Another of the Cubs’ young infielders was ranked by MLB Network as one of the top 10 players at his position. The Cubs’ 22-year old shortstop, after just a little more than two months at the position in the majors, checked in at No. 7 on the list of the best shortstops in the game.
“The Shredder” ranked Addison Russell as the seventh best shortstop in the majors. Bill Ripken had Russell two spots higher on his list and Brian Kenny does not think Russell is one of the top 10 shortstops in baseball.
Buster Olney ranked Russell as the ninth best shortstop in the game earlier in the off-season.
MLB Network’s Top 10 Shortstops: Francisco Lindor (Indians), Troy Tulowitzki (Blue Jays), Carlos Correa (Astros), Brandon Crawford (Giants), Jhonny Peralta (Cardinals), Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox), Addison Russell (Cubs), Marcus Semien (A’s), Andrelton Simmons (Angels) and Didi Gregorius (Yankees)
Addison Russell made his big league debut last April 21. Russell hit .242/.307/.389 in 142 games with 29 doubles, a triple and 13 home runs for a .696 OPS. Russell spent the first four months of his career at second base. As a second baseman, Russell batted .231/.299/.341 with a .640 OPS.
Remaining in the ninth spot in Maddon’s lineup, Russell started putting it together at the plate when he moved to the other side of the second base bag in August.
Addison Russell hit .259/.315/.465 in 61 games as a shortstop with 12 doubles, a triple and eight home runs for a .780 OPS. After the break, Russell put together a .259/.318/.427 line with 13 doubles, a triple and eight homers for a .744 OPS in 71 games.
With Andrelton Simmons in the American League, only Brandon Crawford of the current crop of shortstops in the National League will keep Russell from winning multiple Gold Gloves at the shortstop position.
Addison Russell’s bat should start catching up with his defense this season. As long as he stays off the DL, Russell should surpass the Steamer projection of .247/.307/.394/.701 with 27 doubles, two triples and 14 home runs this year.
Three of the Cubs infielders have checked in on MLB Network’s Top 10 lists … Kris Bryant was ranked as the second best player at the hot corner and Anthony Rizzo was fourth on the list of first basemen behind only two former MVPs and Paul Goldschmidt.