Prospect #9 - OF Kyle Russell

Outfielder Kyle Russell had has had little trouble sliding into professionals baseball. He's gone from Texas Longhorns all-time home run leader to Pioneer League post-season All Star at Ogden to co-Most Valuable Player in the Midwest League for Great Lakes as the left-handed slugger moves steadily up the franchise ladder. He is our Prospect #9.

  Playing for the Great Lakes Loons, Russell led the Midwest League with 26 homers and 102 runs batted in, 39 doubles, seven triples, a .272 average, .371 on-base percentage and a .545 slugging average. In addition he stole 20 bases in 22 attempts.

He led the franchise in home runs, was second in doubles, third in runs created (96.18), slugging, on-base plus slugging, runs, hits, triples and runs batted in. For good measure he was also seventh in stolen bases and ninth in hits.

Russell may have cost himself some money by not signing as a Draft-eligible sophomore in 2007 after setting a Longhorns record for home runs in 2008.

Rich Lederer of Baseball Prospectus watched Russell in 2007, who was ranked the 19th best college prospect by Baseball America, against Long Beach State as the outfielder went 5-for-10 with two homers, four walks and four RBI.

Lederer's brother, Tom, saw similarities between Russell and Von Hayes. Kyle looked comfortable in right field and exhibited a strong and accurate left arm on a throw to third base after running to his right to track down a ball in the gap. I believe his glove and arm are good enough to handle RF in the majors.

Lederer also noted that Russell hit 13-for-32 against Friday night starters, traditionally the ace of the college staff.

He finished his final season at Texas with the NCAA Division I home run title (26) and a Texas school-record, despite struggling early in the season. He has power to all fields, is a good athlete with a right-field arm.

The power-hungry Dodgers jumped at the chance to take him with their third choice in the 2008 draft.

"Here's a guy that holds the Texas home run record. That's something when you think about all the home run hitters the program has had. He struggled early but finished strong," Assistant GM-Scouting Logan White said.

"He's got quick hands, great power and, of course and the strikeouts to go with that. There are some things with his swing he is going to have to adjust but we have the people to help him with that.

"But he has that one tool -- power -- that is as good as anyone in the draft. You look for power hitters, power arms. You can't teach power, some have it and sometimes some develop it later. That was the knock on James Loney, not enough power but I've always said that when he is 26-27 he'll hit 30 home runs.

"Some just have God-given power and I think Russell is one of those" White concluded.

Russell was named UT's most valuable player. He earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2008, hitting .300 with 19 home runs and 56 RBI. He was also tabbed Most Outstanding Player of the 2008 NCAA Houston Regional when he put on a power show with four home runs in four games, including two in a victory over Sam Houston State. He ended the season as Texas' all-time home run leader with 57.

Selected by the Dodgers in the third round, he was sent to Ogden and in his rookie season with the Raptors, he hit .279 with 11 homers, 46 RBIs, a .534 slugging percentage. That earned him a spot on the Pioneer League postseason All-Star team and Baseball America's Pioneer League Top 20 Prospects list for his performance.

He moved up to Great Lakes in 2009 and didn't miss a beat, again earning a spot on the post-season all-star team and Baseball America ranked him the 17th best prospect in the Midwest League.

The outstanding prospect will probably open the 2010 season at Inland Empire but could get a promotion to Double-A Chattanooga before the season ends.

#22 OF Kyle Russell
6-5 195 BL TL
Born- June 7, 198
Obtained- Dodgers' selection #3 in 2009 draft

year	team    ave  obp  ops  gm   ab   r    h  2b 3b hr    bi  sb
2008  Ogden	.279 .365 .900  61  219  46   61  13  5  11   46   4
2009  GLakes    .272 .371 .916 133  481  90  131  39  7  26  102  20    
 Totals	        .274 .368 .915 194  700 136  192  52 12  37  148  24

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