Chicago Cubs: Team’s 2018 success heavily dependent on young core

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Can Addi join the top-tier shortstops of his generation?

Last season was troubling for more than one reason for Addison Russell. He faced serious off-field   domestic accusations and battled injuries for a good chunk of the year.

And, again, he failed to cement himself among the top shortstops in the game. During the Cubs’ World Series season two years ago, he drove in 95 runs – the most for a Chicago shortstop not named Ernie Banks. Not bad company.  He batted just .238, though, which left plenty of room for improvement.

His defense took a big step in the wrong direction in 2017 – as shoulder issues lingered throughout the campaign. He appeared in just 110 games for the Cubs, putting up a dismal .304 on-base percentage in the process.

Russell is probably the biggest question mark for the Cubs as far as position players go. When the team acquired him in the Jeff Samardzija deal, he was mentioned with the likes of the best prospects in the game.

Now, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa and even Trea Turner are blowing past him. Can Russell prove what he’s capable of in 2018 or is he going to be left in the dust?