Sarris: Interview with A’s shortstop prospect Addison Russell

From SABR member Eno Sarris at FanGraphs on November 20, 2013:

It’s too bad it won’t be Roy Steele’s voice ringing this post’s title from on high — wherever the Athletics are playing — but the declaration itself does seem like more of a lock to happen eventually. Nineteen-year-old Addison Russell has had some doubters in the past. After playing his way to an all-star berth in the Arizona Fall League, the bat has successfully made fans at every stop.

The most interesting aspect of his play might be on the other side of the ball, though, where some feel his body type may move him off the position. After talking to the young man about his craft, though, and assessing his skillset and the values of his major league team, it seemed obvious to me that he’ll be a shortstop when he’s announced into the lineup for the first time in the big leagues.

Just by being selected to the Rising Stars game, and being so young, Addison Russell has pushed his expected success rate so that it’s now equal to a top-thirty hitting prospect in Baseball America’s yearly ranks. He’ll probably make the top twenty or ten in the next version of the list by most accounts, anyway. If there are remaining questions about his game, they’re about his ability to make contact and stay at shortstop.

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Originally published: November 20, 2013. Last Updated: November 20, 2013.