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Kevin Russo

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Kevin Alexander Russo

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Infielder Kevin Russo came to the majors in 2010.

Russo hit .478 as a high school junior and .442 as a senior, when he was All-State. He also was All-State in football, setting a Colorado record with 174.6 yards rushing per game. He hit .345 as a college freshman. In 2004, as a sophomore, he set the San Jacinto Junior College record with 30 doubles. He hit .374 that year and helped his school finish second in the nation; he made All-Tournament in the Junior College World Series.

Transferring to Baylor University in 2005, Russo hit .286 as the third baseman on the #4 team in NCAA Division I. He had hits in all four games he played in during the 2005 College World Series. He only ground into one double play in 259 AB that year. He hit just .189/.206/.243 for the 2005 Wareham Gatemen, backing up Chase Fontaine at second base primarily. His senior season at Baylor, Kevin batted .276/.365/.371, not the line would one expect from a future big leaguer.

He was selected by the New York Yankees in the 20th round of the 2006 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Mark Batchko and made his pro debut that summer with the GCL Yankees, hitting .273/.383/.400 in 45 games. With the Tampa Yankees the next year, he hit .281/.311/.369 with 22 doubles, 45 RBIs, and 19 steals in 25 tries, fielding .977 at second, and started at second in the Florida State League All-Star game. Baseball America named him the best defensive second baseman in the FSL.

He was with the Trenton Thunder in 2008 and hit .307/.363/.416 with 17 doubles despite missing almost two months with a fractured cheekbone. He had a surprisingly strong winter, batting .309 for the Peoria Javelinas in the prospect-laden Arizona Fall League.

He spent 2009 with the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and hit .326/.397/.431 with 18 doubles and 5 home runs while being named the International League postseason All-Star second baseman. He finished third in the 2009 International League in average behind only Jordan Brown and Don Kelly.

Russo started 2010 back with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and hit .302 in 27 games before being recalled by New York in early May when Nick Johnson went on the disabled list. He appeared in 4 games for the Yanks, going hitless in two plate appearances, before being sent back down to AAA.

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