Ports' Russell starts to break through

Oakland's top prospect homers, plates four runs in 10-1 rout

Addison Russell is 24-for-66 for a .364 batting average so far in June. (Kenny Karst/MiLB.com)

By Brandon Simes / Special to MLB.com | June 23, 2013 7:31 PM ET

Numbers don't always tell the true story. But for Stockton's Addison Russell, they're starting to at least be a little more honest about the 2012 11th-overall Draft pick's talent level.

Oakland's No. 1 prospect homered, plated four runs and scored twice in Class A Advanced Stockton's 10-1 rout of San Jose on Sunday at Banner Island Ballpark.

"It was a really good game for [Russell]," Ports manager Webster Garrison said. "He got a couple hits today. He hit his eighth home run, which was a line-drive shot out of the park. He's an exciting young player, only 19 -- the youngest player in the league. He's got it going right now."

Russell hit .224 and .208 in the first two months of the season while dealing with an ankle injury and adjusting to playing against more seasoned competition in the California League.

"I think it was just pressing more than anything," Garrison said. "He's a high Draft pick, and I think he was trying to do a little too much early in the year. He needed to adjust to the league, settle down and do the little things, not the big things."

Russell extended his hitting streak to 12 games with an RBI single to center field in the second. He added a two-run homer to left in the eighth to raise his average to a season-high .254, and he has five multi-hit performances in his last nine games.

"He has to be able to use the whole field. Pitchers are going to adjust to him if he's just trying to pull the ball or go the other way," Garrison said. "He's a big, strong kid can who hit the ball out of the ballpark anywhere."

Russell also stole his ninth base after being hit by a pitch in the first.

"He's a bright, young, up-and-coming player looking really good on the baseball field," Garrison said. "He's a complete ballplayer. He plays good defense, has a good arm and runs well. He stole a base today and yesterday as well. Now that he's getting more hits, you're starting to see his complete game."

Last season, Russell hit .369 with a 1.027 OPS, seven home runs and 16 steals in 55 games across three Minor League stops. He's 24-for-66 for a .364 batting average so far in June to raise his OPS to .812 on the year.

"It's definitely an adjustment playing against guys a little older who have a little more experience than him," Garrison said. "It's his first full professional season, and even though he's a highly talented kid, he needed to adjust as well."

Raul Alcantara (1-0), Oakland's No. 10 prospect, allowed one unearned run on four hits in five innings. He went 7-1 with a 2.44 ERA in 77 1/3 innings for Class A Beloit in the Midwest League prior to his callup.

Ports designated hitter Max Muncy smacked his California League-leading 19th home run in the fourth.

Brandon Simes is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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