It’s that time of year again, time for yet another chapter in Addison Russell’s mechanical evolution. Like we showed back before the season, Russell loves to experiment with his batting stance and approach. Look at the Cubs shortstop’s different, now unrecognizable batting stance from his MLB debut. He almost looks like Marlon Byrd there.
Since then, he has continuously tweaked his swing, and now we are experiencing the next step in his Pokemon-esque evolution.
The changes Russell has recently made are to his hands and back flexion. The 23-year-old has battled with his hand placement throughout his career, seemingly going back and forth with the depth at which he holds the bat. This recent move sees his hands back up higher, similar to his Game 6 World Series grand slam days. Additionally, he’s crouching over the plate more.
We can see the change by comparing the double Russell hit in the first game against the Diamondbacks Tuesday night to his recent plate appearance against the White Sox. And then look at how similar this recent change is to his World Series grand slam below.
Here’s what I wrote at the conclusion of the 2016 season regarding Russell’s batting mechanics, which eventually led to that Game 6 grand slam.
2016 was a season of adjustments for Addy, and he finished up the regular season by, again, adjusting his hands to a greater starting height.
I hope to once again write something similar in November, since this recent hand change was the very adjustment that launched Addison into last year’s postseason run.