The curiosity factor is pretty much gone now. Reporters aren’t lined up three-deep around his locker. The cameras aren’t in his face. There’s no wondering when he’ll get to Wrigley Field or if he’ll be a bust.

It has been a very quiet spring, and that’s exactly the way Anthony Rizzo likes it.

Rizzo, whose great-grandfather is from Sicily, will join Team Italy and hitting coach Mike Piazza on Monday in Arizona for the World Baseball Classic. When he returns to camp, the Cubs will be getting back their middle-of-the-order force and Gold Glove-caliber first baseman for the rest of this decade.

At this time last year, Cubs executives could only hope that would be the case. Sure, Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod knew Rizzo’s makeup and how he beat Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a prospect in the Boston Red Sox system.

But they couldn’t know for certain if he’d take to a new swing or how he’d respond to the “Rizzo Watch” pressure. This was a guy who looked lost with the San Diego Padres in 2011, hitting one home run and striking out 46 times in 153 plate appearances.

Now manager Dale Sveum is penciling Rizzo in for 30 homers and 100 RBI. Javier Baez and Jorge Soler are the hot stories, but it’s pretty much a given that the 23-year-old first baseman is going to be the face of the franchise.