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Wake Up and Watch Addison Russell Smoothly Snatch a Would-Be Rocket Hit

Chicago Cubs News

Addison Russell is blowing up with the bat – he homered again last night in the Cubs’ win over the Padres – but you already knew that, and also, we’ll get to that later.

I suppose you also already knew that he was ridiculous with the glove, but he hasn’t had as many occasions to show it off this year as last year. I say it that way because it occurs to me that making absurd, flashy, ridiculous plays is as much a product of having the ball struck in such a way as to give you an opportunity to make a play as it is a product of you having the ability to make that play. This year, I guess Javy Baez has been hogging all the crazy play opportunity joojoo (he did it again last night, too, in fact).


But last night, the defensive play of the game – in a game that featured several, actually – had to be this diving stop by Addison Russell on a ball that was hit so hard (110mph) that it might have reached the wall if Russell hadn’t stopped it:

That ball was on Russell before he really would have any chance to think and react on a conscious level. That’s just a freak athlete letting his body take over after years and years of refining. Oh that’s a hit? Nah. It’s in my glove now.

On a per-game basis, the advanced defensive metrics think Russell was a bit better at shortstop last year than this year, but it’s always important to remember that even a full season’s worth of advanced defensive metrics can be pretty fuzzy. And, setting that aside, it’s not like Russell’s been rated as anything but excellent this year. His UZR/150 is top 10 in baseball at shortstop, and his 14 DRS are tied for third with Andrelton Simmons.

Addison Russell: very, very good at defense. With moves like this, it should be no surprise that he’s smooth.



Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.