Prospect rankings primer
Last year's A's list
The Top Ten
1. Addison Russell
Height/Weight: 6’0” 195 lbs
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2012 draft, Pace HS (Pace, FL)
Previous Ranking: #1 (Org), #22 (Top 101)
2013 Stats: .077/.077/.077 at Triple-A Sacramento (3 games), .275/.377/.508 at High-A Stockton (107 games)
The Tools: 6 potential hit/power; 6 arm; 6 potential glove
What Happened in 2013: As a 19-year-old, Russell jumped straight to the High-A level, and more than held his own against older competition, slugging 56 extra-base hits and stealing 21 bags.
Strengths: Legit offensive upside; hands are very good; gets extension and can drive the ball; plus raw power; shows bat speed; feeds on velocity; good baseball instincts; excellent actions in the field; can make the plays; arm is plus.
Weaknesses: Can get too fast on defense; will rush setup/footwork; good instincts but range could be issue in the future; bat can get loose; swing-and-miss; will expand and chase for spin.
Overall Future Potential: 7; all-star player
Realistic Role: 6; first-division player
Risk Factor/Injury History: Moderate risk; advanced player; ready for Double-A
Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: A top-10 overall fantasy prospect, Russell has a shot at becoming one of the most sought-after commodities in fantasy baseball: a middle infielder who can contribute in all five categories. Playing in Oakland might put a slight damper on his raw stats, but this is still a player who could hit .280-plus with 20-20 potential. He’s a keeper.
The Year Ahead: Russell is on the fast track to the majors, and with a strong start in Double-A could find himself in Oakland before the end of the season. His overall profile is special, but you can raise some red flags if you use a sharp enough lens; the actions are sweet at short but the range isn’t ideal and he can play a bit hard, and at the plate his swing can be too power driven with early extension on an exaggerated plane. Even if he moves to third down the line, which I don’t think is a given, the bat will not only play but allow him to reach a first-division status. If he sticks at short—which I believe he can—he’s a perennial all-star caliber player. Either way, the future is bright.
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