Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Callis: [Ashe] Russell is the top-rated high school pitching prospect on MLB Pipeline’s board. He might have the most consistent two plus pitches of any high schooler in this Draft with his fastball and wipeout slider when it’s on. He also has a lanky body with a difficult arm slot to pick up.
My Thoughts: At 6’4″, 201 lbs, Russell certainly has the look of a starting pitcher. Learning to throw a changeup will be crucial to his stock as a future starting pitcher. The inability to do so will relegate him to bullpen duty.
The comparisons to Clay Buchholz are kind of silly, as they mostly rely on his physical appearance, which is eerily similar to Buchholz. Considering the two-pitch repertoire of a good fastball and plus slider, a low three-quarters arm slot, I’m thinking more a poor man’s (and right-handed) Chris Sale.
Next: The Other Picks