The season may be winding down, but Addison Russell is generating a few more memorable moments from his first full year in professional baseball before ballparks shut down.
Two days after flashing his speed in an inside-the-park home run, the A's top prospect showed of his power with a more traditional roundtripper. His grand slam in the second inning on Tuesday sent Class A Advanced Stockton on its way to a 10-6 triumph at Lake Elsinore.
The 19-year-old shortstop added a single for his seventh multi-hit effort in 18 games.
Russell said he'd enjoyed putting his speed/power combo on display and performing at a level he expects out of himself the last two games. Despite having a good season statistically, he noted he hadn't quite performed at the level he'd wanted to after a slow start and stretches lost to injury.
"It's definitely fun to let people see my ability, I'm having fun this last half and there's not a lot of time left, so you try to make a last-minute statement," said Russell. "Really for me, it's not where I wanted to be [overall] but I'm working hard to strive for my goals and obtain there. So far, it's just all right for me."
Despite that half-hearted endorsement, his numbers have been impressive for a teenager navigating the California League.
In 91 games with the Ports, MLB.com's 20th overall prospect is hitting .275/.363/.515 with 14 homers, 53 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 17 tries.
"I just wanted to kind of see the ball better early in the year, take advantage of stealing bags. I can't, I guess, go back in time and change it at all. Just try not to do too much and do what I know that I can do," Russell said.
He added that part of his disappointment stemmed from having to dig himself out of an early hole. He hit .224 in April and followed that with a .208 average in May. The 11th overall pick in last year's Draft has done that well, though, with a .990 OPS in June that climbed to 1.049 in July and sits at 1.039 in August.
"Early on, I was just so anxious to get a hit, so anxious to get on base. It's a long year and it's gonna come, I just had to learn to try not to do too much, slow the game down. Get your pitch, get your at-bat and make the plays that are routine," he said. "I'm happy with the way things are going right now. I still need to finish out the season good, have a good offseason, work hard and come in looking forward to next season."
Despite that iffy start to the year, Russell has worked his way into 12th in the league in OPS even though he's younger than nearly all of his peers.
"The way I'm playing now is the way I think I should have been playing in the beginning of the year," he said. "It's a long year, my first year, and it's just a learning curve. The good thing is that I think I struggled in the beginning and I learned how to come back from it, stay positive. Instead of trying to force it more when it was going bad, sit back, relax and let your ability and talent take over."
Teammate B.A. Vollmuth added his 21st homer to climb into a fourth-place tie in the league. Leadoff man Myrio Richard went 4-for-5 and scored a pair of runs, while Philip Pohl added a solo homer for the Ports.