Russell, 21, entered the 2015 season ranked as the third-best prospect in the game by Baseball America and the second-best prospect in the Cubs farm system after being named the top prospect in Oakland's system heading into both the 2013 and 2014 campaigns. A first round pick in the 2012 Draft (11th overall), Russell was acquired by the Cubs with outfielder Billy McKinney and righthander Dan Straily from Oakland for righthanders Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel last July 5. Russell also entered 2015 ranked the second-best prospect by in the game by Baseball Prospectus.
The 6-foot, 200-pound Russell joins the Cubs after batting .301 (289-for-961) with 57 doubles, 20 triples, 38 home runs and 159 RBI in 244 minor league games covering the last four seasons. The right-handed hitter has posted a .377 on-base percentage and a .520 slugging percentage, good for an .897 OPS.
Russell played across three levels in his first pro campaign in 2012, earning All-Star honors for two clubs, and spent most of the 2013 campaign at High-A Stockton as a 19-year-old, recording 29 doubles, 10 triples and 17 homers to become one of only 12 minor leaguers to reach double digits in all three categories. Russell was named to the U.S. Futures team, earned post-season California League All-Star honors and capped 2013 by playing in the Arizona Fall League, where he was named to the AFL All-Star team.
Last season, Russell combined to bat .295 (76-for-258) with 14 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs and 45 RBI in 68 games between Stockton, Double-A Midland and Double-A Tennessee. He also played 11 games in a return trip to the Arizona Fall League. With Iowa this season, Russell was hitting .318 (14-for-44) with four doubles, one home run and nine RBI in 11 games leading to his promotion to the big leagues today.
Russell was drafted by Oakland out of Pace High School in Florida, where he batted .460 with 37 homers during his four years. He is a native of Pensacola, Florida.
Alcantara, 23, is hitting .077 (2-for-26) with five runs scored and one RBI in 11 games for the Cubs this season.
Olt, 26, continues his recovery from a hairline fracture in his right wrist.