Addison Russell
Addison Russell
24-Year-Old ShortstopSS
Chicago Cubs
2018 Fantasy Outlook
It's easy to view Russell's third big-league season as a disappointment, but when you consider that most players his age are still making their way through the upper levels of the minor leagues, you can still find reasons to be optimistic about his future. Shoulder soreness temporarily derailed him in May, and could have contributed to his worst month of the season (.579 OPS), and Russell's first half as a whole (.226/.297/.381) was a step back from his previous levels. In addition to the injury, Russell and his wife started divorce proceedings in June. A foot strain cost Russell six weeks during the second half, but he hit .274/.324/.516 over his final 30 games, and swatted five of his 12 homers during that span. A rebound back to his 2016 numbers doesn't seem out of the question if he's able to secure a place in the middle-third of the Cubs' lineup again to begin 2018, as his glove should keep him on the field as an everyday player when healthy. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Agreed to a one-year, $3.2 million contract with the Cubs in January of 2018, avoiding arbitration.
Heads to bench
SSChicago Cubs
September 18, 2018
Russell is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Diamondbacks.
Russell has started five of the last six games at shortstop, going just 2-for-17 with a 5:1 K:BB over those contests. Javier Baez will cover shortstop with Russell absent from the lineup.
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Batting Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .787 383 54 14 45 1 .249 .346 .441
Since 2016vs Right .682 1057 117 24 131 10 .240 .305 .377
2018vs Left .741 119 14 2 11 1 .271 .339 .402
2018vs Right .634 338 38 3 27 3 .245 .311 .324
2017vs Left .821 102 18 3 6 0 .264 .373 .448
2017vs Right .687 283 34 9 37 2 .230 .279 .408
2016vs Left .801 162 22 9 28 0 .223 .333 .468
2016vs Right .715 436 45 12 67 5 .244 .317 .399
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
Since 2016Home .725 669 78 18 98 4 .245 .320 .404
Since 2016Away .696 771 93 20 78 7 .241 .311 .385
2018Home .664 209 26 2 20 1 .257 .327 .337
2018Away .660 248 26 3 18 3 .248 .310 .350
2017Home .615 169 19 5 16 2 .184 .266 .349
2017Away .803 216 33 7 27 0 .280 .333 .470
2016Home .833 291 33 11 62 1 .272 .347 .486
2016Away .647 307 34 10 33 4 .205 .296 .351
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Stat Review
How does Addison Russell compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Additional Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
There was much to like from Russell in 2016, though his game was far from perfect. On the bright side, he hit 21 home runs and drove in 95 runs from the shortstop position, third and first among NL shortstops, respectively. The negative case for Russell says that he's a poor contact hitter who batted just .238, confirmed by his 135 strikeouts. He has poor speed for a shortstop with only five stolen bases and got lucky with RBI by having 167 at-bats with runners in scoring position, sixth most in the league. It's easy to forget that Russell is only 23 years old, and while he will need to improve his plate discipline going forward, the fact that he's already hit 20 home runs at age 22 suggests an impressive ceiling for the Cubs' shortstop. While this position looks deeper than usual in 2017, Russell is a solid option with a high upside, especially if he has some better luck on balls in play (.277 BABIP last season).
The numbers weren't great, but Russell's rookie season was still a success, as he was called up early in the year to play in the infield and eventually took Starlin Castro's job at shortstop. Russell spent much of the year batting ninth, where manager Joe Maddon could protect him a bit, and played more than 60 games at both second and short. He will be just 22 years old on Opening Day and presumably starting at short, but needs to work on making more consistent contact and improve his numbers against left-handed pitching (.527 OPS). Keep in mind that he was one of the top prospects in baseball going into last year and consider throwing an extra buck his way on draft day, just know that it may be difficult for him to work out of the bottom-third of a stacked Cubs lineup.
Given that the A's didn't make the World Series after acquiring Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel in July, they may curse the day the traded away Russell, who immediately moved near the top of a very good Cubs prospect list after the deal. While Starlin Castro is blocking Russell at the big-league level, expect the Cubs to still find a way to get Russell into the lineup as soon as he's ready (which could be very soon). The 21-year-old infielder hit 13 home runs in 242 Double-A at-bats last year and topped .300 in the process. NL-only ultra-leaguers take note: he may be the best minor league prospect not already kept by someone in your league.
Russell was selected 11th overall in the 2012 draft and is universally considered the top prospect in the A's system. The fact that he plays a premium position makes his star burn even brighter. After an electrifying debut in 2012, Russell encountered a bit more trouble in 2013, hitting only .269, but he still contributed 29 doubles, 10 triples, 17 home runs and 21 stolen bases, all very impressive numbers for a 19-year-old in his first full season, and at High-A, no less. Russell has a ton of talent, but he needs to work on cutting down his strikeouts (he had 116 in the minors in 2013), but he did start to improve upon that in the 2013 Arizona Fall League, striking out only 15 times in 85 at-bats. Russell will likely start the 2014 season at Double-A Midland, but he certainly is on the fast track for the A's and will rise through the organization quite rapidly.
The A's used their first-round pick (11th overall) on Russell, a high school shortstop from Florida. Russell had an exceptional season after signing in July, hitting .415 in 26 games in the Arizona Rookie League and then .340 in 53 at-bats in the New York-Penn League. After those performances, he earned a promotion to Low-A for the end of the year. It is possible he may get too big for shortstop and have to move over to third base, but Russell was drafted for his bat. Scouting reports indicate that he has a lot of raw power and can drive the ball to all fields. Russell will likely start the year back at Low-A Burlington after holding his own there during a small 16-game sample in 2012.
More Fantasy News
Out of Friday's lineup
SSChicago Cubs
September 14, 2018
Russell is not in the starting nine against the Reds on Friday.
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Sits out Tuesday
SSChicago Cubs
September 11, 2018
Russell is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Brewers.
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Picks up start Sunday
SSChicago Cubs
September 9, 2018
Russell is starting at shortstop and batting sixth in Sunday's series finale against the Nationals.
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Sticks on bench
SSChicago Cubs
September 2, 2018
Russell is out of the lineup Sunday against the Phillies.
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Activated from disabled list
SSChicago Cubs
September 1, 2018
Russell (finger) was activated from the disabled list Saturday.
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