As he sat at a table eating breakfast Wednesday, Addison Russell looked just like any other young prospect trying to fit into the Oakland A’s clubhouse. Of course, he’s not just any prospect. He knows that. The A’s know that. And anyone who has watched the highly touted shortstop knows it. Russell, picked by ESPN as the No. 3 overall prospect in the major leagues, will be one of the main attractions Thursday at Papago Park Baseball Complex when the A’s hold their first full-squad workout of 2014. Just ask manager Bob Melvin, who was questioned about who he was most eager to see in action Thursday. “I think it’s always exciting to see the progression of a guy like Addison Russell,” Melvin said. “Last (spring), it was designed to kind of get his feet wet and ease him in, where this year he’s gonna play some innings and get some at-bats.” Russell, Oakland’s top draft pick (11th overall) in 2012, went 4 for 16 in six games last spring in his first exposure to the bigs. He was just eight months removed from Pace High School (Fla.) at the time. He proceeded to impress scouts inside and outside the A’s organization throughout the 2013 season at Single-A Stockton, hitting .275 with 17 homers, 60 RBI and 56 extra-base hits in 107 games. Not only did Russell, now 20, show signs of being a power-hitting shortstop, he also impressed with the glove. That’s no small thing because, at the time he was drafted, many observers felt a move to third base eventually would be in order.
A's prized prospect Russell trying to keep an even keel
CSN Bay Area | Feb 20