Draft Profile: Ashe Russell
*** With the 2015 First-Year Player Draft fast approaching, we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class. ***
Name: Ashe Russell
School: Cathedral HS, Ind.
Rank on Draft Top 100: 14
Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 6'4" Weight: 195 lbs.
College commitment: Texas A&M
Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale
30: Well below average
40: Below average
60: Above average
70-80: Well above average
Russell is in the mix to become the first high school pitcher drafted in 2015. He had a fine summer on the high school showcase circuit, repeatedly showing one of the more devastating two-pitch combinations in the prep class. Thanks to his fast arm and low three-quarters slot, Russell imparts a lot of life on his pitches. He usually works at 92-95 mph with his fastball and when he stays on top of his 78-82 mph slider, it's a swing-and-miss offering with bite. With those two weapons in his repertoire, he rarely has needed a changeup against high school competition. His frame, athleticism and long hair draw some comparisons to Clay Buchholz, though some scouts wonder if Russell's slinging delivery might make him better suited for a relief role.
MLB comp: Clay Buchholz
Fun fact: Russell heralds from Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, the same high school as Orioles right-hander Tommy Hunter (Class of 2005) and former big leaguer Jake Fox (2000).
He said it: "I try not to pay attention [to the mock drafts]. I've seen where I've been picked seventh overall and 68th overall. So I don't look anymore. When that time comes, they'll decide and hopefully it works out for the best."
-- Russell to the Indianapolis Star
They said it: "That slider, when he's on, it really is devastating. He misses a ton of bats with it. It's been fun watching that pitch develop over the last four years, where early on he didn't have that good a feel for it. Now here in May-June of his senior season, it's a crumbling pitch for batters to try to hit."
-- Cathedral High School varsity baseball coach Rich Andriole