Legends On Deck

Prospects On Deck: SS Addison Russell – Cubs

Addison Russell

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images


Last summer when the Chicago Cubs sent pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland A’s for their number one prospect Addison Russell and number two, Billy McKinney, it was clear that the team from the Windy City were doing the right things to continue to build up their stars of the future and make their farm system one of the strongest in the game.

Russell, who was drafted by the A’s in the 1st round (11th overall) of the 2012 June Amatuer draft out of Pace High School, (Pace, FL), not only was he their number one guy on their Top 20 prospect list, but he also ranked No. 11 overall on the MLB’s Top 100 list.

In 2012 at 18-years old, Russell spent time between Oakland’s rookie ball, short season Class A, and full season Class A clubs and combined he batted .369, with seven home runs, 45 RBI’s, 16 stolen bases, and 23 walks in 214 at bats. As he moved up his average and numbers dropped, but he still batted above .300 in full season Class A and at such a young age, he showed just how talented he was especially coming straight out of high school.

In 2013, the short stop spent most of the season in Class A Advanced and batted .275, with 29 doubles, 10 triples, 17 home runs, 60 RBI’s, 21 stolen bases and 61 walks in 429 at bats. Russell then jumped over Double A and was given a look with the A’s Triple A squad and in three games he had one hit in 13 at bats.

In 2014, the highly touted short stop appeared in 18 games between Oakland’s Class A Advanced and Double A affiliates before being traded to the Cubs, who then assigned him to their Double A team in Tennessee.

With the Tennessee Smokies, Russell batted .294, with 11 doubles, 12 home runs, 36 RBI’s in 194 at bats.  He was hampered by leg issues early on in the season with Oakland, which seemed to slow him down on the bath paths mostly as he stole only six bases in all of 2014.

After the regular season the Cubs sent him to play 11 games in the Arizona Fall League where he also saw some time at second base. And looking at that move could be an indication that the club is looking at the possibility of pairing Russell up the middle with their star short stop Starlin Castro. But with Javier Baez also in the mix, will be interesting to see what the Cubs do.

Now Russell lands as the Cubs number two prospect behind number one Kris Bryant. With stocking the Cubs farm system the past three seasons, team president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer are doing magic in Chicago, which could only mean that the Cubs are being built for success for years to come. This is great news for the loyal and die-hard Cubs fans that have been waiting a lifetime to see their team win a World Championship.

It takes time to build a winner and Epstein is doing just that, from the bottom up. Exciting baseball soon to come from the north side of Chicago.


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