Seventeen years ago, it was Chipper Jones.

And he had nothing on Anthony Rizzo.

''I mean, I took my lumps; there's no doubt about it,'' said Jones, the Atlanta Braves' eight-time All-Star, recalling the start of that rookie year he spent as Bobby Cox's No. 3 hitter. ''There's a learning curve there.''

The Cubs aren't the only ones in baseball impressed with the way Rizzo, dropped into the middle of the order and dubbed some kind of a savior, has handled that curve in his first week as the Next Big Thing in Chicago.

Even before he doubled in his first at-bat Tuesday, Rizzo was hitting .304 with two home runs among four extra-base hits and go-ahead RBI in four of seven games.

''He's grown in leaps and bounds since I saw him in San Diego last year,'' said Jones, who also had a brief big-league taste before getting the middle-of-the-order call in 1995. ''He's able to hit the ball to [all] fields, able to do it with power.