is a virtual certainty that Rizzo will get a fifth hit in the majors.

Autin also asked:
How many hitters have had a single, double, triple, and home run as their only four hits in one season?
Has there been a season in which a player had only three hits (double, triple, and home run, but no single)?

Tangents are pursued and comments are made and we learn the name of the only player to hit home runs as a pitcher, pinch-hitter, and designated hitter in the same season. Added coolness: he was a National Leaguer!

* - In comments, Dave M reports that the first four hits of old friend Bill Hall's career, when he debuted with the 2002 Brewers, were, in order: home run, triple, double, single. ... So Rizzo is not the first player to hit for the cycle with his first four hits.


laura k said...

"Why can't we get players like that?"

Benjamin said...

"Why can't we get players like that?"

Take heart: we still have Mike Cameron, who also has 4 hits in his last 32 PA!

(Can we trade him for another Gonzalez? I'd even take an Alex or Mike.)