The accolades keep rolling in for Oakland A’s minor league shortstop Addison Russell. ESPN’s Keith Law ranked the 20-year-old Florida native as the No. 3 overall prospect in the minors heading into the upcoming season. And while it’s no surprise to see Russell grouped among the elite of any preseason prospect rating, this is the highest Russell has appeared on any list. The only players ranked higher by ESPN are Twins center field prospect Byron Buxton and Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Baseball Prospectus ranks Russell as the No. 7 overall prospect, and he comes in at No. 12 on mlb.com’s list. The shortstop position is absolutely loaded with blue-chip prospects right now, and the reason Russell shot to the No. 3 spot on ESPN’s list is because Law ranked him ahead of other elite shortstops such as the Astros’ Carlos Correa, the Indians’ Francisco Lindor and the Cubs’ Javier Baez. “One of the best pure hitters in the minors, Russell is an incredibly gifted player who has a mature approach at the plate and some of the softest hands you'll ever see in the field,” Law wrote. “He has a simple, fluid right-handed swing with some loft through his finish to generate line drives; his bat speed is so good and the contact he makes is so hard that I still see more power in the future for him, 15-20 homers a year, if not more. In the field, he has the hands to be an elite shortstop.” Law also writes that if the A’s wanted to make Russell their everyday shortstop in 2014, “it wouldn't be that far-fetched an idea.” Since that last statement is bound to send expectations soaring through the roof, this is where we’ll throw up a stop sign on the hype, or at least a slow-down sign.
Accolades keep rolling in for A's prospect Addison Russell
CSN Bay Area | Jan 30