(CBS) The headlining figure the past two nights for the Cubs has been shortstop Addison Russell, who made a game-changing diving catch in a 6-5 win against the Pirates on Wednesday and had the go-ahead two-run single in a 5-4 victory against the Giants on Thursday.
With his season-long stellar play, the Cubs have come to forget sometimes that Russell’s still just 22, veteran catcher David Ross said.
“In spring training, Anthony Rizzo mentioned to me, ‘I think Addison Russell’s going to win an MVP soon,'” Ross said in an interview on the Mully and Hanley Show on Friday morning. “Which stood out to me like, ‘What?’ Just how young and green he was. It’s been so much fun the last two years watching this guy go about his work. He’s as consistent as a worker as you’ll find. He’s a big routine guy. Even when we don’t take batting practice, he’s out there fielding ground balls, he’s working in the cage, he’s constantly making adjustments. It’s just fun being a part of his team. He’s a fun guy to be around. He’s very focused. His defensive skills are just off the charts. We rely on him playing every day at 22 years old in the major leagues for the best team in baseball and hitting in the five-hole.
“He keeps stepping up to the challenge.”
Ross loved seeing Russell yell and pump his fist after making the spectacular catch Wednesday night, as it was a departure from his usual demeanor.
“It was so great to see the emotion after that catch and him get fired up,” Ross said. “I mean, this guy literally says five words all day. And to see him show some emotion was really fun for me, and the team got fired up. We rally behind that, when you see guys come out of their shell like that. It gives you an extra boost of energy.”
Listen to Ross’ full interview below.