Ashe Russell | RHP
The 18-year-old Russell attends Cathedral High School in Indianapolis and is committed to Texas A&M. He’s been on the radar as a draft prospect for years and has consistently performed well against elite high school competition in showcase events.
At 6-foot-4 and 195 lbs., Russell has the big frame scouts love, and he generates a ton of movement thanks to his low arm slot. His fastball sits 92-95 mph and runs all over the place, though he’s able to command it well. A hard low-80s slider that takes a sharp left turn just before it reaches the plate is his out pitch. Russell doesn’t have a changeup — he hasn’t needed one in high school — and while he’ll need one at the next level, his fastball/slider combo will always be his break and butter. There’s some concern Russell won’t handle lefties well enough to remain in the rotation long-term.
MLB.com, Baseball America, and Keith Law (subs. req’d) ranked Russell as the 14th, 17th, and 31st best prospect in the draft class in their most recent rankings, respectively. For what it’s worth, Baseball America said the Yankees were in on Russell in their second to last mock draft. The Yankees pick 16th and 30th this year and Russell’s a divisive prospect — some see a high-end starter and others see a reliever. I’m not sure if he’s someone who will still be on the board when that 30th pick comes up.