When Anthony Rizzo looked across the field at the White Sox this week, he could see further into Sox’ future than maybe any other player, coach or manager in either organization.
All he had to do was look at the first few years of his own career.
“They’re obviously on a rebuild, and there’s no secret that they’ve acquired a lot of [minor-league] talent in the last two years,” said Rizzo, who sees his own career arc in the likes of young Sox players Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson.
“The good thing for them is they’re going to get the opportunity to just keep playing and work through [struggles],” like I got,” Rizzo said.
Rizzo sees a potential “good for the city” collision course between the clubs when/if the Sox pull off the feat Rizzo’s Cubs did over the past five years under Theo Epstein’s guidance.
The Cubs two-year surge from last place to their historic World Series championship over the 2015-16 seasons give Sox general manager Rick Hahn cover for the extreme overhaul that included trading Jose Quintana to the Cubs at the All-Star break and two more trades of veteran pitchers this week.
At least one prospect evaluation says Hahn has amassed 10 of the top 68 prospects in baseball.
Rizzo, who was one of the first prospects acquired by the incoming Cubs’ front office in the winter of 2011-12, offers a significant word of caution for anyone else trying the Cubs’ approach – especially in Chicago.
The word is patience.
“People lashed out at the Ricketts [ownership] family and Theo and [GM] Jed [Hoyer], calling for their [heads], telling them they’re idiots and that it would never come to fruition,” Rizzo said of the leanest, darkest years, when last year’s championship was nothing but a vision seen through the lenses of Rizzo’s left-handed swing and the potential returns on annual flip-guy free agent signings.
“And they stuck with it,”…