Since coming to the Chicago Cubs’ organization, 20-year-old shortstop Addison Russell is hitting .293/.333/.566 at AA Tennessee. He’s got 8 homers in 25 games, which, no big deal, translates to 52 homers over a 162-game season. Power? Yes, he does, thank-you-very-much.
That eighth homer came last night for the Smokies, and looked a little something like this:
Almost as important as the look of that groovy homer is who it came against: Robert Stephenson, a top 20 prospect, and one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball. Nicely done, Mr. Russell.
But Russell’s performance was topped by Javier Baez up at AAA Iowa. Not only did Baez walk twice, he also went deep twice. It’s amazing how different the two homers were. First, there was an absolute laser that doesn’t go higher than 30 feet, but still manages to get waaaay out:
Then there was the sky-high, just-made-it-out fly ball:
Interesting that both homers came on off-speed pitches, with this second one having Baez *really* wait back on it. I love it. That’s a nice approach there: wait back and let your bat speed help you out. Look at how long Baez waits to trigger his swing, and he still pulls it down the line.
On the year, Baez is now up to .260/.323/.510 with 23 homers. I’m just shaking my head in awe. Baez’s “hot” streak is now about three times as long as his “cold” streak to start the year. I think, at that point, it’s just called “his season.”
And, ah, what the hell – bonus #Effort video for The Wife of Jorge Soler ripping a bullet double to left: