Addison Russell
Addison Russell
25-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
Chicago Cubs
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Russell was a disappointment at the plate last season and even more of one off the field. It would be silly to believe that the off-field drama did not impact what was happening on the field, because it was too prevalent to be ignored. Russell continues to perform at a high level defensively, but his offensive production has shown no growth the past few seasons, and at best plateaued until dropping into a cavern in 2018. The largest issue at the plate is how poorly Russell performs against righties (career .247/.310/.387 line). A good defender at shortstop, Russell has never been a league average hitter (career-high 95 wRC+ in 2016), but over the last two years his production has completely tanked. His 82 wRC+ over that span is the same mark as Nick Ahmed and Ehire Adrianza. He will miss the first 28 games completing a suspension for his off-the-field actions, but is expected to serve as Chicago's primary shortstop upon his reinstatement. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $3.4 million contract with the Cubs in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Records four hits Saturday
2BChicago Cubs
September 28, 2019
Russell went 4-for-5 with a run scored in Saturday's 8-6 win over the Cardinals.
Russell hasn't played much in September as he's recovered from a concussion, and he actually doubled his monthly hit total in just this game alone. The 25-year-old started at shortstop with Nico Hoerner playing second. Next season, with a healthy Javier Baez around, one of Hoerner or Russell will likely be squeezed out of regular playing time.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
Since 2017vs Left .752 287 38 7 23 1 .253 .346 .406
Since 2017vs Right .668 804 91 19 81 7 .240 .298 .370
2019vs Left .653 62 6 2 6 0 .192 .306 .346
2019vs Right .714 179 19 7 17 2 .252 .309 .405
2018vs Left .744 123 14 2 11 1 .273 .344 .400
2018vs Right .626 342 38 3 27 3 .242 .307 .319
2017vs Left .821 102 18 3 6 0 .264 .373 .448
2017vs Right .687 283 34 9 37 2 .230 .279 .408
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
Since 2017Home .634 489 53 11 47 3 .216 .294 .340
Since 2017Away .733 602 76 15 57 5 .264 .324 .409
2019Home .606 111 8 4 11 0 .188 .273 .333
2019Away .775 130 17 5 12 2 .277 .338 .437
2018Home .664 209 26 2 20 1 .257 .327 .337
2018Away .652 256 26 3 18 3 .245 .309 .343
2017Home .615 169 19 5 16 2 .184 .266 .349
2017Away .803 216 33 7 27 0 .280 .333 .470
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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.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB Rate
K Rate
Exit Velocity
86.6 mph
Hard Hit Rate
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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.
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
Makes first appearance since concussion
2BChicago Cubs
September 25, 2019
Russell (concussion) struck out in a pinch-hit at-bat Tuesday in the Cubs' 9-2 loss to the Pirates.
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Back from concussion list
2BChicago Cubs
September 19, 2019
Russell was activated from the 7-day concussion list prior to Thursday's game against the Cardinals, Jordan Bastian of reports.
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Could be activated Friday
2BChicago Cubs
September 19, 2019
Russell (concussion) could be activated Friday, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
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Takes batting bractice
2BChicago Cubs
September 16, 2019
Russell (concussion) took batting practice Monday, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
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Moves to concussion list
2BChicago Cubs
September 15, 2019
Russell was placed on the seven-day concussion list Sunday, Jordan Bastian of reports.
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