Chicago Cubs: A look at the projected 2016 starting lineup

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Sep 6, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop

Addison Russell

(22) throws to first base during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Shortstop: Addison Russell

Before the Chicago Cubs traded away Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics, they already had the best farm system in all of professional baseball. But things got a whole lot better when they acquired two major pieces. 

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This is where Addison Russell comes into play. The 21-year-old Florida-native quickly climbed through Chicago’s minor league circuit, eventually making his big league debut just a year after he was traded away from the Athletics.

Things weren’t as great when he was named the team’s everyday second baseman, but his defense improved when he took over the shortstop job following Starlin Castro’s demotion to the bench.

In 84 starts at second, Russell turned in a fielding percentage of .977 behind nine errors, 151 put outs, 226 assists, and 47 double plays. Despite still committing errors, Russell limited his total to only four while fielding .981 across 53 starts.

Meanwhile, in the batter’s box, he pulled through with 13 homers, 54 RBI, 29 doubles, one triple, 42 walks, but only managed to swipe four bags on top of a .242/.307/.389 line.

He was one of many who made their postseason debut, playing in four games until he injured himself while legging out a triple against the St. Louis Cardinals. It was later announced that Russell would not be available to play during the National League Championship Series against the New York Mets and may have missed the World Series as well.

Russell is currently on a mission to make a strong return.

Next: N.L. Rookie of the Year