A’s Russell Named To Arizona Fall League All-Star Team
Addison Russell, the 19-year old shortstop phenom working his way through the Oakland Athletics‘ minor league system, was named to the Arizona Fall League’s All-Star team on Monday.
This Saturday, November 2nd, the Fall Stars Game (previously known as the Rising Stars Game) will take place at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona. The game, pitting 21 of MLB.com’s top 100 MLB prospects against each other, will be broadcast on MLB Network and streamed on MLB.com.
The A’s think very highly of Russell, a shortstop drafted by the team in the first round of the 2012 Amateur Draft (he was #11 overall). In fact, Russell’s name is so highly-regarded at present that it came up often in trade rumors involving the 2013 A’s, as they progressed toward the non-waiver Trade Deadline en route to a second straight A.L. West title.
G.M. Billy Beane and the A’s, though, held on to Russell, as his ascent through the minors has turned many heads within the organization and outside, as he ranks #17 on MLB.com’s Top 11 prospects list.
Russell’s emergence as “the future of the organization”, so to speak, implies that he’ll find his way to the big-league team sooner rather than later. Oakland currently employs Jed Lowrie, one of 2013’s offensive highlights, as its starting shortstop, but it’s unclear how long Lowrie will hold that position. He’s up for arbitration now and can be a free agent after the 2014 season – presumably when Russell could be ready to assume his role on the A’s.
In 107 games with the Single-A Stockton Ports in 2013, Russell hit .275 with 17 home runs and 60 RBIs spread across 517 plate appearances. He was promoted to the Triple-A Sacramento Rivercats at the tail end of the season but only amassed 13 ABs with Sacramento (picking up one hit and nine strikeouts in the process).
The sky appears to be the limit for the young Russell, and should he continue to progress over the next few months and into the start of the 2014 minor league campaign, don’t be surprised to see him make an appearance with the A’s at some point in 2014.