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
2017 in Chicago, Illinois. /

Russell needs to turn a corner in 2018

With more than 400 major league games under his belt, Russell is just a .240 hitter. While a .238 average was good enough to earn an All-Star selection in 2016, mediocre batting averages may lessen Russell’s value over time, especially if his OBP drops much further.

Despite a down 2017 season, Baseball-Reference.com is projecting a better season for Russell in 2018. The projection has Russell slashing .249/.325/.427 with 15 home runs and 60 RBI in 405 at-bats. If that happened, Russell would set career highs in batting average, OBP and slugging percentage.

Next: Chicago Cubs could have their hands full in the 2018 NL Central

Expecting a .250 average, a respectable OBP and a fair number of RBI from Russell in 2018 is not asking too much. Especially if Joe Maddon continues to bat Russell in the middle of the Cubs’ order.