Kyle D. Russell
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 5", Weight 185 lb.
- School University of Texas
- High School Tomball High School
Kyle Russell began his minor league career in 2008. In 2007, he was one of the top hitters in college baseball.
Russell was All-State in high school in 2004-2005. As a junior in 2004, he batted .524 with 16 steals and 50 RBI and had a 28-game hitting streak. Tomball High was ranked 10th in the nation by Baseball America. He played for the US in the 2004 World Junior Championship, hitting .368, third on the team behind Brandon Snyder and Justin Upton. He led the team with 3 doubles, tied Upton for the most homers (1) and extra-base hits (5) and led with 8 RBI. He outproduced players such as David Cooper, Andrew McCutchen and Ike Davis. As a senior, he hit .470 with 15 home runs and 52 RBI. Baseball America named him as a second-team All-American outfielder alongside Jay Bruce and Jordan Danks. He was the only player on the first or second team who was eligible for the draft and not picked, due to his strong college commitment.
Russell hit .276/.365/.545 as a freshman at the University of Texas. He was chosen as a freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball and a second-team freshman All-American by Baseball America. Russell played for the Cotuit Kettleers in the summer, hitting .206/.277/.341. He struck out 64 times, setting the record for the Cape Cod League, which is over a 100 years old.
In his sophomore season, he put on a sensational show. Russell batted .336/.456/.807 with 28 home runs, 68 runs and 71 RBI in 63 games as the right fielder for Texas. He led NCAA Division I in homers and was 7th in slugging. He led the Big 12 Conference in slugging and total bases (180), was second with 5 triples and third in runs (68), RBI (71) and walks (46). He set the University of Texas home run record. He was a consensus All-American and won Big 12 Conference Player of the Year honors. In the summer, he helped the Santa Barbara Foresters to the California Collegiate League title, hitting .247 with 41 runs produced in 29 games. He was picked in the 4th round of the 2007 amateur draft by the St. Louis Cardinals but returned for a third year of college, turning down a reported $800,000.
Russell slumped as a junior just like teammate Danks with just one home run in his first 22 games and a .235 average. He recovered to finish at .296/.432/.655 with 19 home runs and 56 RBI in 57 games. Russell was still picked in the 3rd round of the 2008 amateur draft, the 93rd overall selection, taken by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He left Texas as the schools' record holder for single season (28) and career (57) homers.
- 2005-2008 Baseball Almanacs
- University of Texas bio
- USA Today article on Russell's improvement from 2006 to 2007
- Cape Cod League
- Story on Russell's slow start to 2008