Report: Oakland Athletics Top Prospect Addison Russell Sent Down


Feb 22, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics infielder Addison Russell poses for a portrait during photo day at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report, the Oakland Athletics sent top prospect Addison Russell to the minors, but not before the 20-year-old shortstop made his mark. reported the move Sunday. Russell hasn’t played since straining a hamstring on Monday and is likely ticketed to start the season at Double-A Midland.

"“The more he was out there, the more comfortable he looked,” manager Bob Melvin said. “Toward the end, he really looked like a guy who belonged here. He just needs to go down and get more reps. He’s got the entire game to be able to play here.”"

Russell was 7-for-25 this spring in 12 games for the A’s, with three runs, two doubles, a triple and a stolen base, posting a .280/.280/.440 batting line. Defensively, he committed two errors in 22 chances.

The 11th overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Pace (Fla.) High School, Russell spent all of 2013 at Advanced-A Stockton, where he hit .275/.377/.508 in 107 games, scoring 85 runs, banging out 63 extra base hits—including 17 homers—driving in 60 runs and stealing 21 bases. He had 116 strikeouts.

Last fall while playing for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League, Russell hit .282/.361/.435 in 21 games, with 15 runs, eight doubles, one triple, one homer, five RBI and five steals. He struck out 15 times.

Also sent down on Sunday were pitchers Matt Buschmann, Deryk Hooker and Philip Humber.

Buschmann made five appearances this spring, posting a 5.40 ERA and 1.200 WHIP in five innings. He struck out eight and surrendered one homer.

Buschmann split last season between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham in the Tampa Bay organization. He was signed as a minor-league free agent in November. The 30-year-old right-hander posted a 2.86 ERA and 1.282 WHIP across the two levels last season in 28 starts and one relief appearance, working 160.2 innings. He struck out 167 hitters.

He was a 15th-round pick of the Padres out of Vanderbilt in 2006 and has never pitched above the Triple-A level.

Hooker, 24, struggled this spring, with a 9.53 ERA and 1.588 WHIP in six appearances and 5.2 innings. He gave up three home runs and struck out four. The A’s signed Hooker as a minor-league free agent in November after he spent seven seasons in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

Last year, he pitched in relief at Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis, posting a 4.12 ERA and 1.123 WHIP across the two levels in 67.2 innings. He struck out 75.

The right-hander was a seventh-round pick of the Cardinals in 2007 out of Mira Mesa High School in San Diego.

Humber signed as a free agent in October after splitting last season between the majors and the minors with the Houston Astros. The 31-year-old is most well known for his perfect game for the Chicago White Sox against the Seattle Mariners in 2012, but in parts of eight big-league seasons, he has a 5.31 ERA and 1.420 WHIP.

With the Astros last year, working in both relief and as a starter, Humber was 0-8 with a 7.90 ERA and 1.738 WHIP in 54.2 innings, allowing nine homers and striking out 36. At Triple-a Oklahoma City, he had a 4.68 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in 50 innings, giving up seven long balls and posting 38 strikeouts.

This spring, the right-hander had a 16.20 ERA and 3.000 WHIP in five innings, striking out five.