One of the best young shortstops in baseball, many were floored when they saw what the Cubs got in return for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. That would be Addison Russell, who, at the time, was deemed “untouchable,” and for good reason. Russell was top shortstop prospect, with comparisons to Barry Larkin, and was a top five prospect in baseball.
Russell has been so good defensively, and shown flashes of superstardom offensively, he will be manning short at Wrigley for, what fans hope, is many years. Not to mention, the Cubs managed to resign Jason Hammel in the ensuing offseason.
Russell has a few gold gloves in his future, and most fans can agree to that, just seeing him play. He was clumped in with the Carlos Correa/Francisco Lindor/Xander Bogaerts/Corey Seager crop of shortstops. The kid’s got talent.
Russell has shown flashes of just how good of an all-around player he can be. He can hit the ball a long way when he gets into one, he has a fantastic eye, great base runner, just an all around good player. The scary thing with Russell is that there is so much more room for improvement.
That’s not a knock on him, that’s just how talented he is. If the Arrieta/Strop trade was a coup, imagine what this trade could end up being down the road. Since being called up last year, Russell has hit at a .244/.319/.398 clip. Now, that certainly isn’t anything to write home about. It’s the strides he’s made in 2016 that have Cubs’ fans licking their chops.
He’s already passed last season’s RBI total, he could push 20 homers, and, the main area where Russell has struggled at the plate, is hitting lefties, as the year has gone on, he has gotten better and better. Keep in mind, he’s 22. Russell is mature beyond his years and has many more great seasons to come.