Everyone knew that Cubs super prospect Kris Bryant was going to be in the majors as soon as his service time could be gamed in the right direction, but not many people expected to see the Cubs’ other shiny prospect, middle infielder Addison Russell, with the big club before it even got warm in Chicago. But as was reported late last night, Russell is on his way to Wrigley, and the Cubs appear to be really going for it.
Russell, who is still just 21 years old, came to Chicago last year in the Jeff Samardzija trade, and he’s looked like a can’t-miss prospect at every stop he’s made in the minor leagues. Keith Law rated him as the fourth-best prospect in all of baseball earlier this month, due largely to the fact that Russell profiles as a solid power-hitting shortstop, an archetype that’s becoming increasingly rare in today’s game. He racked up 13 homers and an OPS of .858 in 258 at-bats in Double-A last season, and in 11 Triple-A games this year he hit .318/.326/.477.
He’s also a former fat guy, which just adds to his mystique:
Russell’s call-up is also a pretty clear signal that the Cubs are trying to win right now. They’re currently 7-5 and sitting in second place in the NL Central, and with the addition of Russell they’ve got a lineup that stacks up as perhaps the most dangerous in the division. He’ll slot in at second base, which has so far been occupied by a disastrous platoon of Jonathan Herrera and Arismendy Alcantara. The biggest black hole in the Cubs’ lineup is suddenly occupied by one of the best hitting prospects in baseball, and a Soler-Rizzo-Bryant-Castro-Russell heart of the order looks primed to do some damage. It should be a fun season at Wrigley.