Chicago Cubs: Addison Russell is key to the Cubs’ offense

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Addison Russell will play a vital role in the Chicago Cubs’ offense in 2018 despite having a rough 2017 season

Perhaps the first thing that jumps off the page about Chicago Cubs’ shortstop Addison Russell is his age. The smooth-fielding middle infielder will turn 24 years old in January. Despite his youthfulness, Russell completed his third full season in the majors in 2017.

After appearing in 142 games during his rookie campaign of 2015, Russell upped that to 151 games in 2016, solidifying his name on Joe Maddon‘s lineup card. In 2017, however, the injury bug caught up with Russell and caused him to miss 40 games with plantar fasciitis.

Even before injuring his foot, Russell did not look like himself for much of the year. Following the 2016 season in which Russell clubbed 21 home runs and drove in 95 runs, he managed just 12 home runs and 43 RBI in 2017.

Despite a rough month of May which saw Russell slash .162/.295/.284 and hit just one home run, the 23-year-old did not have a terrible season. As stated above, Russell’s home runs and RBI were way down from 2016, but those statistics do not tell the whole story. Russell managed to better his batting average and slugging percentage from 2016 to 2017. Even so, Russell’s OBP dropped from .321 during the 2016 campaign to .304 in 2017.