Cubs

Fantasy Baseball: What can you expect from Addison Russell?

addison-russell-cubs-csn-fantasy-slide.png

Fantasy Baseball: What can you expect from Addison Russell?

The Cubs' most intriguing Fantasy Baseball prospect made his debut Tuesday night.

No, not Kris Bryant. That was last Friday and it's hard to call Bryant "intriguing" in Fantasy circles because the intrigue is largely over. He was drafted in just about every league, even going as early as the second round in some leagues (seriously). He's here and he's been fabulous so far.

[RELATED - The future is now for the Cubs and Addison Russell]

Addison Russell, however, creates a bit of a dilemma for Fantasy owners. He's a consensus Top 5 prospect in the game and he qualifies at shortstop and will qualify at second base in a little over a week.

But can Russell help your Fantasy team as early as this season? Is it worth it to play him in your lineup or try to acquire him in a trade right now?

The CSN Fantasy crew weighs in:

John "The Professor" Paschall

I've tried to look at ways Addison Russell could be a top option at 2B/SS this year and it's hard to see it in standard leagues. He has a solid .897 OPS in his minor league career but standard leagues don't count OPS. He doesn't steal a lot of bases and doesn't hit for power like an Ian Kinsler-type. Also, there's always the chance of hitting a rookie wall later in the year. He has the potential to be a .300 hitter and score some runs if he plays in the "second leadoff" spot in Maddon's lineup or pick up some RBIs if he is slotted in the middle of the order. The other good attribute that Russell offers is position flexibility (SS/2B and maybe even 3B if Kris Bryant moves to the outfield). He's worth picking up (especially in keeper leagues) but I don't foresee a major impact on your fantasy team if you're in a standard league for the rest of 2015.

Tony Andracki

Addison Russell brings everything to the table for baseball fans of all kind, including Fantasy enthusiasts. First, the good: Russell is extremely polished, with a great approach, an ability to hit line drives to all fields and a career .301/.377/.520 slash line in his minor-league career. He has power and speed and qualifies in the middle infield.

[Rotoworld Fantasy Baseball news & info]

But - there's always a but - he's just 21. As in, he just turned 21 90 days ago. Not even three full months as of this writing. There are going to be ups and downs and he will have plenty of times where he struggles. It's just the nature of baseball, especially at his age. So he's a risk in any league, especially weekly leagues where he may end up mired in a 2-for-20 stretch or something. There's also always the risk that he gets sent back down to Triple-A Iowa if he can't overcome his struggles.

Russell is far from a safe Fantasy option, but he's the kind of high-risk, high-reward that can spark your Fantasy team to a championship. Take the plunge...just make sure you have a backup plan in place.

Mark Strotman

You know, I'm not so sure Russell is that safe of a bet in standard fantasy leagues. I think the fact that he'll earn second base eligibility in the near future would help him out some, and I do like that - for now, at least - he's batting ninth, with a phenomenal order in front of him. But the fact that his call-up this early in the year was as big of a surprise as it was means he's probably not going to light the fantasy world (or baseball world) on fire. True, the talent pool for second basemen is nothing to write home about, but if you're banking on getting some decent average and some runs out of the position, you're not going to be too competitive with Russell. You either need some plus-power or plus-speed, and Russell just doesn't seem ready to contribute in either of those areas. Maybe he's worth a speculative add since we are so early in the year, but don't drop anyone of any real value.

MLB Power Rankings: The final week is here

09-19_cubs_loss-_1920x1080_1606168131750.jpg
USA Today

MLB Power Rankings: The final week is here

We've only got a few of these left! This is the penultimate Power Rankings for the 2019 season, and like HBO, it's our most exciting yet. Changes at 14-15! A 2-spot fall for a playoff contender? The Tigers are still bad!

Just here for the slideshow? Happy to see this stupid joke format go away after next week? 

CLICK HERE FOR THE MLB POWER RANKINGS

Craig Kimbrel sounds off on Thursday's loss: 'I'm pretty disappointed in myself'

Craig Kimbrel sounds off on Thursday's loss: 'I'm pretty disappointed in myself'

All it took was one swing from Matt Carpenter on Thursday to tarnish Craig Kimbrel’s return from the injured list while simultaneously denting the Cubs’ playoff hopes.

With the Cubs and Cardinals tied 10th inning, Carpenter hit an absolute no-doubt home run deep into left center field, giving St. Louis a 5-4 lead that they never relinquished.

“[The pitch] just ran back over the plate, and he drops the barrel at the bottom of the zone really well and put a good swing on it,” Kimbrel said postgame.

The Cubs activated Kimbrel Thursday following a two-week stint on the injured list. And, really, outside of the Carpenter at-bat, he looked like he hadn’t missed a beat.

Carpenter’s home run was sandwiched between two strikeouts — one with a fastball, one with a knuckle curveball. Still, Thursday’s loss is a gut-punch for the Cubs, as it drops them to four games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central and a game back of the Brewers for the second Wild Card spot.

It also doesn’t help that the Cubs erased a three-run ninth inning deficit, which allowed them to get into extra innings in the first place.

“It’s frustrating,” Kimbrel said. “I’ve been doing everything I can to get back out there and our team battled til the very end. We needed that, and [I’m] pretty disappointed in myself to go out there and give up a home run like that.”

Some way wonder why Kimbrel was pressed into action the same day of his activation. The answer to that, is simple: If not now, then when? With nine games left in the regular season, Kimbrel needs to be pitching.

“Physically I felt great,” Kimbrel said postgame. “The balls coming out of my hand good. I just made a bad pitch.”

Cubs manager Joe Maddon echoed a similar sentiment about Kimbrel’s condition on Thursday.

“I was very encouraged, from what I saw yesterday," Maddon said pregame. “I thought he looked pretty normal, and again, when you talk to the guy conversationally, it’s very upbeat."

If Kimbrel sat out Thursday’s game, many would call out Maddon for not using his $43 million arm. Plus, the longer the closer sits, the greater chance there is of him getting rusty.

“If we can get on the field, we’re gonna do everything we can to get out there and help this team win and try and put us in a position to get into the playoffs,” Kimbrel said. “We’re getting down here til the end. We still got a lot of games.”

Nine regular season games remain for the Cubs in 2019. Kimbrel summed up the latest, as big as any yet, as well as one can.

“Tonight was a big game for us,” he said. “We really needed it. [The] season’s not over, we still got a lot of games left. But it definitely would’ve helped. I wish I would’ve pitched a little better.”

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Cubs games easily on your device.