Results tagged ‘ Addison Russell ’

Cubs promote Russell; Alcantara optioned to Triple-A

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

The Cubs selected the contract of infielder Addison Russell from Triple-A Iowa and optioned infielder/outfielder Arismendy Alcantara to Triple-A on Tuesday. To make room for Russell on the 40-man roster, infielder Mike Olt was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Russell, who will wear uniform No. 22, will be available for the Cubs tonight in Pittsburgh. The 21-year-old was hitting .318/.326/.477 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with one home run and nine RBI in 46 plate appearances at Triple-A Iowa this season.

He entered 2015 ranked as the third-best prospect in the game by Baseball America and the second-best prospect in the Cubs farm system. He was also named the top prospect in Oakland’s system heading into both the 2013 and 2014 campaigns. A first-round pick in the 2012 Draft (11th overall), Russell was acquired by the Cubs along with outfielder Billy McKinney and right-hander Dan Straily from Oakland for right-handers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel last July 5. Russell also entered 2015 ranked as the second-best prospect by in the game by Baseball Prospectus.

The 6-foot, 200-pound Russell joins the Cubs after batting .301 (289-for-961) with 57 doubles, 20 triples, 38 home runs and 159 RBI in 244 minor league games covering the last four seasons. The right-handed hitter has posted a .377 on-base percentage and a .520 slugging percentage, good for an .897 OPS.

Russell played across three levels in his first pro campaign in 2012, earning All-Star honors for two clubs. He spent most of the 2013 campaign at High-A Stockton as a 19-year-old, recording 29 doubles, 10 triples and 17 homers to become one of only 12 minor leaguers to reach double digits in all three categories. Russell was named to the U.S. Futures team, earned postseason California League All-Star honors and capped 2013 by playing in the Arizona Fall League, where he was named to the AFL All-Star team.

Last season, Russell combined to bat .295 (76-for-258) with 14 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs and 45 RBI in 68 games between Stockton, Double-A Midland and Double-A Tennessee. He also played 11 games in a return trip to the Arizona Fall League.

Alcantara, 23, is hitting .077 (2-for-26) with five runs scored and one RBI in 11 games for the Cubs this season.

Olt, 26, continues his recovery from a hairline fracture in his right wrist.

Cubs Minor League Recap: 4/15/15

Iowa captured a win in New Orleans, and Tennessee was victorious in its home opener Friday. South Bend was on the losing end of a one-run contest, while Myrtle Beach was rained out. Here are some notes from yesterday’s minor league action:

Iowa Cubs (4-3)
Third Place (-1.5)

Third baseman Kris Bryant (.321) crushed his third homer of the season and drove in his 10th RBI, helping the I-Cubs to a 10-7 victory at New Orleans. The second game of the doubleheader was rained out.

  • 2B Addison Russell (.355) went 3-for-4 with a double, three RBI and two runs scored. He has brought in a run in three of the last four games.
  • CF Junior Lake (.250) went 2-for-2 with a double and a run scored.
  • RF Rubi Silva (.263) went 2-for-4 with a sixth inning, run-scoring double.
  • 1B Jonathan Mota (.500) went 2-for-3, driving in a run and scoring twice. He is 7-for-12 with four runs in his last four games.

Tennessee Smokies (4-2)
Second Place (-1.0)

Tennessee topped Pensacola 5-4 in its home opener. Three Smokies players had multi-hit games.

  • C Willson Contreras (.500) went 2-for-4 with a double and scored once. This is his third consecutive multi-hit game.
  • 2B Stephen Bruno (.389) went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a stolen base and a run scored.
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach (.476) went 2-for-3, walked once and scored once. He is 7-for-11 with three runs
    in his last three appearances.
  • RHP Michael Jensen (0.00) earned the win, pitching 2.0 shutout innings, giving up two hits and
    fanning two batters.

South Bend Cubs (3-5)
Sixth Place (-4.0)

South Bend got out to an early lead with a two-run homer from 3B Jesse Hodges (.207) in the second inning, but Fort Wayne rallied in the eighth, topping the Cubs 7-6 in extras.

  • C Cael Brockmeyer (.423) had his third multi-hit game of the season, walked once and scored twice. He has a four-game hitting streak.
  • 2B Jason Vosler (.304) went 2-for-4, hit a double and scored once.
  • LF Charcer Burks (.296) went 3-for-4 and plated one.
  • CF Trey Martin (.290) had his third consecutive multi-hit game.
  • RHP Jeremy Null (1.64) tossed a quality start, giving up two earned runs off seven hits and fanning six batters.

Cubs reduce spring roster; assign Baez, Bryant, Russell to minors

The Cubs have assigned three high-profile players to minor league camp, reducing their spring roster from 38 to 35 players.

Infielder Javier Baez has been optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Two nonroster invitees have been assigned to minor league camp: infielders Kris Bryant and Addison Russell.

Chicago’s spring roster of 35 players consists of 18 pitchers (one nonroster invitee), four catchers (one nonroster invitee), six infielders (one nonroster invitee) and seven outfielders.

Top-tier talent and depth give Cubs top farm system, according to MLB.com

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Not only is prospect Kyle Schwarber one of baseball’s best prospects, he’s also viewed as possessing the organization’s best hit tool. (Photo by Stephen Green)

MLB.com’s Prospect Watch unveiled its version of the top 100 minor leaguers and top farm systems in the game on Friday. It should come as little surprise that the Cubs had the top crop of minor leaguers, including six in the top 100: Kris Bryant (No. 2), Addison Russell (No. 5), Jorge Soler (No. 23), C.J. Edwards (No. 48), Kyle Schwarber (No. 50) and Albert Almora (No. 58).

The organization’s top 30 prospects were also unveiled on Friday. Just looking at the list should give fans an idea of the depth in the system. Plenty of solid players continue to add their names to the cue, only adding excitement for what’s coming down the line on the major league side.

Third baseman Kris Bryant is the most devastating power-hitting prospect in the game, and outfielder Jorge Soler (who homered off Mat Latos in his first big league at-bat) isn’t far behind. Neither is catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber. Addison Russell is a rare five-tool shortstop, and Gleyber Torres might be another. Outfielders Albert Almora and Billy McKinney could be the tablesetters for all those run producers.

Given the Cubs’ enviable depth in the farm system, fans have grown accustomed to seeing lists of this nature. But MLB.com takes their list one step further by breaking down players by best tools, a unique way to better understand individual strengths.

Best tools
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools — 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average.

Hit: Kyle Schwarber (60)
Power: Kris Bryant (80)
Run: Jacob Hannemann (65)
Arm: Jorge Soler (65)
Defense: Albert Almora (65)
Fastball: Duane Underwood (65)
Curveball: C.J. Edwards (60)
Slider: Jake Stinnett (60)
Changeup: Jen-Ho Tseng (55)
Control: Eric Jokisch (55)

Cubscast Mesa: Lighter Side, The best thing I did this offseason

Making it through an entire baseball season can take a toll on both mind and body. By the time the grind is over, the players and coaches need a break. This spring, we sat down with Cubs personnel to find out the best thing they did with their offseason time.

We’ll be posting videos and stories from Sloan Park all spring, so make sure you’re watching the blog and our Twitter account, @cubsvineline.

Check out the other videos from our Spring Training series:

Cubscast Mesa: Spring sit-down with manager Joe Maddon
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, If I weren’t a ballplayer …
Cubscast Mesa: Checking in with the 2015 Cubs coaching staff
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, If I could have one talent or superpower
Cubscast Mesa: The Cubs are setting a positive tone in camp
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, What the Cubs are watching on TV
Cubscast Mesa: The next wave of Cubs talent

Cubs duo headlines Baseball America’s top 2015 rookies

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Expectations are high for prospect Kris Bryant. (Photo by Stephen Green)

If the Cubs have been synonymous with anything in previous years, it’s the organization’s willingness to stockpile droves of young talent, something baseball president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer made a priority wen they accepted their roles in the Cubs’ front office in late 2011. Though the last few seasons have been a waiting game, the arrivals of Arismendy Alcantara, Kyle Hendricks, Jorge Soler and Javier Baez in 2014 demonstrated that the young, high-upside talent is quickly nearing the major league level.

On Tuesday, Baseball America unveiled its top 20 rookies for the 2015 season, and Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Most are assuming big things from the pair, who could be key pieces in the middle of the Cubs’ order as early as mid-April. Bryant took home virtually every minor league award available last season after slugging 43 home runs between Double- and Triple-A, while Soler flexed his muscles with five homers in 89 major league at-bats to wrap up 2014. Shortstop prospect Addison Russell was also in the top 20.

Here’s what Baseball America had to say about the Cubs trio:

1. Kris Bryant, 3b, Cubs (23)

2015 Outlook: A future fixture in the heart of the Cubs’ order, Bryant won’t require much minor league time in 2015. He could reach Chicago as early as mid-April—a la the Astros’ George Springer last year—once the Cubs can postpone his free agency until after his seventh (projected) big league season in 2021. Taking up left field, as the Cubs have tasked Bryant with in spring training, could help alleviate a logjam on the Chicago infield, where talented young players Javier Baez, Starlin Castro and the system’s No. 2 prospect Addison Russell all could warrant starting roles. Even if one of that trio falters, then infielders Arismendy Alcantara, Tommy La Stella and Mile Olt have demonstrated varying degrees of promise.

2. Jorge Soler, rf, Cubs (23)

2015 Outlook: Soler blasted 11 extra-base hits and hit .373 in the first 14 games of his big league career last summer, but pitchers adjusted and kept him in check at 7-for-38 (.184) the rest of the way. Look for Soler to make the necessary counter-adjustments this season and deliver on his promise as a slugger with enough feel for the strike zone to sustain a healthy average and on-base percentage.

18. Addison Russell, ss, Cubs (21)

2015 Outlook: Russell forms the third leg of the Cubs’ indomitable prospect trio, each of whom may be featured players in Chicago this summer. Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler are more assured of playing time—and thus they rank Nos. 1 and 2 on this list—but Russell is the youngest of the three and could represent the organization’s golden parachute in the event that sophomore Javier Baez continues to flail in the majors or that Bryant’s services are required on an outfield corner.

 

Cubscast Mesa: The next wave of Cubs talent

The Cubs enviable stockpile of young talent is no secret around the game. People started rumbling about the organization’s burgeoning system a few years ago. Now groups like ESPN, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus all agree the Cubs have the top farm in baseball.

During Spring Training, Vine Line sat down with the Cubs next wave of talent—including Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Addison Russell—to ask what they’ve gotten out of being in big league camp and what their goals are for the coming season.

We’ll be posting videos and stories from Sloan Park all spring, so make sure you’re watching the blog and our Twitter account, @cubsvineline.

Check out the other videos from our Spring Training series:

Cubscast Mesa: Spring sit-down with manager Joe Maddon
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, If I weren’t a ballplayer …
Cubscast Mesa: Checking in with the 2015 Cubs coaching staff
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, If I could have one talent or superpower
Cubscast Mesa: The Cubs are setting a positive tone in camp
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, What the Cubs are watching on TV

Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, What the Cubs are watching on TV

Addicted to The Bachelor? Can’t get enough of The Blacklist? Have a soft spot for 1990s sitcoms? You’re not alone.

Throughout the baseball season, Cubs players spend countless hours on planes or in hotels. Thanks to subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, they’re still able to keep up with their favorite TV shows while they’re on the road. We asked Cubs players and coaches what their favorite programs were and got some interesting answers.

We’ll be posting videos and stories from Sloan Park all spring, so make sure you’re watching the blog and our Twitter account, @cubsvineline.

Check out the other videos from our Spring Training series:

Cubscast Mesa: Spring sit-down with manager Joe Maddon
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, If I weren’t a ballplayer …
Cubscast Mesa: Checking in with the 2015 Cubs coaching staff
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, If I could have one talent or superpower
Cubscast Mesa: The Cubs are setting a positive tone in camp

Cubs rank third in ESPN future power rankings

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Javier Baez could be a key to the Cubs’ future success. (Photo by Stephen Green)

In an attempt to forecast how well each major league organization will do over the next five-years, ESPN Insiders Jim Bowden, Keith Law and Buster Olney created the preseason MLB Future Power Rankings. The trio ranked each club in the following five categories: the quality of the current big league roster, the quality of the farm system, the team’s finances, a team’s management, and the mobility of the current roster or the current age and contract status of the team.

With the best minor league system in the game and a number of key veteran offseason additions, the Cubs find themselves at No. 3 in the rankings. The team jumped up one spot from when these rankings were last compiled on Oct. 31. Here’s what ESPN had to say about the Cubs.

Majors: 17 points (30 being the best score)
Minors: 30 points
Finance: 23 points
Management: 29 points
Mobility: 23 points

The overview
To date, Theo Epstein’s plan is playing out very well. Now the Cubs need prospects such as Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Javier Baez to make a successful jump to the next level. They also need to grab one of the elite starters on next winter’s free-agent market, such as Jordan Zimmermann or David Price. — Buster Olney

The dilemma
How will the Cubs configure their middle infield over the next few seasons? For now, Javier Baez is the front-runner at second base, with Starlin Castro at shortstop, but when shortstop prospect Addison Russell is major league-ready, he’ll end up beating out one of them, which could cause multiple players to shift positions. It could even mean third-base prospect Kris Bryant has to play a corner-outfield spot. — Jim Bowden

Impact prospect
Bryant should be the Cubs’ Opening Day third baseman, but he’ll probably be brought up by late April and is my pick to win NL Rookie of the Year. If it’s not him, it could just as easily be right fielder Jorge Soler. — Keith Law

Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, If I could have one talent or superpower

Major League Baseball players are blessed with all sorts of talents. Most mere mortals would give anything to be able to turn around a 98 mph fastball or to be able to throw said 98 mph fastball. But even the Cubs best athletes can’t do everything.

When we sat down with the team during Spring Training, we asked the guys which special talent or superpower they wish they had. The answers are enlightening.

We’ll be posting videos and stories from Sloan Park all spring, so make sure you’re watching the blog and our Twitter account, @cubsvineline.

Check out the other videos from our Spring Training series:

Cubscast Mesa: Spring sit-down with manager Joe Maddon
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, If I weren’t a ballplayer …
Cubscast Mesa: Checking in with the 2015 Cubs coaching staff

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