The Oakland A’s selected Addison Russell, a shortstop from Pace High School in Pace, Fla., in the first round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, the club announced today. The Athletics also drafted shortstop Daniel Robertson from Upland High School in Upland, Calif., and first baseman Matt Olson from Parkview High School in Lilburn, Ga., as compensation picks following the first round.
Russell batted .358 with eight home runs and 33 RBI in 32 games for Pace HS this year. He added 30 walks for a .532 on-base percentage and scored 40 runs. Russell hit .460 in his four-year high school career with 37 home runs. The 11th overall selection, Russell is the first high school pick by the A’s in the first round since 2001 when they drafted Jeremy Bonderman with the 26th selection. Since 1991, the only other high school players the A’s selected in the first round were Eric Chavez (1996) and Ben Grieve (1994). Russell is the third position player the A’s have chosen in the first round in the last four years along with Michael Choice (2010) and Grant Green (2009). The A’s drafted right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray in the first round last year.
Robertson was selected with the 34th overall pick as compensation for the loss of free agent Josh Willingham, who signed with the Minnesota Twins. He batted .560 with six home runs and 31 RBI in 27 games this year. Robertson added 29 walks for a .696 on-base percentage and struck out just six times. He also batted .545 as junior
Olson was drafted 47th overall as compensation for the loss of free agent David DeJesus, who signed with the Chicago Cubs. This marks the first time the A’s selected a high school athlete with their first three picks in the draft since 1978 when they drafted Mike Morgan and Tim Conroy in the first round and Keith Atherton in the second round.
The draft resumes tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. with rounds two through 15. The A’s have two second round picks, including the Twins pick for the loss of Willingham (62nd selection) and their own pick (74th), and have six of the first 106 picks overall. The draft concludes Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. with rounds 16 through 40.