Entering just his second full season of professional baseball, Addison Russell has jumped to the upper rankings of Major League Baseball’s Top-100 prospect list, finishing his climb at 12th in the annual ranking.
The A’s first-round draft pick in 2012, Russell, who just turned 20 this past Thursday, rose from his spot as the 48th best prospect on last year’s list.
He spent the 2013 season with the A’s Class-A affiliate, the Stockton Ports. With the Ports, Russell batted .275/.377/.508 with 17 home runs, 29 doubles and 10 triples against the California League opposition. He was rewarded with a brief call-up to the A’s Triple-A affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats. He capped his 2013 campaign by participating in the Arizona Fall League against some of baseball’s best prospects, finishing with a .282/.361/.435 slash line and one homer in the 31 game season.
Following his first-round selection in the 2012 draft, he combined to hit .369/.432/.594 with seven homers and 45 RBI across three levels to round out his debut season in 2012.
Russell will participate for the second consecutive year in spring training with the Big League club, though he will likely begin the season with the Double-A Midland Rockhounds. If everything goes according to plan, he could be with the A’s as a September call-up this season and ready to take over the starting shortstop position as early as 2015.
In a shortstop heavy ranking, Russell is currently rated the fifth best shortstop prospect in baseball behind Xander Bogaerts (Boston), Javier Baez (Chicago Cubs), Carlos Correa (Houston) and Francisco Lindor (Cleveland).
Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton earned the top ranking for the 2014 season.