What if I told you that the Cubs’ everyday shortstop is an above average fielder and hitter? You might’ve thought Manny Machado had finally been acquired and that I was writing to you from the future. Nope, I can assure you that I am very much in the present and writing about a player currently on the roster.
After going 2-for-2 with a homer Monday in Pittsburgh, Addison Russell’s wRC+ this season is 101 and his wOBA is .321. Combine that with a Defensive Runs Saved score of 7 and Russell has been worth 1.1 fWAR this season. If you were wondering, yes, that is on pace to top his career-best 3.3 fWAR from 2016.
Weird thing is, it doesn’t really feel like Russell has hit his stride yet. He’s been showing exceptional plate discipline and zone contact all season, but the power numbers haven’t followed. If that pop starts to come out in a meaningful way, Machado becomes an afterthought.