Kris Bryant tops Fangraphs’ list of 2015 Cubs’ top rookies
Oct. 14, 2014; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell plays for the Mesa Solar Sox during an Arizona Fall League game against the Scottsdale Scorpions at Salt River Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
3. Addison Russell, SS
Acquired in the blockbuster trade that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics in early July, Russell, who was the A’s top prospect prior to the deal, came to Chicago – adding to an already strong list of middle infield prospects that has proved to be attractive trade chips for the Cubs of late.
"It’s possible that Russell won’t even make his major-league debut this season — or, not until September roster expansion, at least. Nevertheless, the projections indicate that, were he to receive a promotion to the parent club, that he’d produce wins at something like a league-average rate. The plate-discipline profile isn’t ideal at the moment, putting more pressure on the quality of Russell’s contact, but that’s also a concern mitigated by Russell’s positional adjustment and — so far as the future is concerned — how he’s turning only 21 years old."
This season, Russell split time between Class-A Advanced and Double-A – all of his time post-trade coming with the Cubs’ Double-A club in Tennessee. In a combined 68 games, the soon-to-be 21-year-old batted .295/.350/.508 with 13 home runs, 14 doubles and 45 RBIs. He also struck out 49 times in 280 plate appearances on the year.
Although he is off to a slow start in the Arizona Fall League, Russell could see Wrigley next year – or he could eventually turn into a trade asset – although one thing appears certain. He’s nearing big league-ready and whichever team controls him could very well have one of the game’s best young middle infielders.