On April 21, the Chicago Cubs announced the addition of infielder Addison Russell to their 2015 roster. This development comes just days after the Cubs called up Kris Bryant, a fellow infielder and top prospect. Russell, aged 21, will be the youngest player in Major League Baseball’s (MLB’s) National League. He will start on second base for the Cubs, but will likely play shortstop, his preferred position, in the future.
Chicago first acquired Russell during the 2014 season in a trade with the Oakland Athletics. The Cubs traded pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, who has since rejoined the team, to Oakland, also picking up pitcher Dan Straily and outfielder Bill McKinney. Russell had played under Oakland since 2012, when the team selected him as the 11th overall MLB draft pick.
Since the trade, Addison Russell has played nine games with the Cubs’ minor league affiliate, Triple A Iowa. During spring 2015, he batted .314 with one home run and seven runs batted in before the Cubs called him up. Russell’s major league promotion was not a surprise, with MLB.com ranking him as the fifth most promising minor league prospect ahead of the 2015 season.