Those who believe the Chicago Cubs should have started their prospect Kris Bryant in the big leagues this season have more than a leg to stand on. His promotion is likely just a week away, but as the Cubs struggle, fans are clamoring for their third baseman of the future.
Bryant hit a home run in his second straight game as he led the Iowa Cubs to a 7-2 victory over the Memphis Redbirds last night. However, Bryant wasn’t the only Cubs prospect getting in on the action, as shortstop prospect Addison Russell is also making a name for himself.
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Russell hit his first home run in the International League last night as well as he also went 3-for-5 in the victory. Russell is batting right in front of Bryant, so he is getting terrific lineup protection. He finished the weekend series against Memphis going 7-for-18 overall. In those hits he ended up with the home run, a double, three runs batted in and five runs scored. The Cubs defeated the Redbirds 13-0 the night before, so this thrashing offense wasn’t a fluke.
"“We have some heavy hitters in this lineup,” said Russell to MiLB.com. “There are a lot of guys that are consistent and really hungry and who want to perform. This lineup is awesome.”"
Russell was acquired by the Cubs from the Oakland Athletics as a part of the Jeff Samardzija trade last season, adding to Chicago’s glut of middle infield prospects. Arismendy Alcantara has already moved to the outfield and Javier Baez is also starting the season with Iowa.
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The Iowa Cubs lineup has a chance to be historically good in an already good hitting Pacific Coast League. Of course, Bryant should be up soon, but it’s hard to say when Russell will get his shot.
Bryant ended up going just 5-for-16 on the weekend, but this came after a slow 1-for-8 start, so his bat heated up quickly. The Cubs are hoping his back to back nights of home runs are just the start of something special.
Chicago is off to a rough start and most of their bats are yet to get going. Bryant will be there soon, and Russell could be as well. Meanwhile, their Triple A team is certainly reaping the benefits of their future stars starting the season with the Pacific Coast League.