If you had Addison Russell hitting his first major league home run before Kris Bryant, please come forward to collect your prize. The 21-year-old second baseman, currently manning second base for the Cubs, sent a Wily Peralta offering into the left field bleachers at Wrigley Field in the third inning on Friday afternoon. It turned out to be the winning run as the Cubs won 1-0.
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In his first 29 plate appearances entering Friday’s action, Russell had compiled a measly .493 OPS with three doubles and five RBI. Russell entered the season as a consensus top-five prospect in baseball, earning #5 from MLB.com, #3 from Baseball America, and #2 from Baseball Prospectus.
Bryant, meanwhile, hasn’t homered yet but is hitting .318/.455/.409 in 55 plate appearances. Bryant, heading into the season, was ranked the #5 overall prospect by Baseball Prospectus, #2 by MLB.com, and #1 by Baseball America. The youth movement certainly seems to have arrived in the North Side of Chicago.