Tha Sports Junkies 101

So You Thought Addison Russell Shouldn’t Be an All-Star

Addison Russell Jon Gudor/ via Flickr


Addison Russell

As the All-Star votes were tallied many people across baseball began to complain about the fact that the Chicago Cubs, Short-Stop Addison Russell was named as a starter.  Since then Russell has made his case very strong that he is not just an average player among a team of stars.  Sure Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo receive a lot of attention for their stellar seasons, and of course Jake Arrieta and the rest of the Cubs players get all the media attention.  However, there is one Cubs player that everyone had better start paying a little attention too.

Addison Russell is emerging as a star on a team that is full of players that are due their accolades.  Russell who is a 22-year old rising star is set to man the short-stop position for the Cubs for a long time to come.  If you look at his numbers you may think they are somewhat poor for a player in the big Leagues (.251/.336/.445), but if you look a little deeper you will see that he is about as clutch as it gets.

There is no one hotter on the Cubs now than Russell. He has seven home runs over his last 13 games and a career-high 19 for the season. He’s batting .313 with 15 RBI over that stretch. He is also on pace to hit 25 dingers and drive in 102 runs on the season.  Most importantly, Russell produces when his teammates are on base.

With runners on first and third he bats .438 with nine RBI. How about a runner on third and less than two outs? Russell has an average of .500 with 28 RBI, five walks, four sacrifice flies. When he steps up with runners on first and there is less than two outs, he has a .356 batting average with 34 RBI. That means that a little less than half of his RBIs come with someone on first base only. Russell also knows how to move runners over and drive in runs, he also gets on base a lot. Sure he has a low batting average but he has a .332 on-base percentage which puts him in fifth place on the team. Basically with runners on base and one out, Russell is who you want up to bat.

Not only has Russell been performing at the plate, he also is a Gold Glove caliber short stop according to his manager Joe Maddon.


“This guy on defense is getting to the point there’s no one like this right now,” said Maddon, gushing over Russell’s diving stop of Wil Myers’ hard grounder Monday that traveled at an estimated 110 mph.

“Look at how he moves his feet. Derek Jeter was like that, very simple with the feet,” Maddon said. “(Russell) is very frugal in his movements. There’s nothing extravagant about how he does any of this. That’s what I love.”


With the Cubs in hot pursuit of a World Series Championship, they find themselves full of talent that should keep them in contention for years to come.  So for now I’m sure Russell is Ok with his teammates getting all the attention, but he is looking more and more like he could emerge as the best of all of them down the road.