Addison Russell
Addison Russell
26-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
 Free Agent  Foreign
Free Agent
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Russell began 2019 with 28 games left on his 40-game suspension for violating the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. After reinstatement, he was optioned to Triple-A, where he stayed less than a week. Russell started slow but picked it up and was hitting .288/.344/.508 on June 1. A .218/.320/.333 stretch earned Russell a trip back to Iowa on July 24 where he stayed until Aug. 15. After his callup, Russell fared even worse, slashing .217/.260/.362. His usual plus defense took a step back, at one point sending him to the bench after repeated mental errors. Russell's hot start helped keep his final line around his career norm, but the sluggish finish doesn't bode well heading into 2020 after being non-tendered. Russell may challenge for playing time on a second-division team, but he's a fantasy afterthought. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#595
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$Signed a one-year, $3.4 million contract with the Cubs in January of 2019. Waived by the Cubs in December of 2019.
Inks deal in KBO
2BFree Agent  F
June 20, 2020
Russell has signed a $530,000 contract with the Kiwoom Heroes of the KBO, Jeeho Yoo of the Yonhap News Agency reports.
ANALYSIS
Russell's tenure with the Cubs ended this offseason with the team opting to non-tender him after the second baseman was handed a 40-game suspension following an alleged domestic violence incident. He did eventually appear in 82 games for Chicago but managed to hit just .237/.308/.391 and will now head overseas to continue his career.
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Batting Stats
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2019
2018
2017
2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+9%
OPS vs LHP
2020
No Stats
2019
 
 
+9%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+19%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018vs Left .714 185 20 4 17 1 .247 .332 .383
Since 2018vs Right .657 521 57 10 44 5 .245 .308 .349
2020vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+8%
OPS on Road
2020
No Stats
2019
 
 
+28%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+2%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018Home .644 320 34 6 31 1 .233 .308 .336
Since 2018Away .694 386 43 8 30 5 .256 .319 .375
2020Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Addison Russell
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
16 days ago
With the MLB schedule underway, Jan Levine looks at a number of NL FAAB options in various situations.
NL FAAB Factor: Mid-April Update
114 days ago
Jan Levine profiles intriguing players flying under the radar, like the Nationals' Howie Kendrick, whose multi-position eligibility will help him retain value.
Minor League Barometer: Risers & Fallers
147 days ago
Jesse Siegel highlights minor leaguers to keep an eye on, including Texas' Nick Solak, who has the bat to join the Rangers but just needs a position.
Joe Sheehan's 2020 Picks and Pans
181 days ago
Joe Sheehan's Picks and Pans article returns to the RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Guide! See who Joe likes and who he does not for 2020.
The Z Files: Is Average Exit Velocity on Groundballs Useful?
201 days ago
Todd Zola dives into the weeds on how the average exit velocity on groundballs impacts BABIP while also looking at other factors, such as the elite sprint speed of players like Trea Turner.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
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.
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
Cut loose by Cubs
2BFree Agent  F
December 2, 2019
Russell was non-tendered by the Cubs on Monday, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
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Records four hits Saturday
2BChicago Cubs  F
September 28, 2019
Russell went 4-for-5 with a run scored in Saturday's 8-6 win over the Cardinals.
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Makes first appearance since concussion
2BChicago Cubs  F
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  F
September 19, 2019
Russell was activated from the 7-day concussion list prior to Thursday's game against the Cardinals, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
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Could be activated Friday
2BChicago Cubs  F
Concussion
September 19, 2019
Russell (concussion) could be activated Friday, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
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