Kansas City Royals Top 15 Prospects After 2015 Season

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Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

4. Ashe Russell

It is easy to look at Ashe Russell’s debut and consider it disappointing. The Kansas City Royals first selection in the first round this past year, Russell posted a 4.21 ERA and a 1.239 WHiP, striking out only 24 batters in 36.1 innings of work. This was not what most people expected from Russell as he began his professional career.

Yet, when one digs deeper into Russell’s 2015 campaign, there is a great deal to be excited about. He allowed more than one earned run in only three of his eleven outings, and allowed more than three runs only once. Over Russell’s final seven starts, he posted a 3.42 ERA, striking out 21 batters against six walks in 26.1 innings of work, holding the opposition to a .200/.255/.463 batting line.

Even with that success, there are still questions in regards to what Russell’s long term role will be with the Royals. His fastball and slider combination, combined with his low three quarters delivery, have the potential to be devastating. Yet, Russell does not have a true third pitch, having not needed one during his high school career.

The development of that third pitch, if it does happen, may hold the key to what Ashe Russell becomes for the Kansas City Royals. Maybe he can develop into a Clay Buchholz type of pitcher, as has been suggested in the past. Otherwise, he could be quite the late inning weapon in a few years.

Next: Regaining his top prospect status