Addison Russell was PECOTA’s most likely player to outperform his projection going into the 2017 season. This is because the smooth-fielding shortstop grew into his 60/80 raw power projection last year by launching 21 homers in 598 plate appearances, all while steadily improving his contact rate as the season progressed. Russell’s ability to adjust quickly led many, myself included, to believe he could tap into his optimal value as soon as this year. Unfortunately, the opposite has occurred, and we’re entering late June with more question marks than positive comments.
However, Russell showed signs of a rebound this past week. He finally hit pitches that have been troubling him and, qualitatively, looks more confident at the dish. Over last week’s six games, Russell smacked three homers, made 96 percent contact against pitches inside the zone, and recorded seven hits in 22 plate appearances. Alongside results, the 23-year-old’s exit velocity is slowly beginning to reflect that of his best games, as seen below on the far right of the graph.
During last week’s games, Russell’s batted balls were some of the hardest he has hit all year. His double against the Pirates in that late comeback was hit over 105 …Read the Rest
Source:: Cubs Insider