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Could the Chicago Cubs have the NL Rookie of the Year in 2015?

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ADDISON RUSSELL – INF

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

This is probably more than a darkhorse, because it’s hard to say when we will see Addison Russell at Wrigley Field. But since Baseball Prospectus actually moved him AHEAD of Kris Bryant, the possibility is at least there. The Cubs trade with the A’s was a glorified robbery. The Cubs got Russell, Billy McKinney (No. 6 on BP), and pitcher Dan Straily.

Russell has the capability to be a Gold Glove winner at the Major League level. His range, speed and arm strength gives him a chance at almost every ball hit his way. His skill set may also allow for a position shift with him if necessary.

He’s got quick hands at the plate, and hit’s to all fields. He missed some time with a hamstring injury before being dealt to Chicago, but seems to have no ill effects from it. He has average speed, but is a smart baserunner, and that goes a long way after some of what we’ve seen on the bases in the past years for the Cubs.

With Russell, it’s another question of not just when, but where? He’s another shortstop to add to Starlin Castro and Baez. If Bryant does make a successful transition to the outfield, it’s possible you could see some shuffling among Castro, Baez and Russell on the infield. May feel like second base might be a better fit for Castro, although he did make great strides last season in the field.

Maybe we can get lucky and have another 1989 situation with the Cubs taking the top two spots in NL ROY voting. (Jerome Walton, Dwight Smith). In this case though, I don’t think any of these guys are going to fade away after one season.

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