The Royals have used the 21st pick in the draft to select right-handed pitcher Ashe Russell out of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. Baseball America ranked Russell the 17th best prospect in the draft. Fangraphs ranked him 37th.
Baseball America writes:
In a draft where many of the top young arms have struggled to stay healthy, Russell has consistently been the same high-octane arm that impressed scouts last summer on the showcase circuit. Russell is blessed with a very quick arm that has consistently sat at 92-94 mph and has touched 97 at his best. That fastball seems to explode from his hand and he gets good extension. But even more than the velocity, the late boring action of Russell's fastball makes it a plus pitch and one that should generate lots of ground balls. His low three-quarters arm slot also helps the action of his above-average low 80s slider. Russell's arm action isn't clean as some of the other top high school arms as his delivery has plenty of length in the back and he's struggled to hit his spots at times. Last summer his release point wandered as well. His changeup is still largely in its nascent stages because he hasn't really needed it much yet. Russell has plenty of size (6-foot-4) and he has room to grow as his lanky frame has room to add plenty of weight. Russell has a long ways to go, but he has all the pieces to be a solid mid-rotation starter and possibly more. He's committed to Texas A&M.
Overly optimistic comps!
#Royals 21st pick Ashe Russell turns 19 in August. He's 6'4", 195 lbs, committed to Texas A&M. Plesac compared his slider to Syndergaard's.— Josh Vernier (@JoshVernier610) June 9, 2015
Some scouts compare Ashe Russell to Clay Buchholz. Peter Gammons says he sees Verlander pic.twitter.com/XqRdjKby9t— JKuhn (@h8rproof82) June 9, 2015
Ashe Russell would be interesting, but he might be a reliever— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) June 9, 2015
Kid has some style though.
Ashe Russell's shirt just blew out one of the TVs in the green room— keithlaw (@keithlaw) June 9, 2015
Forget the shirt. Ashe Russell has alligator shoes. pic.twitter.com/RqtV7h1yzS— Jesse Spector (@jessespector) June 9, 2015
I don't know who Ashe Russell is but he has my next 35 All-Star votes.— Ben Nielsen (@BenThereBro) June 9, 2015