Addison Russell impressed manager Bob Melvin during his second stint at big league Spring Training. Slowed by a strained right hamstring, however, the A's top prospect on Sunday was assigned to Minor League camp.
"A lot of it had to do with the injury," Melvin told MLB.com. "There's a good chance we would've taken him all the way [to the Bay Bridge Series] had he not got injured. But we don't want to try to rush him back on the field and get him in games here just for the sake of trying to get him in games.
"He's impressed to the point where we feel really good about him. I know he feels good about himself, too. It was unfortunate that he had the injury."
The 20-year-old shortstop batted .280 with a triple, two doubles, three RBIs and a stolen base in 12 Cactus League games. He did not play after injuring his hamstring earlier this week.
"The more he was out there, the more comfortable he looked, and toward the end he really looked like a guy that belonged here," Melvin told MLB.com. "He just needs to go down and play and get more reps. He's got the entire game to be able to play here."
Russell overcame a slow start last year with Class A Advanced Stockton and batted .275 with 17 homers, 10 triples, 29 doubles, 60 RBIs, 85 runs scored and 21 steals in 107 games. While he appeared in three games with Triple-A Sacramento late in the season, MLB.com's No. 12 overall prospect is expected to begin this year with Double-A Midland.
"Last year, we just got him some DH at-bats to get his feet wet, a couple games at shortstop," Melvin said. "But he knew right away that he was going to get in most of these games this time."
In other roster moves, the Blue Jays assigned No. 10 prospect Sean Nolin and right-handers Kyle Drabek and Chad Jenkins to Minor League camp, while the Yankees optioned No. 12 prospect Manny Banuelos to Class A Advanced Tampa.