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Player Profile: Addison Russell, SS, Chicago Cubs

The shortstop position becomes pretty shallow once you get past guys like Correa, Lindor and Seager, so why not take a chance on a high upside player like Russell?

MLB: NLDS-Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Stats

Year Team PA AVG OBP SLG HR SB BB% K% GB/FB Hard%
Year Team PA AVG OBP SLG HR SB BB% K% GB/FB Hard%
2015 Cubs 523 0.242 0.307 0.389 13 4 8.0% 28.5% 1.01 27.1%
2016 Cubs 598 0.238 0.321 0.417 21 5 9.2% 22.6% 1.09 29.3%
2017 Cubs 385 0.239 0.304 0.418 12 2 7.5% 23.6% 1.09 32.2%

Russell was a highly regarded prospect when he was brought over to the Cubs in a trade that saw Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel get shipped off to the Athletics. Since making it to the majors, he has yet to produce what many thought he would do offensively. Last season there were some off the field issues he was involved with. These off the field incidents may have had something to do with his struggles on the field. As many can tell you baseball can be a very mental game, so players can sometimes struggle when things are going on off the field. Now all these distractions should be cleared up come 2018, so I will be keeping a close eye on the Cubs’ young star.

At the age of 24, Russell is still young enough to keep developing and getting better. We saw some things change for the better in 2017 like his swinging strike rate dropping and his hard contact rate nearly rising 3%, but we also some negatives last season. He was swinging at more pitches outside the zone and swinging at less pitches inside of it, and as I stated above this could have something to do with what was going on off the field. With a ton of potential, I will be curious to watch him mature and grow throughout 2018.